What is your view on 'How to Die a Good Death'?
Posted by Josefine Speyer
a good death is one like my mum's friend's hubby, he was in his 70s had chest pains after taking the dog out for a walk, that night they went to bed, she woke up next day and he was dead, gone in his sleep with no pain, no horrible nrsing homes, no being like a baby at the end of your life or horrible pain. A bad death involves pain and indignity, or like my dad with dementia being like a baby being fed and changed like a baby and being totally and absolutely helpless and even in nappies again, thats a bad death. It's not about years of life for me but quality of life and keeping out of a nursing home, I've worked in such places and if I was going to end up in one I'd take all my pills and go rather than drag on such indignity.
Posted by Ali
Death Cafe in Montreal facilitator
How I wish every one could have a "good death"! My mother, I believe, had a good death thanks to hospice care and my dad too thanks to my mother's insistence that he have hospice at home. Definition of a good death for me: achieving peace and comfort as death approaches, acceptance and even welcome of death.
Posted by Kit
correspondent from the dark side
How to die a good death? I'm doing that right now. I have created a virtual hospice for myself. I am in perfect health so it's easy to feel good. But there is deeply alive peace in my heart when I realize every act done with total presence is sacred.
In that, there is no time. I am already peaceful. Dead to anxiety, fear or longing.It's a beautiful discovery.
Posted by eve eliot
A good death
My mother in law recently died at the age of 91 in N Ireland. She had been in a nursing home for 3 years, was slowly losing her memory, however she was content and when we visited (a couple of times a year from Canada) she was usually in good form. We would have fairly nonsensical conversations but she seemed happy enough.
She had few physical ailments but in August she stopped eating and the family decided to discontinue hydration as well. The family there visited her every day and she slowly slipped into greater periods of semi or unconsciousness. The nursing home staff cared for her kindly.
She finally slipped away on September 11th. Although this extended period was a bit stressful on the family, she herself seemed peaceful and comfortable. I think this was a good death. No anxiety, pain or emotional anguish, just a gentle letting go.
Posted by Barbara Swanston
Like a good birth...
For me, what constitutes a good death is a very personal matter. But essentially I think it's a death where your wishes are respected (and you have had chance to consider and articulate these) with an acknowledgement that these wishes may change as the process develops. Very like a good birth for the mother.
Posted by Ginny Koppenhol