One of the most common questions or concerns in the end of life space is “How much time do I/they have left ?”
Not everyone wants to know the answer.
For others, it’s an imperative.
I get the wanting to know. It gives an idea and can make planning a lot easier.
But here’s the thing…it’s a best guess, that’s all. It truly is not an accurate, set-your-watch-by-it thing.
Determining the length of physical life remaining is not even close to an exact science. Sure, as the end approaches, there are some symptoms and signs that it is approaching, but they are still only indicators.
I have known people to live on well past their expected time, while others have also died suddenly.
And that’s one thing to have awareness of, sudden, and sometimes unexpected, physical death is still possible in an end of life situation.
We are complex beings with many factors determining when we leave this physical world of ours, and the vast majority of those I don’t believe are physical. We are spiritual and emotional beings and the power of the human will in full force is incredibly strong, both for staying and leaving.
Use the time suggested as a guide, but please don’t rely on it as an absolute.
So what do you do:
- Ensure all of the documents and plans are in place – advance care planning/health directives, power of attorney/guardianship documentation, funeral/memorials/celebration of life ceremonies, body disposition instructions (including organ donation), wills etc
- Tick items off the bucket/fuckit list while it is still possible
- Address any unresolved issues that may impact your departure
- Working on avoiding regret as much as possible
- Live in a way that is totally authentic
As an end of life doula and spiritual counsellor, I am able to assist in a lot of these areas. Please contact me if assistance is required.
Peace & blessings, Sharon