Unless you are an immortal jellyfish, death will play an inevitable role in your life. And while loss and death have always been a part of human existence, none of us seem to have gotten used to it. These are 5 myths about dying that many continue to believe.

5 myths about dying that many believe

Wrong processes or myths about the dying process abound , especially when it comes to the death of a loved one. But addressing the reality of death, rather than trying to ignore or delay it, can help you make the most of the time you share.

These are some myths about dying that many people continue to believe.

Myth 1: I should always be positive for the sake of my loved ones.

While no one knows when their time will come, having a life-threatening diagnosis gives people a chance to prepare for the future in their own way.

Many family members and friends may be tempted to put on a brave face for the sake of their loved one, but this is unnecessary and can be detrimental to both parties.

According to Dr. Marilyn A. Mendoza, a psychologist specializing in grief:

“Death is an emotional situation. It makes us sad and crying is normal and natural. It is an honest expression of our feelings. Not everyone cries when they are sad, but if you are someone who does, being with someone who is dying is definitely the time to do it. After all, it’s an indication that you care. ”

In addition, it is important to leave space for your loved one to feel free to share his or her own feelings, both positive and negative.

Myth 2: I need to make sure my loved one eats, drinks, and sleeps normally.

“People are concerned that their loved one is sleeping too much or not eating or drinking and that they need to address that,” says Dr. Mendoza. “At the end of life, people sleep a lot as their energy decreases. Not eating or drinking is also a normal and natural response to preparing the body for death. The body has less need for these things. ”

Toward the end of your time together, don’t worry so much about sticking to the same routine. Instead, focus on making sure your loved one is comfortable.

Myth 3: I need to prolong my loved one’s life as much as possible.

“There are cases where people have been resuscitated against better medical judgment because family members have insisted,” Australian writer Sarah Winch told Medical Xpress.

“The outcome is generally poor, with admission to the intensive care unit and life support withdrawn at a later date. In these cases, we have simply intervened in the dying process, making it longer and more unpleasant than it should be. We are prolonging, not curing death and it can be unpleasant, not just for those who are sitting next to the bed. ”

Myth 4: It is important to limit the use of pain relievers to keep my loved one healthy.

For many hospice patients, increased use of pain relievers, including morphine, can help make life more comfortable and easier to navigate. There is a common misconception that pain relievers are used to speed up the dying process, but this is not the case.

“Pain is not always part of death. If pain is experienced near the end of life, there are many ways to relieve it. Appropriate doses of morphine keep patients comfortable, but do not hasten death. ”

Myth 5: If I seek help caring for my loved one, I am a failure.

“Sometimes the needs of the patient exceed what can be provided at home despite best efforts. Ensuring that the best care is provided, regardless of configuration, is not a failure. ”

While dying at home is the preferred option for some, it is costly and can be logistically complicated. Visiting a loved one in the hospital or hospice can make the experience easier overall.

Many people are also very anxious about being at the bedside of a loved one when they pass away. The truth is that no one has control over time and place. If you are out of the bedroom or taking care of your own needs at home when your loved one dies, there is no need to feel guilty.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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