How will death affect your spiritual journey

The encounter with death: dying, mourning, death - the everyday encounter

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Allowing feelings and spirituality as well as accepting and asking for help are often more difficult for doctors than for others, but they are infinitely easier.

Despite a lot of experience and routine, death, serious illnesses, the grief of relatives and their care are still difficult everyday issues. How does a doctor deal with the death of his patients? Is it simply “normal everyday life” or is it always something special that makes him pause and demands more from him? How do I feel about death? What does it mean to me?
Every person is shaped differently by upbringing, training and experiences. A doctor's inner attitude towards death influences the ability to deal with it and the affected patients.
For spiritually open people of any religion, it is sometimes easier to accept someone's death than if the doctor feels responsible for everything and feels an unhealthy sense of failure or guilt with each death. There is a lot of land between these two poles. It is important to know your own point of view, to deal with whether your own attitude is “correct”, whether it enables the doctor to deal better with dying patients and their relatives. In other areas of life we ​​like to help or show compassion and solidarity, understanding and comfort. It's more difficult here.
Where is the key to a natural or generally said “good” approach to the subject of death? It helps to consciously experience goodbyes of all kinds without the consolation of seeing them again. Living consciously and loving life make it easier to die full of life. This also includes accepting your own age with all abilities and limitations. You can create a counterbalance by putting joy against suffering, i.e. not burying yourself in difficulties or illnesses. Allowing feelings and spirituality as well as accepting and asking for help are often more difficult for doctors than for others, but they are infinitely easier. Accepting and letting go of parents, children and partners as individuals of their own is just as important. Clarifying relationships also helps to be able to accept death better: expressing thanks and love, clearing up depressing and unpaid accounts, forgiving yourself (!) And others. Pain, crises and losses are also to be appreciated as a positive opportunity to develop yourself further and to get a look at the essentials in your own life. Finding new and old rituals to cope with death and grief and celebrating them brings understanding, acceptance and the ability to go on living a great deal further. Rituals have a direct effect on the feeling without detour, control and filtration through the mind. That is essential.
Living in the present helps to deal naturally with death: “Live as you will, when you die, wish you have lived!” This well-known saying sums it up. A doctor or patient who heed it has it easier than people who, when they die, complain about what is wanted but not done.
When dealing with mourners who are moved by very different feelings, it is helpful to listen: actively, free of prejudice, focused, sharing. Answers are hardly expected. Everyone is different, shaped by the experiences in their life. Patience and permission for the terminally ill and grieving loved one to complete the process at their own pace are of great value. Tears are a natural cleansing and healing mechanism. If crying is embarrassing for the mourner, it is good to make it clear that all feelings are and may be right. Often it is enough to just shake hands.
Certain warning signs must be heeded: Sometimes mourners fall into self-destructive behavior. They consume alcohol and pills excessively and isolate themselves. Depression occurs. You should speak to those affected openly and, under certain circumstances, involve family members. The latter repeatedly express that they felt alone, lonely and abandoned, especially during the dying process of their family member, that they felt misunderstood, rejected, isolated and that their feelings were not taken seriously or accepted.
Every doctor is in a constant balancing act: How much responsibility do I take on with whom, what is “duty”, what is too much or too little? To what extent would I like to accompany, does this agree with what “one” expects from me, where is the healthy amount for me? To what extent do I comply with it? The ability of inner demarcation is particularly important in grief processes, especially the perception of other people's and one's own feelings without suffering from them.
Doctors who suffer from the occupational disease of perfectionism are encouraged to behave in a clumsy way when dealing with the seriously ill and dying than to completely cut off the care for fear of making mistakes. A lack of communication is “wrong” to a far greater extent than a bumpy human relationship that arises from the situation.
A seminar on the subject of “The encounter with dying, death and grief” will take place on November 10th and 11th in Lilienthal near Bremen (15 advanced training points). Then the course “The educational talk - how do I tell my patient?” Is offered (November 12th and 13th, 16 points). Information and registration: KomMed,
Email: [email protected], phone: 0 42 98/46 99 77. Ute Jürgens
The encounter with death: dying, mourning, death - the everyday encounter