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Nearing Death Awareness essay

How nursing can be helpful at the moment of death

Anyone who has interacted with a dying person moments or days before his or her death will attest to the fact that most the victims exhibit unusual behaviors that involve seeing non-existent being and things, besides talking in a manner that cannot be easily comprehended. Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley are hospice nurses who have interacted with numerous dying patients in their homes and hospitals.  The last section of their book Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Co talks about “Nearing Death Awareness” where they share their experiences with people whose deaths are imminent. This paper presents my reflection to Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley assertions after reading chapters 10, 11, 12, and 13 of their book.  

As Callanan and Kelley affirm, there are certain things that a person need to know or fulfill before dying a peaceful death. Chapter of 11 of Callanan and Kelley’s book discusses one last important undertaking that need to be accomplished by dying people. The chapter discusses reconciliation, and is characteristically moving. In the previous chapters, the two authors had presented their thoughts about some tasks that dying people need before finally taking their final breaths. For instance, the two authors’ talked about dying people getting concerned with where they want death to catch up with them (with home and hospital standing prominently as the two most like places) in addition to the people that they wish should be around them when they finally bow to death. In chapter 11, however, Callanan and Kelley tackle a topic that most people with agree that is in most cases the final demand that they get from dying people.

Reconciliation involves striving to rebuild a cordial relationship with people one disagreed with in the past. According to the two authors, dying people occasionally postpone their deaths until they reconcile with certain people they feel they ought to have a rapprochement with. Upon reading this chapter, I found it inevitable to find out what other authors and the general public thinks about this seeming important topic with regards to a person’s last moments (or days).  Ideally, virtually everyone agree that reconciliation is crucial for a dying. I personal think that instead of “life review” that was discussed in the previous chapters, dying people should simply be guided to review their life in the perspective of whom they wronged and would wish to reconcile with. On rare occasions, the involved person might not be reachable, perhaps due to death. In such a case, I am opinionated that it should be the responsibility of people around the dying person to offer assurance that they will reach out to the party involved even after the dying person is gone.

With regards to non-verbal cues that most dying persons use while approaching death, it appears that most of these cues cannot be easily understood by the surrounding people if they are not attentive. It, therefore, means that friends and relative that spend time with a dying person should be heedful of every spoken word by the dying person. This gives them a unique chance to understand and interpret what they dying person says. Additionally, showing attention also serve to make the dying person experience of love that is much needed during these last moments. Even so, it should be noted that it is not always that people will understand these verbal cues and interpret correctly.

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In brief, most dying people exhibit unique behavior when at the verge of dying. During this time, the need for reconciliation and the use of verbal cues to signal the immense of death reigns, and friends and relatives of the dying person should ensure that this need is met and cues interpreted accordingly. Understanding such verbal cues only require attentiveness.


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