death – a brother of sleep

We all know it very exactly: every human life is death, inevitably, But how it looks, specifically, when patients die? What we feel, what we feel in such moments? As we try to integrate the fact of the finiteness of human existence in our work in the hospital?

A little story from my night duty

We cared for a patient who came in with pancreatic cancer to us. The prognosis was very bad. His wife, with whom he was married for over 40 years, was from the beginning very involved in what is Happening around your man. She took part, brought in, help us to the forces where it was.

In the nights just before the death of the husband his wife was always at his side. We pushed two beds together; in the one he was in the other. During the last night of the patients I threw – rather routinely – a look into the patient’s room: The woman was awake, held the Hand of her husband, who was lying peacefully next to her. He had died.

The death occurred, while his wife slept next to him. You woke up, had recognized the Situation, and then just a good hour, the Hand of her husband held, without informing anyone. She wanted to be alone with her husband. Their were a few tears on the cheeks, and in between, she smiled.

Death and sleep, two siblings

So close to death and sleep are so close and tight. A common history, which lasted until the death. Who would not wish such a death?

And yet he is the exception. Often people are isolated and die alone. Without a people, them at this Moment close to.

The fear of the Caregivers prior to the death of

Very well, I can still remember my first deceased patient. I was on night duty together with a very experienced sister. A Patient was suddenly and quite unexpectedly died. My colleague told me that I should wait for a short in the dead, until you got the necessary paraphernalia out of the station room.

These minutes to my colleague, were returned the most difficult I’ve experienced to date in my profession as a nurse: As a person who has lived until Recently. He is and will never open more eyes, no longer move, no joy, no more sorrow to feel. I was Bang face hard with death, with its inevitability. With the finiteness of human existence.

I was glad when my colleague re-entered the room. We treated the patient and brought him in the adoption room.

My colleague passed on your way from the patients, they signed him long and carefully with a cross on the forehead, and then her Hand there for a little rest.

The possibilities of the accompaniment of the Dying in the hospital

In my professional environment it is all too often only to Pay to flat rates, to monetary income. It is applied to us in particular, to be for dying people.

There’s no patent remedy. Pre-made Standards, as they were temporarily promoted, are out of place. Often a small gesture, a Hand to Hold, a real participation of spoken word, a touch, a conversation, to not let the people feel that he is alone.

What helps against the fear of death?

A crucial help in dealing with the death rituals, small Gestures and activities, we engage in certain situations. With rituals, we shape our lives and the way we deal with death. Is meant any type of Ritual, whether it is marked now as a Christian or from a source other fed.

Such rituals can be, for example, the laying on of hands of my colleague. It can also be a flower that you put to the deceased in the Hand.

For me personally music helps. I’ve been here (as in many other areas of my life) discovered the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for me – and for these situations, especially the “Actus tragicus”, BWV 106: “God’s time is the best time”. Anyone who wants to listen, can be found on YouTube, the Text can be found here. Or the chorale “Come, o death, you brother of sleep” from the cross, cantata BWV 56 staff. This is also to be found on YouTube, the Text is here.

Death remains a taboo subject

It is also helpful to deal early on with the death – be it one’s own death or the death of the people entrusted to us. Today, in our high-tech, function-oriented life-world, and the theme of death remains a taboo subject. This taboo, we are not able to Dodge but just in the nursing profession.

I think the couple in the above story, it has recognized and implemented: these, in addition to our birth, the second fixed point of our life, to not dwell on it, to oust him or to taboo authorize. Only then can we succeed in death as an inevitable and existential to accept, only then the death and the sleep can be familiar siblings. So the brother’s death may lose a large part of his terror.