I’m hoping to plant a seed my friends. A little seed that you won’t remember being planted. Maybe it will make it just a tiny bit easier to accept the way your loved one chooses to live out the rest of their lives. You may think this topic is morbid, in the middle of your day, no warning. I don’t mean to upset you. Let’s talk about a dying person, our dying persons?
Our loved one will naturally stop eating and drinking as they near the end of life process. This is both a involuntary and voluntary process. A person who is actively dying has very little energy, too little to attempt trips to the bathroom or sitting up to eat. Eating and drinking would require them to tap into the little energy reserves they have. Also, the body is shutting down and has no means of processing foods and filtering waste as their organs are most likely shutting down. As a result, food consumption will have a adverse effect and you may notice them vomiting or complaining of stomach upset, difficulty swallowing, audible chest congestion, notice swelling in their hands and feet.
Our loved ones who are in transition do not experience hunger or thirst like you or I would. Just think back to the times when you were ill and had no appetite or discomfort, so busy was your body in trying to regain it’s equilibrium.
I cannot imagine the pain involved in watching someone you love fade away before your eyes. Unfortunately, food and drink will not stop them from slipping away and it does not enhance their quality of life. Feel free to offer them food but try to force or cajole them. They have had to live their entire lives under the weight of people’s expectations. Let them live out their remaining days unencumbered and with dignity.