I've recently been thinking and talking about death a lot. A special friend is dying, and we have some great discussions. My mother and sister, geriatric nurses, both very down-to-earth people with pragmatic philosophies about this and other matters, have rubbed off on me.
It seems to me there are some generalities:
1. It comes to us all, don't be afraid, it's very natural. Most people just don't see it around much these days so, like anything unknown, it can seem scary.
2. Everyone is different and thus dies differently.
3. It's nice to have time to say goodbye but it doesn't always happen.
4. It's something you have to ultimately do by yourself.
5. There is no reason these days, with modern medicine, for anyone to die in pain. Be assertive.
6. You ain't dead until you're dead. So don't ignore the dying out of fear or embarrassment, nor live like you're already gone.
7. If a belief of some type gives comfort, use it.
8. Celebrate the life. Death means the last page is written and the book finished. But you can always go back and read it again and again.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi