Comforting the Dying
To provide comfort to someone who is dying, one should establish a bond of safety and trust. Listen with an open heart and without judgment or an agenda. Always treat a dying person with dignity and with respect for his or her beliefs. The dying often find value and meaning in remembering and reviewing the achievements, successes and disappointments in life, no matter how small or significant they may be. People want to believe that they made a difference in the world. They sometimes need to settle unresolved issues as a prelude to “letting go.” One can help bring peace of mind by simply being there to listen and offering empathetic support to the dying person in addressing these issues. One should express his or her interest, concern, and love. Just a gentle touch can be invaluable in conveying to a dying person that you care. Often, one of the most important gifts we can give others is our quiet presence.