One of the things that has struck me as I've been reading the posts here is how many different types of end of life experiences we need to consider. There are so many different experiences that need to be supported in the most appropriate ways.
- The end stage of life for the elderly that might be 10 or 20 years long
- The end stage of life with dementia
- The end stage of life with a degenerative physical illness
- The last weeks or days of a peaceful dying in old age
- The last weeks or days of life with a painful, debilitating illness
- The death of someone "out of order" (a child, a young wife or husband)
- A sudden death (where the end of life is about the surviving community)
- The end of life for many people in a community at once in a disaster
- Death from violence or an accident (where there is someone to blame)
- The end of life in economically disadvantaged countries or communities
- Death in different spiritual communities
This certainly isn't a comprehensive list. This article on the causes of death in the US for men and women at different ages might suggest additional experiences we need to consider.