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Comforting Bible Verses about Death from the Psalms

Gently applying alcohol-free lotion can relieve dry skin and be soothing. Dryness on parts of the face, such as the lips and eyes, can be a common cause of discomfort near death. A lip balm could keep this from getting worse. A damp cloth placed over closed eyes might relieve dryness. If the inside of the mouth seems dry, giving ice chips if the person is conscious or wiping the inside of the mouth with a damp cloth, cotton ball, or specially treated swab might help. Sitting or lying in one position puts constant pressure on sensitive skin, which can lead to painful bed sores sometimes called pressure ulcers.

When a bed sore first forms, the skin gets discolored or darker.

Prayers for Death and Dying

Watch carefully for these discolored spots, especially on the heels, hips, lower back, and back of the head. Turning the person from side to back and to the other side every few hours may help prevent bed sores. Try putting a foam pad under an area like a heel or elbow to raise it off the bed and reduce pressure. Ask if a special mattress or chair cushion might also help.

Keeping the skin clean and moisturized is always important. Digestive problems. Nausea, vomiting, constipation , and loss of appetite are common issues at the end of life.

Miss May I - Masses of a Dying Breed (Official Music Video)

The causes and treatments for these symptoms are varied, so talk to a doctor or nurse right away. There are medicines that can control nausea or vomiting or relieve constipation, a common side effect of strong pain medications. If someone near death wants to eat but is too tired or weak, you can help with feeding.

To address loss of appetite, try gently offering favorite foods in small amounts. Or, try serving frequent, smaller meals rather than three big ones. You don't have to force a person to eat. Losing one's appetite is a common and normal part of dying.

Comfort in Death

Swallowing may also be a problem, especially for people with dementia. A conscious decision to give up food can be part of a person's acceptance that death is near. Temperature sensitivity. People who are dying may not be able to tell you that they are too hot or too cold, so watch for clues. For example, someone who is too warm might repeatedly try to remove a blanket. You can take off the blanket and try a cool cloth on his or her head.

If a person is hunching his or her shoulders, pulling the covers up, or even shivering—those could be signs of cold.

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Make sure there is no draft, raise the heat, and add another blanket. Avoid electric blankets because they can get too hot. It is common for people nearing the end of life to feel tired and have little or no energy. Keep activities simple. For example, a bedside commode can be used instead of walking to the bathroom. A shower stool can save a person's energy, as can switching to sponging off in bed. Complete end-of-life care also includes helping the dying person manage mental and emotional distress. Someone who is alert near the end of life might understandably feel depressed or anxious.

It is important to treat emotional pain and suffering. Encouraging conversations about feelings might help.

Bible Verses about Death

You might want to contact a counselor, possibly one familiar with end-of-life issues. If the depression or anxiety is severe, medicine may help. A dying person may also have some specific fears and concerns. He or she may fear the unknown or worry about those left behind. Some people are afraid of being alone at the very end. This feeling can be made worse by the understandable reactions of family, friends, and even the medical team.

For example, when family and friends do not know how to help or what to say, sometimes they stop visiting.

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  7. Or, someone who is already beginning to grieve may withdraw. Doctors may feel helpless because they can't cure their patient. Some seem to avoid a dying patient. This can add to a dying person's sense of isolation. If this is happening, discuss your concerns with the family, friends, or the doctor. The simple act of physical contact—holding hands, a touch, or a gentle massage—can make a person feel connected to those he or she loves.

    It can be very soothing. Warm your hands by rubbing them together or running them under warm water. Try to set a comforting mood. Remember that listening and being present can make a difference. For example, Gordon loved a party, so it was natural for him to want to be around family and friends when he was dying.

    End of life: Caring for a dying loved one

    Ellen always liked spending quiet moments with one or two people at a time, so she was most comfortable with just a few visitors. Some experts suggest that when death is very near, music at a low volume and soft lighting are soothing. In fact, near the end of life, music therapy might improve mood, help with relaxation, and lessen pain. Listening to music might also evoke memories those present can share. For some people, keeping distracting noises like televisions and radios to a minimum is important.

    You believe in God]; believe also in me. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

    Chapters of the Gospel of John are parts of Jesus' Farewell Discourse to his disciples and would be good to read. They are popular at funerals, especially John 14, wherein Jesus talks about the "many rooms" in "my Father's house. Thanks for working with Hospice. I'm a pastor, and we couldn't do it without you.