Just like pooping, everybody dies. And, also just like pooping, death is awkward and uncomfortable to talk about- perhaps even more so than a bowel movement. Depending on what sort of person you, are, it might be comforting to know as much as you can about death, so that you can know what to expect when the time comes. Alternatively, if not for yourself, you may be able to comfort a dying friend or relative, easing them in their final moments. Either way, here are a few things about death and dying to make the process less dark and mysterious.
Much like the funeral procession that comes along with the deceased, death itself is a process, a sequence of events, rather than one precise moment. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that it’s not all at once, or perhaps you would rather it be instantaneous. However, more often than not, there are subtle and not so subtle signs that the end is approaching. Weakness. Shortness of breath, shallow breaths, or irregular breathing. A weakened pulse, or cold and blue flesh. These signs may start days or weeks in advance, and when growing more obvious, generally indicate that time is almost up.
As mentioned earlier, the way a person breathes (or doesn’t) can indicate that death is near. If breathing is really slow, for example, that means a person is about to expire. In some cases, it may seem like the sort of breathing people do when they are asleep, though the eternal sleep is much more permanent. For those near death, it is not entirely uncommon for people to cease breathing for relatively long stretches of time. Gradually, the time between each breath will grow longer and longer. First a few seconds, and then several seconds between each breath. And then…