Watching You Die

On many occasions I’ve been asked how I can bear watching people die.  Why would I want to expose myself to these sad situations knowing there may be such an end for myself?  Well, they didn’t really put it that way, but that was the question.  “The gift is greater than the pain.”

I know I’m doing much good when my support brings comfort to patients and their family.  Positive feedback and appreciation brings me serenity and fulfillment.  If there wasn’t a need, volunteer groups would cease to exist.

It is also easier to share our fears and suffering with a volunteer – who is most likely a stranger and available to listen – so we don’t add to the burden of our loved ones.  Patients understand that those around us have their own pain to deal with, so sometimes we suffer in silence.  We do need someone to hear our deepest thoughts about life and death, even though they can’t do anything about them.

Some patients don’t even have family or close friends they can turn to for support.  It is difficult knowing you’re on your deathbed.  It is horrific not having anyone there to hold your hand.

Most people want to feel love more than ever during their final moments – to share emotions they would never have otherwise.  Saying goodbye is important for those who need closure, or to accept the end is near.  None of us wants to leave this Earth knowing we will not be missed.

The belief that some wait to die when our loved ones are not around still holds true for me, and I am more than happy to have been spared that choice for now.

I am privileged to have a big family that is always there with me, even though we don’t necessarily share the pain verbally.


Waiting for Spring… where are you!?  It feels like Winter is starting all over again in Montreal.  Hope your weather is better than here!



3 thoughts on “Watching You Die

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