Death can occur suddenly or as a result of serious illness and frailty over a period of months to years.
Death is a unique experience for each person. Someone who has always shared feelings is likely to do so during the dying process. On the other hand, a person who has been stoic, private or independent throughout life, is likely to approach death in this way.
Dying affects the whole person, not just the body. The person is affected physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Pain and suffering can impact any or all of the aspects of a person, and may not occur at the same time. Similarly, comfort and healing occurs when all factors are addressed.
The dying process involves work as the person gradually lets go. If the body can be made comfortable, the person is free to work on matters of the heart in preparation for death. This work may include completing unfinished business, finding meaning in life, and reflection on past and present relationships with others.
When a person is dying, changes take place in the physical, mental, emotional-social and spiritual dimensions. These changes may occur at different times and at different rates. The signs of approaching death are the result of slowing down of the body affecting the body, the mind and the spirit.
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