It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

I know how hard it is to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to my mom was one of the “hardest” things I think I ever had to do. I’ve been confronted with the question of whether it’s easier when you know the person is dying or when it’s unexpected? Well, for me, neither is easy. I don’t care if they have been sick and now terminal; saying goodbye is hard, and letting go is even more challenging. There is no real preparation for losing someone. It’s not like getting a will or setting up a trust. It’s a human life, not documentation. Life is precious and when you watch it slip away it’s a slow death for both the patient and the family. There aren’t enough words to make that type of pain sting-free.

What happens when you hold the decision for a person to stay at home or move into a hospice facility? Or how about whether to let them remain on life support or pull the plug? People having this type of responsibility can struggle the most. It’s a huge deal and a heavyweight to bear. There are certain factors to consider when you have to make hard choices. I have sat with this for a long time. More so since becoming a nurse and watching my patient’s family suffer through this process.

I will share the main things I think and had to come to terms with concerning making life and death decisions. First, we must start with accepting the loss and that can take some time. We then have to consider what the person (patient, family member, friend) would want. Are you honoring their wishes/desires? What does the medical professional say (brain activity, quality of life, vegetative state, hope, terminal)? And then we make a decision from there. I’ve come to realize that when our person is gone, we tend to hold on for our own selfish reasons. It doesn’t help or benefit them to just be here when there is no chance for them to have any quality of life. There is extensive cost associated with prolonging life and the main benefactor to that is the healthcare organization, not the family. Now if that individual was going to have a chance at life, then of course I’d hold on to that with all my might. But if not, as much as it would hurt, I’d have to let them go.

Sudden, unexpected or unexplained death is no easier than seeing it coming. You are blown away and left without being able to say goodbye or rendering any type of help. You are often left with a plethora of unanswered questions that may or may not ever be answered. I just can’t see how one way of dying is better than the other. It’s not and that’s that.

In the end, if you’re the person making the decision, take your time, process what you need to process, and proceed the best way you can. Hopefully, you have someone to talk to and walk through the process with you which makes it somewhat easier at times. Always remember to take care of yourself. Your mental health is important and therapists are great options for talking through things and figuring out the best coping strategies for you to handle your emotions, feelings, and mental health. Always take care of yourself. Don’t lose yourself in the process. May God bless and keep you as you get through your grief and difficult time.

Published by ShesThatRN

I am an RN working on my DNP, preparing to launch several aspects of my new business and writing and getting ready to publish my first book. I love to write so blogging seemed like a great way to naturally express myself and publish my journey as a nurse.

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