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The fear of dying

Do we hold onto the memory of someone because we are fearful of their death?

Photo of Lauren
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I am not fearful of death, rather I am fearful of the possibility of living in a body or mind that is not the full representation of who I am today. I am fearful that my family will hold onto the memory of me and let me suffer through pain and agony in order to preserve my life longer.

This realisation come to me when I watch my grandmother pass in a nursing home. My grandmother was once a lady with such wit and intelligence, and when she eventually passed, after years of battling dementia, she was just a shell of the person she once was. She would often say “I just want to die” and my family would laugh it off rather than speak to her about her wishes when it comes time to pass. I am fearful my family will do the same to me. I do not want to lay in a nursing home not being able to feed, bathe, or take care of myself for the satisfaction of others.

After my grandmother passed I made an effort to understand the wishes of my own parents and it was made clear to me that neither of them wanted to pass in the same situation that my grandmother did. Through understanding their wishes, I hope that when the time comes for them to pass, they are allowed to die with dignity rather than seeing them suffer through years of pain and suffering as my grandmother had to endure.

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

Death is a taboo subject and this needs to change in order to understand the wishes of people when it comes time to pass.

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Photo of James Takayesu

Thanks for sharing this experience and loss Lauren.  You are exactly right - death often comes suddenly no matter how fast or slow the dying process is for people and their families.  It is like a bucket filling with water that eventually, abruptly, overflows causing panic and dismay.  Unless we focus on the value of seeing the water rising, and addressing the wishes of individuals and their families in the process, we are missing out on the experience of a good death.

Photo of Lauren

Thanks James for your comment. I agree, we need to value the wishes of people and assist them in what they perceive as a good death whether we agree with it or not, as ultimately we are the ones left the memory of their death. 

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