When we discover that our life is over when we face death, how can we be grateful for what we have experienced? How to close the pending issues?

When we receive the announcement that our life is over, we can abandon ourselves to collapse or try to find some peace in the farewell.

Accepting and thanking what has been our existence and trying to close pending issues with loved ones can conflict with ourselves and leave an indelible mark on the hearts of others.

To Assume One’s Own Death

We all know that we are temporary beings. And we are also aware that one day our farewell to life and the people we love will come.

But, since we are fundamentally creative beings, we have made an adjustment so that this sense of temporality forms of our existence does not torment us in our daily life.

In this way, we can live here and now by focusing only on the events that life has for us. The idea of death is far from our conscience, and it must be so.

But sometimes and some people for reasons that are now irrelevant but never correspond to a finding of death-connected with this finitude, react with anguish, confusion, and dizziness. This is about the called noogenic or existential neurosis or a panic attack, but in both cases, they always have to do with life, not with death.

Other times, however, we can diagnose a disease with a bad prognosis, and death and our temporality jump to the forefront of consciousness. It is necessary, then, to deal with your message:

The time has come to prepare our bags and take stock of what we have experienced.

The idea of death also occurs when we reach a certain age, usually from the age of 60. When aging involves a loss of autonomy, of physical and mental faculties, if the person does not learn to accept these changes and enjoy life, they will feel immersed in an emotional process that will disturb their daily existence.

Mourning for one’s own life can be differentiated into two categories that are related to age.

  1. Grief over old age itself.
  2. Mourning after the announcement of a terminal illness at an age when you are still full of life.

Due to the progressive deterioration of old age, life itself slows down and give messages help to understand that it is time to reap the fruits and calm the spirit.

However, it is paradoxical that, although society is full of activities to stimulate the lives of older people and it is difficult to find a psychological group aimed at assimilating and taking stock of the lives, practically already lived, of those who by age is closing their life cycles.

An activity of this kind, far from pushing our elders to death, could help them find some peace in the farewell.

Grief Before A Terminal Illness

Grief Before A Terminal Illness

But what happens to a person when a deadly disease breaks into his life? I remember one case:

A few years ago, they recommended me to do some medical tests. It was not good, but I was not feeling bad either. I decided to collect the evidence alone and opened the envelope without paying attention to the warning in it: “Do not open it. Give the sealed envelope to your doctor” There, sitting in the car, I read the diagnosis: “Liver cancer in the terminal state”.

I was breathless, I noticed how my jaw began to shake and how tears ran down my cheeks. How was it possible? In just a few seconds, I had gone from being a healthy woman to death.

It took several hours to confirm, thanks to a medical friend, that fortunately the diagnosis was wrong and the conclusion was another. But the experience, I could say that irrational, made me think for a long time about how my life would have changed if it had been true.

Unfortunately, the diagnoses are not wrong for other people, so they need to prepare and assimilate that the end of the trip has arrived.

It is not easy to find the balance between fighting “with tooth and nail ” to recover health and, at the same time, take time to reflect and prepare a possible farewell.

It is easy to remain unconscious and hyperactive in the first situation, or in resignation and impotence, in the second.

Some people, out of fear of their feelings and/or those of others, decide to play “ignore” the situation and the problem and embark on a life of daze and obfuscation: “Why should I take care of myself or do something? ”

Fear, above all, leads them to deny the undeniable. There is a need for control over the inevitable.

Generally, they have dedicated themselves to a challenging life by feeling that they dominated it. But now you’ll need to learn to loosen up and stop running.

It is never too late to feel human and, therefore, fragile and strong, powerful and weak and fighter.

At the other extreme points, the total collapse occurs. Resignation and helplessness add the person to a sense of sadness so deep that he/she abandons himself/herself, before time, to the situation. If each passing day is already normally a day closer to dying, why not now give up paddling in the river of life even if it inevitably takes us to the sea?

In any case, whatever life brings, there are always some tasks that can help us be more at peace. These could be summarized in two:

  • Be good with yourself and what has been in our life so far.
  • Go for closing pending issues we have with others and people who share our day to day.

Accept How You Have Lived

Accept How You Have Lived

To be well with oneself is to accept how we have lived up to now, whatever experiences we have had. Rejoice and be proud of what you have done and achieved, both psychologically and materially.

And, above all, not to regret what we have not achieved, the dreams we have not been able to fulfill or what, after the time, we think that he has been wrong.

Everything, positive or less positive, has helped us to be who we are: that unique and unrepeatable being that has always, and in many ways, enriched the lives of those around him/her, although, at times, it has been through suffering.

Close Pending Matters

The pending issues with the others are, sometimes, the most difficult to address. It is about saying the unspoken, both the pleasant and the unpleasant. It is not good to leave emotions and feelings in the back room.

Sometimes it’s hard to say: “I love you, I’ve always loved you” or “I like to feel close”. At other times, what we have trouble saying is: “What I do not like about you and I have never dared to tell you is that …” or “I have a bad memory of that time when …”.

Let us say it without acrimony, but with the intensity of feeling.

And finally, we need to accept that the people we love and who love us suffer and feel powerless when they see us wrong and do not have the resources to help us.

Impotence is the worst of human feelings; The suffering of our loved ones is a consequence of their love.

Talking about it between us also alleviates and unites beyond the borders of life, because it creates a bond that lasts forever in the heart.

In reality, none of these tasks is specific to grief. All of them can be part of our daily life and are too enriching to leave them, exclusively, for extreme life situations.

They are a good life project to live by the day. So, are we going to settle for leaving them apart from our everyday life?

Graduated in Psychology from the Stanford University, with a Master's Degree in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychopathology. Specialized in Neurodevelopment Disorders. Currently working as a child psychiatrist.

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