I had to attend two funerals last summer. Seems like a lot for my age. I have heard half-joking conversations of quite elderly people that they have to gather more and more often in some "place of meeting of friends" - so they called the solemn hall of farewells. The first death was so incongruous and unexpected that I can't still believe it could happen. The man was only 42 years old, and he died within half an hour. I just didn't feel well; it was a heart attack. And that's all. But I would like to focus on the second case. It was, if one can call it, an "expected" event. A relative of mine was diagnosed with a fatal, inoperable cancer. He was not already young aged, but was still assumed to live a long and a good life, the first grandchildren had only appeared in his life. Treatment was meaningless, although it was not denied. Time of his was put approximately, but no more than a year. The man was gone in two months’ time. It was my very difficult experience of accompanying the dying man, and that clearly showed how the whole theory I had known was shattered. With close people, psychology does not work. You can only be near, be open, honest, human. dying people don’t take easily the phrases "hold on, everything will be fine,", or they take them with great irony. I was expected to have a healthy optimism, but not a useless hope. I saw with my own eyes and felt in my gut what doom and real fear are. All our existential " I am afraid..I fear…." fades away before the greatest and most real fear, the fear of the unconditionally approaching end. It is incomprehensible what a person must feel before the clearly marked end of his existence comes. How hard it is to suddenly realize that you are "not just mortal", and even very soon mortal. Sometime before, a patient was not informed of a fatal diagnosis, only relatives were notified. Probably for all this goes in different ways. For some, it is easier not to know, thus not adding mental stress to already weakened health. But, in my opinion, these people are greatly deprived. When one knows that his time is not unlimited, life can become truly fulfilled for him (as far as his strength allows). The first thing I wanted to say to my sick relative, that now time would go not in length, but in depth and width. This might be the brightest period of his life, both for him and for his close people. It meant complete freedom in expressing his thoughts and feelings. Now one could say everything he thought, and say all one had postpone to say. The doctors said to him: "now you can do anything" - meaning food (before that there had been strict diets), alcohol. So in thought, one could assume everything that came from the depths of oblivion or fear of recognition What a pity that in order to understand: who you are, what you want, who you love - you have to wait until all this can no longer be said or done. Another important lesson that dying people give us is the ability to forgive. When there is no time to sort things out, settle scores, to understand who is right, who is guilty, there is no strength to condemn, insult, hatred. But there is still one very large force, which is so lacked by the alive. This is Power of Forgiveness. Forgiveness is just a decision, but it takes a lot of courage and self-denial. It gives a huge amount of freedom for a new meeting with a seemingly familiar person. Then you can see someone in his helplessness and weakness, imperfection and simplicity, show him an example of real human relations, which should be in life. Man is killed by helplessness, especially in the face of death. And each of its small, but very important and strong “I can” more strongly connects him with the passing life, it does not so senselessly melt away in feelings. Another great experience, death is an insult to life. For what? Why? Where is the justice? It shouldn't be! We do not give our consent to death, for us it is decided by someone who knows better when it is time to lower the curtain, to put an end. This is the hardest thing to accept. One can only accept and withstand this negative feeling, so as not to waste his last days. Hopelessness makes a person very lonely. It is very important and you just need to be close, silent and to listen. Often a person cannot talk enough, so much he wants to have time to fit in the remaining time. What else to do? To cry together, to laugh together, even to be afraid together? You needn’t take care of the feelings of the dying person, you may and even need to talk about how you do not want to let him go. In general, one should do everything so that later there was less regret for something missed, undone. One should respond to any spontaneous desire of the dying but not forget about his own. One should understand that such desires do not come by chance, and have a special meaning and real support. It might be sad though, but we come to this world alone. And we are not allowed to take anyone with us either when leaving this world. Such loneliness hurts a lot. It is hard both for the dying person and those who remain without him. Close people have to be close and mentally and physically as much as possible. Then only memory will remain that uninterrupted connection with the departed person. By and large, any healthy person is not much different from the terminally ill. Yes, the latter’s end is predetermined, but there is no final date yet. For everyone else, this term is also not known. It may happen that a healthy person will leave for some reason sooner ( accident, natural disaster, etc.). This knowledge should bring us very much closer to experiencing the depth of life, to being open to everything that comes out of it, and to giving some valuable content in exchange. We are not free in the time allotted to us for this life. One who has seen death may not be afraid of life. This time of completion and totals can turn life to a fuller, richer, unique and living life. To-good and bad unpredictable, but such unique, native and the only one. It is necessary to live so that at the end, whenever it comes, one can safely say: "I saw and knew a lot, I loved and suffered, but still I was happy. I was mistaken, suffered and forgiven, erred and searched, lost and found. I lived, so I'm not afraid to die." Thank you for reading this topic! Love you, Olga
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