Jun 7, 2012

Are You Scared Of Dying Badly?

'I am scared of dying badly. But then I think that is something most people (are scared of)'

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Those are not my words, they are the words of world famous author Sir Terry Pratchett.

Are You Scared Of Dying Badly? | Alzheimer's Reading Room

The words appeared in an article entitled I'm scared of dying badly, admits Alzheimer's sufferer Terry Pratchett. The article was published in today's Daily Mail online in the U.K.

For me, this article came up at a particulary interesting time. My mother, Dotty, died on May 25th of this year.

As I see it there are two issues here.

First, are you scared of dying badly?

Second, are you scared of seeing the person you are caring for that is living with Alzheimer's (or any type of dementia) die badly?

As many of you know, I wrote extensively from May 5 to May 25, and thereafter, about my own personal beliefs and philosophy concerning death.

I see death as a natural part of life, the end of life. I also believe that each of us undergoes a learning process while we are alive. I often think and believe that a person dies when they have completed their last mission on earth. The last learning experience. I certainly believe this was the case with Dotty.

I do consider myself and my family fortunate. Dotty did not die badly, she died beautifully. At least that is my perspective.

I will freely admit that there was a long period of time, that never really went completely away, where I worried what it would feel like it Dotty no longer knew me.

I never really put it this in the context of thinking, what would it be like if Dotty didn't know me when she died. I can only imagine that it would have hurt badly, and for a long time. Although, if she had not known me for a long period before she died, maybe I would have been able to cope with the situation to some degree in advance.

I can't say that I ever worried about Dotty dying badly. Instead, I hoped and prayed that she would die peacefully.  We received an enormous amount of prayer in Dotty's last few weeks, I'll continue to believe that those prayers made a difference.

I can say confidently right now that I am not scared of dying badly. Instead, I am more focused than ever on living well, honorably, and with a sense of purpose. I'll do this for a long list of reasons. I'll do this to honor my father and my mother.

Is it true that most people are afraid of dying badly?

If so, should I publish a book about Dotty's last days and my own beliefs and perceptions?

Should I write a book entitled, When Dotty Went to Heaven? Would anyone read it?

Are you afraid of dying badly? Are you afraid that your loved one living with dementia will die badly?

Use the comments box below this article (Disqus is back) to share your answers to these questions.

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room