Exploring the Dying Process

Book Review
  • Approximate Time Commitment: 10 minutes

Exploring the Dying Process is a 23-page booklet written by Comfort Care Publications. It is a resource to help family members come to terms with their loved one’s terminal illness. This review was written by Hank Griffith of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

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Resource Description

Full Review:

Exploring the Dying Process is a 23-page booklet written to help family members come to terms with their loved one’s terminal illness. For most of us, this is a very difficult time. Not only can it be physically tiring, but it is emotionally wearing. Some people never accept the reality of their loved one’s imminent death, or they come to accept it very late in the process. This short booklet helps us to know what we can most likely expect at each stage when our loved one or friend is near the end. I recommend reading it in advance of hospice care so as to be prepared, as much as that is humanly possible, for what will probably take place before and right up to the loved one’s death.

As a chaplain in a skilled care facility, I’ve observed that many family members don’t visit their loved until the very end of his or her life. How much better it would be to visit often before the loved one is on hospice care! Doing so can strengthen your bond, give natural opportunities to share your lives, provide joy to you and your loved one, and, in the case of a non-Christian family member, convey the plan of salvation in a natural way while his or her mind is still relatively clear.

The Table of Contents

Questions Often Asked

Newly Diagnosed / Initial Phase

Slight Changes / Second Phase

Noticeable Changes / Third Phase

Obvious Changes / Fourth Phase

Actively Dying / Final Phase

At the Time of Death

Each section is extremely clear and practical. Though not written from a Christian perspective, the information and advice is completely suitable for Christians when they face the death of a loved one or friend. Below is some sample counsel that could be helpful to you.

Important statements to express to the dying:

  • I forgive you.
  • Forgive me.
  • Thank you.
  • I love you.

Don’t let anyone tell you, the caregiver:

  • Be brave.
  • Stop crying.
  • Grow up.
  • You shouldn’t feel that way.
  • Don’t be angry.
  • It can’t be that hard.
  • Don’t be so selfish.

Unexpected emotions may include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Frustrated
  • Annoyed
  • Angry
  • Desperate
  • Abandoned
  • Fearful

Self-care for someone with a dying loved one includes:

  • Time alone
  • Getting away
  • Staying in touch with friends
  • Eating right
  • Exercising
  • Counseling and support
  • Nourishing your spirit (I would add, do this through Scripture, prayer, and fellowship.)



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