Being Present at the Moment of Death

Even with all the preparation in the world, it is not comfortable watching someone you love die.  Your decision to be present at the moment of death depends on many things.  It is OK to choose to be present and it is OK to be absent.  Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you cannot be sure when the death will occur and you may miss being there.

Research shows that people often die when their relatives and friends have left the room, even just for a moment.  This can be upsetting for those who were keeping vigil and wanted to be there right to the end.  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who has greatly increased our understanding in her books on death and dying, says the dying person may have been ‘holding on’for the sake of their loved ones and they are now able to ‘let go’.  Because of this you may be able to say something like this before you leave the room – “I really want to be here when you die, but in case I’m not, I want to say goodbye now”.