Jackson County Times

Top Story News

Friday, November 27, 2009

About Life and Death

Conditions with which we all must cope.

By Sid Riley

Life and Death….. these are the unavoidable consequences of birth. The human life experience is but a series of passages, major changes in our psyche as we develop, mature, and age. These are detailed in an enlightening book titled “Passages” , written by Gail Sheehy.

Although the details of the major passages of life differ slightly for males and females, essentially the journey is the same. As we progress through each sequential passage our value systems, interests, and views of life change dramatically. Beginning with the major passage of birth, through childhood, then puberty, then young adult, mature adult, middle age, being an elder, becoming aged, and finally …..death.

As though following a prewritten script, we all progress through these phases of life in very similar fashion. This perspective helps us understand and cope with the inevitability of death.

Thinking about our eventual death is a process we tend to avoid throughout most of our lives. We are aware it is lurking out there somewhere in the dim future, but we do not want to dwell or ponder on the event.

Remarkably, for most people, when the time of death is actually at hand, understanding they are about to progress through that final “passage”, a sense of preparation and contentment prevails. The trauma of death is normally much greater for the surviving family members.

It is in this venue which Hospice organizations provide a much needed service. First, when it is accepted that the time is at hand for life’s end for a beloved family member, Hospice’s trained medical staff assures that the patient is made as comfortable and pain free as possible. They also provide counseling for family and patient. Then, after the passage has occurred, they continue to be on the scene to help the family cope with the pain and trauma of grief. Throughout the entire process, they are there with a caring spirit and a helping hand. They are a great organization, and the Jackson County Times is proud to dedicate this issue in recognition of the services they provide, as part of “Hospice Recognition Month.”

Locally, there are two Hospice organizations working actively to help families in Jackson and other nearby counties. These are Covenant Hospice, and Emerald Coast Hospice. Please be sure to read our stories about the work they are doing here. Page A2, A6 & A8 of this issue is dedicated to Hospice.

No comments:

Post a Comment