Dr Sharman's latest post on preparing for and the experience of dying

Dr Sharman's latest post on preparing for and the experience of dying

An insightful and strangely reassuring post on the confronting but inevitable end for us all along with some practical suggestions:


As Dr Sharman signs off:

"I know this is a tough journey but I hope this can help you to think with a clear mind about a very difficult topic."


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10 Replies

  • I found this a helpful article. I think most of us (including myself), would rather read about hopeful new treatments, and ways we can help ourselves stay as healthy as possible. However, we will all have to face the dying process one day, (whether it is from CLL or not), so it is good to be a bit more informed and prepared, in advance.

  • I forced myself to read this and naturally it prompted a few tears but it broached the reality we will all have to face. 'No-one gets out alive' is unfortunately true and it's made me confront the possibility of advance directives.

    I'd much rather death came and whacked me unexpectedly and suddenly during the night but rarely does that happen and I've seen enough of final days and moments not to want to prolong the suffering that accompanies pointless hope.

    A raw and emotive subject but a reality nonetheless (but not for a very long time yet I hope!)


  • This is a very emotive subject. As I have worked with dying patients and experienced death within my own family, Dr Sharman has written very sensitively. As a practicing Christian, one who believes in LIFE after death, I wholeheartedly endorse what he has written. I hope that when it is my time to go, it will be with dignity, with my loved ones around. It still does not stop me, from being scared at times. However, the most important thing is to live one day at a time and to keep looking ahead. I know that when I die, Jesus will be there welcoming me into heaven with open arms and I will be totally healed.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Marisa. I too am a practicing Christian, yet also get scared at times. Living one day at a time, being grateful for the measure of health and life I have right now, helps me a lot.

  • Hi I think its good to think about death when you are alive and well so that when you or your family are given choices they have alreay been thought out and discussed.

  • A thought provoking article , and one I wish many people could read , not just those with cancer . What I feel is really needed , especially here in the UK , is for death and dying not to be such a tabboo subject , never openly talked about or discussed . When my husband was given a 'terminal' diagnosis , we discussed everything in detail between ourselves and then with his consultant , who was very relieved that we could be so open, frank and pragmatic ; but what a contrast when I mentioned it and our thoughts in front of a group of friends , telling them about where we had arranged for our ashes to be buried . Some were absolutely horrified and one even shouted at me and demanded the subject be changed , she could not understand that in the position we found ourselves in we had to discuss our wishes and make arrangements for our deaths , as we shall all have to do eventually . There are only two certainties in life -- taxes and dying .

    Having witnessed a 'hospital' death , when I was once a patient myself , I can only hope that when my time comes I can die with dignity and calm , and if possible in my own home .

    DIGNITY should be the key word !

  • I agree, Jenrus. And I'm sorry your friends didn't react well when you talked to them about it. I suppose it comes from fear - people go into a sort of denial that death will actually happen to them or those close to them.

  • fully agree .

  • More on preparing for the experience of dying from Alex Broom, Associate Professor of Sociology & Australian Research Council Future Fellow at The University of Queensland. Does our denial of our approaching death make our final days harder and shorter than they could be?


    The referenced Radiolab article by one of the commentators, which highlights the gap between what we want doctors to do for us, and what doctors want done for themselves is particularly interesting:



  • Another interesting article on this topic:

    Knowing How Doctors Die Can Change End-Of-Life Discussions

    "A Stanford University study shows almost 90 percent of doctors would forgo resuscitation and aggressive treatment if facing a terminal illness."


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