How many times have I heard someone say "When am I going to die?" "What is taking so long, what am I hanging on for? I want to doie I'm ready to go." ," I hear this all the time. Especially when they are in Hospice for a second and third time. Nobody wants to be in Hospice over and over but some people just have the biological constitution of a whale. (As I know, whales live a very long time.) I am often hearing the great concern that their children's inheritance is dwindling from a lack of their dwindling. That they have succumbed to a daily ritual of eating and pooping and nothing else so "what am I doing here? why can't I die?" Too many people at the end of their life feel hopeless. In their minds they aren't useful anymore, can't do anything beneficial for anyone, can't recall their life stories with any accuracy anymore. Grandparents are always good for stories of the olden days. They recount much needed family lore. You know the stuff that gives us anchor. When they can't even do that anymore people stop asking, they stop coming by to visit. It's very hard to watch this limbo linger. "When am I going to die? I want to be dead, I want to die, I'm done with life, I'm ready to go" and then they last another year or more or more. And then it's time for bed. I help them into their pajamas, at the sink for oral care, change their Depends for night time use, into the sheets and then...… they open their pill box and pour out the evening meds, adjust the oxygen tank, one last hit of albuterol. "Is my morphine nearby?" So many times I want to say, "You know you could stop taking your medications. That would put an end to the lingering." I'm not supposed to say stuff like that. I want to but I can't. We are so programmed to live that it gets in the way of our expiration date.
No answers here, just observation.