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Baby in reverse.

Taking care of a dying person is like taking care of a baby, but in reverse. They become less and less able to take care of themselves. They spend more and more time asleep. They start to make less sense.

It is important not to be afraid by these differences. This formerly active and vibrant person that you knew is changing right before your eyes. She will show less signs of being interested in anything other than what is happening right in front of her.

It isn’t anything personal. It is simply a normal part of the dying process. Consider that it is like hypothermia. When the body gets very cold it will conserve all of its energy. The body will automatically start taking energy and heat away from the extremities. Death is like that, but it is social and spiritual.

It is a time where they withdraw from their external activities and all of their attention and energy is refocused and re-centered. They will begin to show less and less interest in their friends and in their family. They may have unfinished business they feel that they need to do. And they may start trying to control things more. This is a normal behavior for people who have felt very nervous throughout their lives. People tend to die the way they live.

You may see a dying person “working”. They are working in any way they can. They may pick it their bedclothes. They may move things around. As long as they are not doing anything dangerous let them continue to do it.

Dying people may see people from the other side. I do not believe that these are hallucinations. I believe that they have one foot in this world and one foot in the other. Again, as long as they are not causing any harm to themselves let them continue. If it is not making them anxious, there isn’t a problem. Do not argue with them. You do not want to agitate them. You want them to have as easy a transition as possible.

When my mom was dying I saw my helping her during this time as my gift to her. She took care of me when I was a baby and when I was sick. I figured that it was my duty to take care of her when she was dying. Fortunately we had a good relationship, so that made it easier.

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