The Conditions At The End Of Your Life

With my mother’s situation, I have learned something new about death.  I think people imagine their passing will somehow be painless.  They think they will die suddenly or that doctors will be able to control their pain and ease them on out.

My mother is not in physical pain but she is feeling anguish. She is feeling extreme anguish, from which she can find no relief.

I don’t think she ever imagined she could end up like this. Who sits around and thinks that their death will be excruciating? Anyone? Yet clearly some people suffer in agony waiting to die.

This may seem gross to write but you know what? If you think about this for even just a few minutes, you may see how senseless it is to complain about your life.

The fact is your death may be much worse.

Do you expect to die peacefully?

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The Conditions At The End Of Your Life — 36 Comments

  1. I appreciate it that you asked that question because I agree with you that most people think that their own death will come easy. But it may not.

    My mother died in her sleep about 5 years ago. She was relatively young but her life long smoking led to emphysema. Her disease reduced her ability to think clearly…so it wasn’t so bad. She really didn’t know how ill she was. I guess denial is sometimes a good thing.

  2. Dear Elsa, I am so sorry for the anguish your mother is going through, quite honestly i accept that death is the ultimate truth, however how it will be i am clueless cant even start to think what would be the premise on the basis of which i might suffer or not suffer. Is it going to be karma or what. May be i need to evolve more to try to guess how it would be.
    Best Wishes

  3. No I don’t: watching my father’s prolonged and extremely painful and anguished death from cancer cured me of any expectations in that respect, ditto my grandmother’s of old age and my young aunt’s from a very rare disease.

    But I shall do my best (employ all my Cardinal!) to ensure I go at a time and in a manner of my own choosing. This may not of course be possible, and with Aries on the cusp of my 8th House my death may be sudden or violent. Prolonged debility and/or pain is not something I wish to handle, esp as I have nobody to look after me in old age. As for Alzhaimers – that truly terrifies me

  4. There is an old expression, “You die the way you lived”

    Physical pain is not the only kind of pain on the planet. There is emotional pain and spiritual pain. Physical pain is the easiest to treat.

    Yes I do expect to die pain free.

  5. Sag in the 8th house

    I always think I will die in some kind of accident.. but I always feel as though I will be aware of it.

    I think more than death itself – the thought of me being cognitively aware that I am dying or about to pass on is frightening and terrifying to me.

    I don’t want to know. I want it to be sudden.

    But I feel that since this is something I struggle with, it will probably, as usual, happen the way I least want it to.

    I am scared of dying. I’ve been surrounded by it since I can remember. Seeing a 12 year old boy in a casket leaves a mark when you are the same age and seeing an empty shell from what was once bright and smiling. And then old people that become those same shells. And thinking about your parents (which I feel is harder for only children because when they are gone, there is no one left to go through the process with) becoming those shells.

    And then yourself. Gone. Forever.

    If I didn’t believe in God, I think I don’t know what I’d do, because even believing, it scares me shitless and is very unpleasant. But I think about it a lot. The fluidity of time and how people are forgotten amongst the millions of names that no longer have any meaning.

  6. And anyway (Elsa) I feel as though even though I’m not 100% clear on your guys relationship – my own strained one with my own father, I feel will not be easy.

    Maybe you both will achieved some peace here in whatever form that might be?

    I’d never want anyone to linger around in agony (my Gemini would freak!) so I hope that her passing will at least be as emotionally and mentally freeing as possible.

    On the positive side, at least she has some time to in whatever way she feels she needs to to wrap up the ending and still be aware of what she’s doing.

  7. All of the death I have been exposed to up to this point has been either quick and unexpected, or prolonged and drugged.

    I do not, however, expect my parents to die in such a manner. Their deaths (or at least my mother’s), will be quite prolonged, physically and emotionally. Sometimes I think they are already waiting for their deaths.

    I don’t know about my own death. I have a sense that it will be a very long time before I see it. It scares me to think about though; 5th house Sun/Leo asc. fears the lights going out.

  8. I was around a bit for the death of my grandfather when I was 13 or so. My mother was caretaker and kept us fairly isolated from him but he very violently did not want to go.

