Before cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, we may be caregiving for a loved one who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or who has a chronic disease that will eventually lead to death. While we – and much of the online and offline literature – tend to focus on how we feel while our loved ones are dying and after they die, we can often forget to consider what our dying loved one may be experiencing emotionally.
Having insight into the emotions of the dying can help us in how we respond to them. After all, we’re not the only ones experiencing loss. In fact, in a sense, we’re experiencing loss vicariously through them because they are the ones who are actually dying and actually losing their lives.
Thinking from that perspective should give us more patience, more mercy, more compassion, and more gentleness in how we deal with our dying loved ones and how we consistently respond to them, even in the times when they may be very agitated or restless and we are exhausted from trying to keep up with them.
One of the emotions that our dying loved ones may be experiencing is fear. Fear of dying is not uncommon, but if we can pinpoint what aspect of dying our loved ones are afraid of, then we might be able to find ways to ease their fear.
Some people are afraid of dying alone. Some people are afraid of dying away from home. Some people are afraid that death will be painful. Some people are afraid of what happens – or doesn’t happen – after death. Some people are afraid that their lives had no meaning or purpose and that they’ll be forgotten after they die.
Another emotion that our dying loved ones may experience is anger. This emotion may be harder for our loved ones to quantify in a way that’s understandable. Sometimes, people just aren’t ready to die. Other times, people feel like they’ve been cheated out of a full life. If our loved ones did things that brought them to the point of dying, they may be angry at themselves.
Whatever the anger is about, it often gets directed at those closest to our loved ones. There may be no way to soothe that anger, but we can minimize it by not responding to it with anger. That’s a lot easier said than done. But anger breeds anger.
If we feel our anger rising in response to our dying loved one’s anger, then it’s good to give ourselves a timeout. Walk away for a little bit. Breathe deeply. Calm down. But most of all, we should not get angry in return nor should we try to reason with it because those things will just escalate the situation.
Other emotions that our loved ones may be experiencing are guilt and regret. It’s normal when we’re facing death to reflect on our lives. In that reflection, we may find opportunities that we lost and regret that we lost them or things that we should have done or said or that we said or did that we feel guilty about.
We can help our loved ones by, if some of their regrets and guilt are about their relationship with us, is to let them know that we’ve forgiven them and we don’t hold anything against them. They may still have unresolved guilt and regrets, but we should do everything in our power to make sure that those are not related to us.
If you want information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.