Death and Dying: Before and After Stages of death and dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and William Worden

Topics: Death, Hospice, Palliative care Pages: 10 (3944 words) Published: July 12, 2008
Each new day begins with a sunrise. It brings to earth a new light that has never been seen before. The new light starts small and gradually reaches its peak in the vast sky. It nourishes the land, provides warmth and comfort, and inspires epic tales. As the day ages the light slowly sinks behind the horizon leaving behind brilliant splashes of color as if to reflect upon its accomplishment, but the pallet of colors will quickly fade to black as the light leaves the sky to go to places unknown. Even though the day was bright and created wonder it must give way to the tranquil, mysterious, and cool night.

Just as the dawn must give to the night each birth must yield to an eventual death. The night, like death, holds a sense mystery and tranquility for some. To others it invokes all the horrors found in the scariest nightmares. While man may find ways to prolong the inevitable, each must yield to the waning light and go into that which he may have no knowledge of prior to the journey. It is a journey he will make alone. He will be stripped of all his earthly possession including his body. Only his soul will be allowed to pass into the dusk; the time of night. My friends, he must die and yet you must live on. As with every story, death too, has more than one perspective. The lone warrior who must take the solitary journey and the spectators watching the eternal sunset both have their story about the same event, but each story is unique.

The dying and their family do not have to face the uncertainty and often fearful process alone however. Organizations such as RMH Hospice Care can help both the dying and their loved ones. Any person that has a terminal diagnosis, and is not expected to live for more than six months is eligible for Hospice assistance. Hospice Care helps to alleviate the stress that is encountered during the dying process by taking a holistic approach to treatment. It often severs as an educational tool to the person and their family. Hospice also provides awareness of the options that are available to the dying person. They also seek to educate the community and health care workers.

The word hospice comes from the root word for hospitality in Latin. In basic terms Hospice means to provide hospitality to the dying person and their family. This means giving palliative or comfort care to the dying and helping their loved ones in many ways. Hospice nurses provide medications to the clients that help to alleviate pain, ease breathing and treat depression that accompanies the process of dying. The nurses also educated the family so that they can understand better what is happening with their loved ones. Hospice workers also provide some counseling to the family and patient. After the death they continue to keep in touch with the family.

Historically nuns were caring for the dying persons in monasteries prior to the construction of hospitals. The word hospital also comes for the Latin word for hospitality. In the late sixties a doctor named Dame Saunders applied the term Hospice to the care of the dying (History of Hospice Care - The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization). She would also introduce the practice of caring for the dying to the United States. One of the purposes hospice serves is to help the dying person and their family to work through the stages and processes of accepting the fact death will occur and to provide help for the family after the death of their loved one. Hospice workers are aware of and educate about the stages that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced to the realm of death and dying.

The dying person experiences intimately the process of dying that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified, but their loved ones who are left behind after the death experience the grief associated with the loss of a loved one must complete the tasks of mourning identified by William Worden in order to achieve an acceptable quality of life without their loved one.

Everyone reaches a point in...

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