    Also, when my beloved cat died recently, I was taking him to the vet when he had a seizure and then died in a lot of fear during the car ride. It surprised me that what I perceived as such a sentient being was so afraid to die. I am not shocked by many 8th house things but that one got by me. I thought he would pass on with understanding, but to the last moment when his eyes popped wide and the pupils dilated, he was not “ready” for death. Never turn your back on 8th house matters, they can always surprise you, is what I’ve learned.

    To be honest, with Saturn in Scorpio and Pisces on the 8th, I expect to die with a lack of control above all things. Pluto in the 3rd, maybe in a plane crash or with Alzheimers. The only thing I can know is that I am unlikely to have any control over it.

  9. Unless I have some accident, I will die peacefully because once living becomes mostly painful/ anguish ridden, I’m outta here by my own hand… & I don’t care about legal/ religious issues etc… whatever.

    I am sorry that you are all being touched by this Elsa =(

  10. I used to think I would like to die in my sleep. No longer. I don’t want to sleep through the last minutes of my life. (Scorpio Moon in the 1st house talk’n)

  11. My Father is in the same position, not in physical pain, but in anguish at the thought of dying. He is very religious and I thought that would have helped him, but it hasn’t.

    I have Jupiter in Cancer in the 8th, which is supposed to mean “a good death”, whatever that means. I suppose I’ll find out one day 🙂

  12. The same thing is happening with my Mother, right now. Since Labor Day. I’m a regular lurker here and stopped by this morning to see if I could find anything germaine on the blog that I could relate to the nightmare my Mom and my family have been experiencing since Labor Day. The first three paragraphs of your piece describe exactly what is happening for my Mom. We are standing in it.

  13. My Dad’s anguish was partly because nobody would tell him the truth. He kind of knew it – how could he not – but my mother insisted on keeping up the fiction he could ‘get better’ – and bullying him to do so. It was gross, and added to indignity and to the fear. `i fought with her about it, and with the doctor, but she was adamnat. Wouldn’t even let him the bacon breakfast he sometimes craved – in case he had a heart attack! Ffs, that would have been such a mercy… She too died in anguish, because she knew she had totally fucked up so much in her life. But she had a better death than she deserved, in contrast to my poor Dad’s.

    eg, I’m sorry you have such a fear of death. I find the idea of reverting to an infinitessimal part of the Univers, all passions spent, very comforting. Willima Wordswoth wrote a few poems about this, when a sweetheart of his died in their youth:

    A slumber did my spirit seal
    I had no human fears
    She seemed a thing that could not feel
    the touch of earthly years.

    No motion has she now, no force
    She neither sees nor hears
    Roll’d round in earth’s diurnal course
    With rocks, and stones, and trees

  14. I wasn’t in the room, when family members died, but with my cats, and dogs in the past, it was awful watching them break down, suddenly fall ill and then just not be the same. The cats – we felt guilty for trying different things to save them (but we didn’t want to give up), and with Dennis, the last one, we were almost too late to spare him the same time and pain. The vet confirmed that he was close to death himself, and he went within seconds. With Minnie, I was holding her close, and as much as I hated it, it felt like a privilege to give her what comfort I could – she purred away, up until her last hours. It’s awful, though.

  15. There’s a nice soundtrack for you.
    As for my own end, I doubt it’ll be peaceful. I’ve seen 3 of my old deaths in dreams so far. Not one of them was peaceful. In the first one I was killed by a bear. In the second I got executed by Saracens. The third one was a sloppy murder in the fifties or early sixties. Death is not that bad, really. What happens before it, while you’re still living, is the traumatic part. I’d rather not be alive when I die.

  16. Sorry Elsa, for what you are experiencing now, It is very sad that our culture marginalizes death and dying in such a way that there is almost always fear and pain involved. I watched my mom go and was in the hospital on a floor that was not equipped to handle a terminally ill patient on the verge of death. Once they got her transferred to Hospice, things got better, they made her comfortable. (thank you morphine) The nurse opened a window and my mom just flew out. There is no reason for people to suffer, but they do and Palliative care is out there, for those who have healthcare. Hospice care is a godsend, and a great resource. Prayers to you Elsa.

