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Being Reminded of Life

One person's view on how he imagines wanting his loved ones by his side at the end of his life.

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"Everybody dies.

Once you've accepted it, somehow it happens faster. For my Grandpa, his lungs kept filling with liquid. I think at some point he realized he wasn't going to get better. And my grandma, once my grandpa passed away, she became a husk. She was there but she didn't want to be. 

I don't remember seeing my grandpa in the hospital because I was taking exams. I don't have a good memory of visiting him. Nobody likes the hospital. Because it's cold and sterile. 

After my grandpa passed away, my grandma moved to a retirement home. So I decided to pay her an unexpected visit and she was so surprised and so happy. She didn't feel lonely for that moment. My grandma's health deteriorated, 6 months after my grandpa passed away. I did visit my grandma once in the hospital. She wasn't happy there. Nurses and doctors are busy, you're alone, your family's not there, there's nothing familiar, it's not especially comfortable. There's no warm colors - everything has to be white because you need to be able to see the dirt. Then she passed away. I heard it from far away, as usual.

You know how there's people who ask to die in their home. I understand that. I feel like I would want to do something similar. I'd rather have the last thing I see somehow reflect what my life was. Or somewhere I love, but I don't know how feasible that is. I don't think people would like if I told them I came here to die.

I'm not afraid of dying in pain. I don't enjoy pain and I would be terrified if I knew I was going to be hurt but for some reason I feel like maybe if I'm in pain I'd be happy to die. Either way, it will be fine. Life is happening around me. I'd like to be reminded of that when I'm dying."

- Interviewee, Male, 26

#Let'sTalkAboutDeath

 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

There are negative associations with the hospital, and the hospital bed. If there's a way to make the hospital feel more like a home, or to facilitate people coming together, it would help a lot for people who are afraid to die without their loved ones by their side. The space is depressing enough. For some, if they cannot be surrounded by family then they want to be reminded of life.

Tell us about your work experience:

Product Management, User Experience Design

If you participated in an End of Life Storytelling Event, tell us which Chapter or city you came from:

San Mateo

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