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Facing Finitude

The dying cling to life and want to remain conscious until the end; being conscious facilitates thinking of the inevitable and near end.

Photo of Emil Kotomin
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Based on my experience with expected deaths – the fundamental dichotomy that makes even painless departures miserable is:

  • On one hand, we want to cling to life and remain conscious (either to see the loved ones, feel the sunlight on our skin or just be consciously alive) for as long as possible – literally, until the last microsecond.

  • On the other, remaining conscious one can’t help but to think of the inevitable and near end, feeling completely powerless in the face of life’s finitude, counting the slipping seconds that draw towards the moment one ceases to exist, never to be alive again.

In my experience, this is, to varying extents, true for both the departing and the remaining of all different backgrounds – from retired military officers who have seen combat to housewives, with typically less exposure to death and dying.

This may be different for people of faith, but faith is not something one can acquire on demand. Also, it may prove challenging to some people of faith to remain so when facing the nearing (and, God forbid, painful) end.

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

How do we make expected death easier for all stakeholders (the departing, the remaining and those servicing both) that would work for all – people of faith, atheists, agnostics, members of large families and single souls?

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a branding and service design specialist, working for a global consultancy.


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