  17. With Venus at the cusp of my 8th house, I´ve always been at peace with death in some kind of you may call intimate connection. I know that the psychophysical body can put up a fight and feel agony, since it´s what will expire, and there can be much more pain in dying than in death itself, but whichever way it comes, it´ll be welcome.
    Plus – my brother connected with me a couple of hours after his physical death (which I hadn´t expected since we hadn´t been very close in life) and boy, was he an ecstatic energy field! So much rejoycing! Judging by that, what comes after may well be worth it, so – nothing to fear for me, not at all.

  18. Well I know sometimes in death the brain floods itself with chemicals that make you feel happy and so sometimes death peaceful.
    I know a person whose dad has survived some of the most horrific events and illnesses and lived till he was old when it was diabetes that finally kicked him. He definitly had a “Ill die another day” attitude.
    As for long drawn out deaths, especially when it comes illnesses, I can’t even comprehend the pain (physical, emotional and mental).

  19. Well I know sometimes in death the brain floods itself with chemicals that make you feel happy and so sometimes death peaceful.
    I know a person whose dad has survived some of the most horrific events and illnesses and lived till he was old when it was diabetes that finally kicked him. He definitly had a “Ill die another day” attitude.
    As for long drawn out deaths, especially when it comes illnesses, I can’t even comprehend the pain (physical, emotional and mental).I can’t stand limbo.

  20. Lol “brought to you by my 8th house” Ooooh I love these posts Elsa 🙂 and Im sorry for what your mum is experiencing and your family. I dont expect to die peacefully but I hope I do. Im peaceful with death. I have literally died twice already and been brought back so Im ok with it.

  21. I’m with McKenna, I will go peacefully by my own hand when I decide I am “done.” I’ve had close family/friends die agonizing deaths with great suffering and I choose to opt out of that, and to spare my family the horror of witnessing it.

  22. one of my mother’s generation last week was telling me… how miserable her mother was. how much kinder it would be to just let her go. i had had no idea. it was not so much… physical pain, but lack of reason to live, any more. with periodic awareness of it.

  23. I think our suffering comes from trying to hold on to these fleshly bodies.In the modern age we have so many ways to extend life. Sometimes I think when the illness presents itself just to let nature take it course. If I am diagnosed with a terminal illness ,straight to hospice I will go.

  24. I have no fear of death itself nor of what lies on the other side of it.

    But I do have extreme fear of lingering in agony for a prolonged period. I do not believe suffering is necessary, or that bearing it with dignity is a virtue.

    One month ago on this very day, I made the heart-wrenching but right decision to terminate my life companion’s life. He was suffering, extremely and uncontrollably. Fortunately, he was a cat, the law was on my side, and the help was available to ease him out painlessly.

    If the day comes where I am in his shoes, I hope destiny will allow me to ease myself out too.

    • Yes, Tango, I often tell my children, when I am destined to go, just take me to the vet and put me down. It seems so sensible to just give in to death and go – rather than linger, causing suffering for yourself and your children. Unfortunately, I live in a state that will likely be the last to allow this legally.

  25. Hospice can be a blessing but has to be prescribed by a doctor. Both my parents were admitted into Hospice at home. My mother went the next day in her sleep. My father lingered four more years and his end was much more gut wrenching, yet he let go and accepted the process. The day before he died, I held his hand and he squeezed it but there was no other sign of consciousness. He was almost visibly transitioning to the other side in front of me. It was gut wrenching to be there, wanting him to live, but knowing he had one foot in the other realms. His breath was very labored and quick for days until he took his last breath. The I heard his breath leave his body.

    After witnessing these two deaths of my loved ones, I truly hope I can get my doctor to admit me to Hospice when it’s time. Much better than dying in a Hospital. You are guided and given comfort drugs to help ease anxiety and fear, but only if you want it. But there will be support by people who understand or at least have experience with what the person is going through.

  26. Oh lawd I don’t know. I’m not sure how I feel about death. But I do know billions of people have gone through it, and a large percentage of them were probably scared. I hope to not resist, I am nervous though. Rising Cap at 22, Cap moon and Venus at 22* Cap. My youngest son it’s a cancer sun at 22*.

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