Why do people stay poor until death


What changes can occur

Everyone dies their own death. The unmistakable personal path of a person comes to an end in death. There is no such thing as going through phases of death in a particular order, as has been the case for a long time. Rather, many indications of possible reactions of a person result from their life story. Relatives and friends who know the dying person's likes and dislikes can sometimes help him on his last journey better than "strangers", no matter how competent they are. The dying feels well taken care of and understood by "his own". Often he can still be spoken to a few hours before his death.


Nevertheless, it is also good for the relatives to know which changes in the dying person may indicate an imminent end of life. They are just clues that do not have to appear in every case.


There are some general changes in the behavior of the sick call:

  • The physical energy disappears. The need for rest and sleep increases. The interest in the environment (newspaper, television, visits from acquaintances) is waning.
  • Restlessness can occur. The patients are constantly plucking at the sheet, covering themselves again and again, moving their arms and legs erratically, reaching up with their hands in the air. It then calms them down to feel someone at their side - through touching them and speaking calmly. In some situations it is necessary to treat severe anxiety with medication.
  • A day or a few days before death, some people blossom again. They seem to be doing better, they are suddenly "very clear", have an appetite for their favorite food, want to get out of bed again or ask for a particular visit.
  • Some say they won't sleep if they keep their eyes closed, but the weakness is so great. It can therefore be important to behave in the company as if the patient was awake and to tell him about everyday life, read the favorite part of the daily newspaper, listen to nice music or sing something yourself.
  • Many also look back at this stage and it appears as if they were asleep. Every word or even a light touch can then be uncomfortable and annoying for them. But it can also be that a holding hand is just the right help. Careful questions can clarify this.
  • We know from patients who have woken up from a coma that people in this state can hear everything clearly, that they are very sensitive to everything. It is therefore important to be "all ears" for them yourself.
  • The voice may become weak. You then have to put your ear very close to the mouth of the dying person, pay attention to the movements of his lips, agree small signs for a "yes" and a "no", for example: press your hand once or twice.

The other physical changesthat can indicate imminent death can be described in more detail.


In consciousness a change can be seen:

  • Some people seem "already far away" when they are half asleep or asleep. When they wake up, they do not recognize the environment immediately, they talk about strangers or acquaintances who have already passed away. The eyes look into the distance, the view seems cloudy. In no case should you then try to tear the sick person "out of this world". But he feels that he is in good hands if you listen to him and try to respond to his ideas, even if they seem very strange to you.
  • Consciousness can become cloudy. Objectively speaking, the experience does not correspond to what is currently happening. Continue to behave normally and talk as if the person concerned was in normal, clear consciousness. As a rule, the attempt to "correct" the patient's perception leads to great restlessness, but has no influence on the altered ability to perceive.

The Cycle changes:

  • As the circulation changes, so does the blood flow. The pulse becomes weak and at the same time faster.
  • The body temperature drops, arms and legs cool down. Therefore, sick people find warm socks and a hot water bottle to be pleasant in this situation.
  • Sometimes profuse sweating occurs. A thin blanket or a linen cloth will then provide relief. Under the keyword body care you will find information on how, for example, certain washes can relieve sweating.

in the To breathe a change can be seen:

  • The individual breaths become faster and shallower or much slower. Sometimes there is a widening pause in breathing, or the breath becomes very irregular.
  • There is always a layer of mucus in the airways to moisten the air you breathe. Due to the increasing weakness, the patients can often no longer cough up this phlegm before they die. The result is a rattling breath that does not affect the dying person. On the other hand, the change often has a disturbing or oppressive effect on bystanders. Elevating your head and torso can help. A side position or a pillow under the arms can also bring relief.
  • If a lot of mucus is formed, you should talk to your doctor. You may need to take additional medication or stop drinking too much. As a rule, it is not necessary to suck off phlegm so close to the end of their lives. Because this is very uncomfortable, only helps for a short time and even promotes the formation of new secretions.

hunger and thirst let up:

  • Many people want to eat very little or nothing in the last few days. We know that the dying process can often be made more difficult by increased calorie or fluid intake.
  • However, it is useful and helpful to carry out good oral hygiene and moisten the oral mucosa in the process. If the patient can still drink, small amounts can always be offered to drink. You will find further information under the headings "How we can provide the sick person with food and drink" and "Why regular oral care is important".

in the metabolism changes are noticeable:

  • Sometimes a special odor occurs in the dying room due to the changed metabolism. If it is found to be unpleasant, it can be weakened by using incense sticks, essential oils, fragrance lamps or a perfumed body milk. Regularly ventilating the room is sometimes not enough.
  • The kidney function changes. The amount of urine will decrease. The urine appears darker and smells a bit stronger. It can help to carry out more frequent intimate hygiene, to use a nice-smelling deodorant or a skin lotion or to improve the air in the room using the options mentioned above.

