“‘Everybody knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently,’ Morrie said. ‘So we kid ourselves about death,’ I (Mitch) said. ‘Yes, but there’s a better approach. To know you’re going to die and be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living. . . Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?... The truth is, Mitch, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live… Most of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully because we’re half asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do… Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.’”—Tuesdays with Morrie
It’s hard to say what can be considered more worrisome, death or dying. For many questioned, the greatest source of despair was not their impending demise, but instead, regret — that they had not yet accomplished what they wanted to do, usually because of some fault of their own.
According to one Quora user in a forum on the subject, their patient had this to say about the sensation: “It is a bittersweet thing to know you are going to die soon. Bitter, because of everything that you wanted to do, but for one reason or another, you didn't. Bitter because there are burned bridges that can never be rebuilt. Sweet because you know the pain is going to end. The daily suffering is almost over. The emotional turmoil is getting close to being done. Sweet because the people that you were arguing with, you make up with. Sweet because whatever afterlife you believe in, or don't believe in, you know and can't wait to get there.”
Being given notice that your departure from this world will be sooner than you thought can bring a whole new perspective, as the legendary Morrie stated above. Not only does hospice care provide the physical support needed by those nearing the end of their lives, but the emotional support of those navigating the inner process of those who can see the finish line.