How much time is left? This question is often asked when these changes occur. Nobody can give an exact answer to this. However, there are some empirical signs that suggest that death may be imminent:

  • The eyes appear sunken and deeper. The gaze is directed into the distance. The pupils react less and less to light.
  • The mouth is open because the muscles become slack.
  • The color of the face changes. Most people then have a slightly grayish complexion, especially around the mouth and nose.
  • Dark spots form on the underside of the body, hands and feet.
  • The pulse becomes weaker and weaker and the pauses for breathing become longer and longer.

When the heartbeat and breathing cease, death occurs. What appears to be the very last breath can sometimes be followed by one or two more.


Whether a person has accepted his death or not - there is often a point in time before death when he finds his peace. Sometimes occurs this change even in the last moments of life. A change that we cannot explain or understand, but can only guess and perceive on the face of the deceased. A change that lifts him above the fears and despair that may have existed up to this point in time. Laborious struggles, unspeakably difficult letting go lie behind the dying person and give space to an expression of peace and relaxation. In most situations, the moment of death is experienced much more calmly than previously feared.


Some relatives are not with their dying person at the moment of death and then have the feeling: "Now I have let him / her down, especially at the most important moment I left him / her alone! Why didn't I stay after all? Why didn't I feel that the end was coming? " It often happens that a dying person leaves exactly at the moment when he is alone. Perhaps that makes it easier for him to break away from this world and from the people he loves? Only sometimes is it given to us to be there and in the peaceful, relaxed face of the dying person at the moment of death to sense something of the world into which he is separated from us.


How language can change

"I've just come from the forest," says the terminally ill woman, "I've been looking for something". Of course, the patient lay in her bed the whole time, and yet she was somewhere else inside. "I don't know whether I belong in this room or in the other," muses the seriously ill


Some people can be "still here" and at the same time "already somewhere else" near death, in their last weeks and days. Your world seems "crazy". Others, again, are fully conscious until the end or just twilight to themselves.


It is difficult for those standing by to experience the familiar person so changed and incomprehensible. You would like to lead the sick out of his world. We then tend to appeal to reason: "You only dreamed that". Or we make fun of the patient's statements, want to chase away his thoughts and feelings or ignore the "embarrassing" ideas. In doing so, we overlook the fact that the dying are then exposed to an inner truth that is difficult for outsiders to understand.


With people in crisis, the logical division of the world into "inside / outside", "here / there", "I / you", which we had to learn in early childhood, is relaxed, the control is switched off, without the usual filter courtesy, logic, protection of intimacy. They do not realize that their inner experience does not correspond to the external reality. So there is no point in educating them and trying to convict them of unreality. On the contrary: Patients have the right to experience, their supposedly crazy pictures. And: they depend on being taken seriously with their pictures.


Of course, this is easier with "beautiful" pictures ("... was in the forest"; "... talked to my brother" - who has long since passed away) than with pictures that speak symbolically but clearly of dying: "The suitcases are packed", "I want to go home now", "I saw my coffin standing". Such statements are often too quickly interpreted as "confusion" and thus as worthless.


Are even more difficult mystical visions or thoughts full of fearwhich sound like nightmares from which the patient is unable to get out ("the birds are flying around here, they mess everything up"; "and then they pull and pull" - who? the deceased of the family? or evil spirits? - "I'm in the fiery furnace, everything is burning"). In a family circle in particular, it is often particularly frightening to see the father, mother and son so changed. You want your loved one to be "normal", you want to exchange important thoughts with them and keep their dying in good memory. The consequence is often that the patient remains trapped in his nightmare. It is therefore important that helpers from outside the family meet the dying. You can "more easily" allow it to be experienced, accompany it and convey it to the closest relatives.


In this situation it comes down to yourself to get involved in the thoughts and feelings of the sick person and to help him to express himself, e.g. by "active listening" or by understanding repetition of his utterances. Moral evaluations and popular psychological symbol interpretations do not help the patient. We know today that some strange experiences of the patient also come about physiologically, purely medically, e.g. through misdirection in the brain.


Engage with the patient's thoughts as with a child's game. If one lets the ideas and "fantasies" unfold, even threatening contents and feelings in them do not become worse and more dramatic, but rather the flow of emotions and stress in the patient rather diminishes. So calmly respond to the feelings: "and how is that?"; "and that scares you?"; "that's nice?"; "yes, they are bad". Often there is a helpful potential in the patient's experience (the angels; the dark figures; "my mother"; "grandma" etc.), which the companion can pick up and strengthen. Obviously, dying isn't just lonely. The patients also have inner helpers!


The bystanders, the companions, do not have to be able to understand and interpret everything. What is more important is "the language of relationship, of existence". Gestures, touches, a" yes-yes ", how to bed the patient, how to come or go - all this" says "often more than meaningful words. The" soul "hears and understands what it is meant, too when the head cannot process it as usual. Also sounds, smells, attitudes, even silence (if it is not a blocked speechlessness determined by fear), the vibration in the voice, the encouragement, the eye contact come within the loved one on, we can assume that.


Thus, rituals - small and large - such as the sign of the cross on the forehead, lighting a candle or a quick prayer - up to the anointing of the sick, contain meaning without the need to logically and precisely discuss the situation. - Actually, the difficulty is very easy if you just let it apply and you don't want to "get the patient anywhere".


What consolation the dying soul needs

Physical changes as well as changes in speaking and non-verbal communication herald imminent death. Does the dying soul also do this? How does she make us aware of the expected farewell?


We know too little about it to be able to provide qualified information. But we know from experience what seems to be good for a person's soul in his last hours; what she needs to be able to say goodbye in peace.


For the Consolation donations on deathbed it is particularly true that it must be undertaken very carefully and sensitively. If one wants to address and comfort the innermost, the center of a person, then this can only be done in awe, not from the position of the superior, the strong, the know-it-all. Only the attitude of awe keeps the secret and with it the unique dignity of this person.


There are signs of consolation among men who are very gentle. Then one of them puts his hand on the other's shoulder and says, "I'm sorry, old boy, you didn't deserve that." He doesn't want to offend him, he doesn't take him in his arms to comfort him like a small child, although the other person may have tears of sadness in their eyes. So we should also comfort on the deathbed, let the other be great and take the time for them.


What the dying person believed, hoped and loved during his lifetime, what attitudes and attitudes he gained in religious questions and how he "lived" them in everyday life, must be respected and appreciated in our consolation. The dying person himself will often "let us know" how this can be done in a specific situation. Above all, this requires a "listening and understanding heart" that receives what is going on in those who need our consolation.


Ask yourself what consolation the dying may still expect:


  • Is there anything else between you and the dying person that has not yet been said? Express an existing debt to him and ask his forgiveness.
    Tell the dying person that everything is "all right" now so that they can safely let go and leave. And don't forget to thank him too
  • Everyone present should be encouraged to say something else to the dying person. It does not have to be spoken out loud, it can also be whispered in silence or softly in the ear. This is also possible when the dying person no longer seems to be conscious.
  • Make sure that all personal utterances and gestures in the room remain protected and are not "carried outside".
  • If you and the sick person have contact with the parish or a religious community, then do not be afraid to call a pastor.

Comforting requires a space of silence; it happens in soft tones and gentle gestures

This is especially true in the hour of death:

  • The dying person needs a lot of quiet time. As you sit with him, give him that period of complete silence over and over again. Ensure external calm in the room and ensure that external disturbances are avoided.
  • Light a candle. And if, at the patient's request, you have regularly sung songs, read texts or prayed for him or her, then you should do so now. But limit yourself to a few prayers and / or songs.
  • The hymn books of both denominations contain songs and prayers on death and death that can help you when words are lacking for you. Reach for what you know or suspect the dying person will know.
  • Talk to the dying person with loving care and caution. Hold his hand or place your hand on his temple if you think he might like this.

It can be comforting not to be alone in dying. But the dying person may also signal to us that he would like to be alone now. We have to respect that. Maybe that way he can walk more easily.

But we can be certain that no one will die alone (even if we are not with them). A "different" community is already waiting for him. And sometimes we witness this reception on our deathbed by friends and relatives who have already preceded it.