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Thread: What do you say to a dying man/person?

  1. #1

    What do you say to a dying man/person?

    Maybe i should have posted , what do you TALK about to a dying man/person? I have posted about Bill a friend of mine, former school mate, and i've known him for a very long time. He is in the final stages of life here on earth. So, what do you talk about to a guy who is laying there, but, still responsive? I tell him about the weather outside, how hot and dry its been. Whats been going on around town and about the big storm in Texas. i know he's listless, and bored. Yes, I've talked to him about God and Bill's future. Discussed what Heaven holds for us, and how great it will be. I don't feel he's the type of person who wants people feeling sorry for him. And, I don't hang around just sitting there by him. I've talked about his dad, he's still alive, his brothers, his family. I've told him about the people on this forum praying for him. My buddy's who are praying for him, how much we care for him. I guess maybe yes or no questions are in order. I talked to my Mom, my brother, our son in law before they passed away. I've been told, enough times to be convinced that even if they are unconscious they do hear what we are saying. So, i try hard to say the ''right things''.

    I just want him to know we are there for him. so, let me know , or give me some idea's what else we can cover, meaning him and I. Thanks i appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    white eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    565.5 miles E.of Wall Drug
    that is so very hard
    I was there just recently with my own mother
    she knew where she was and what was going to happen
    seemed to be at peace with it as to what to say that is a hard one
    might be that just being there is all that is needed
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    jmort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Color Me Gone
    I tell the person how much they meant to me
    I listen
    Silence is not a bad thing
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  4. #4
    Boolit Man

    BHill's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    There is probably no correct answer here. I think the fact that you are there keeping him company is the most important part of being a good friend. That comfort alone will trump whatever the conversation is. That being said maybe a short stories book just to keep the conversation/communication going would be of some benefit.

    Praying for you and your friend.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    tropical southern vermont
    Trust God to put the right words in your mind and heart - Sometimes you can't know until you are right there
    Being human is not for sissies.

  6. #6

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    From what you said, I think you are doing a great job...since you have included God and Heaven...the only thing I can say if he is bored and listless (he sure would be lots more bored and listless if he was alone), is just continue having normal conversations with him, as you have in the past (before his illness)...ordinary conversation is a pleasant way to pass the time.

  7. #7
    Its good to know I'm not alone in a case like this. I'm not afraid to tell some one like Bill i love him, or hold his hands while we pray. To be honest, God is Blessing me in this case, and i have prayed that God would give me the right words to say to Bill. I'm not afraid to be upfront and tell the truth, facts are just that, facts, I'm not a wishy washy type guy. But, i am respectful of what i say as well. I want only the best for Bill. thank you for the reply's, they mean a lot too me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Pray with them.Share the good news of Christ just had that very situation happen with my neighbor who just went to be with the Lord he was very thankful.Be kind and a friend.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Taylor, Michigan
    I don't think it matters what you talk about.....what is important is that you are there and he knows you care. So talk of anything, listen, or share a cup of coffee......

    In the end we are all dying......what is important are the people in our lives.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Boaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    So many good replies here . Give comfort , give assurance . And as you already are provide love and understanding . Thank you for helping him get home . It is hard .
    No turning back , No turning back !

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Walla Walla, WA
    I went through this with a long time friend last year. It took me a while but for him I would ask him what he wanted to talk about today. It worked for us very well. As said above, just listening sometimes is wonderful.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Walla2 View Post
    I went through this with a long time friend last year. It took me a while but for him I would ask him what he wanted to talk about today. It worked for us very well. As said above, just listening sometimes is wonderful.

    Good idea on asking him what he would like to talk about. I don't know the last time he ate anything, and just sips on a little bit of water, his time is close. I believe i said earlier, hospice is involved, and has been for a while.

    thanks again

  13. #13
    Super Moderator

    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    You have eternity taken care of now bring up fun things you did together help him remember good times and great joys. You are there that is the real thing you are doing for him, you are showing him he matters and still has importance to you.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master NoAngel's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    It depends on the person.
    I don't know your friend so don't take anything I say personally.

    Some people NEED to hear a bunch of talking. Some do not.
    You know better than any of us what kind of person he is.

    On my last day(s) I don't want to hear a bunch of heavy handed words. Some people do.

    When my pawpaw was dying I called him and talked to him. I couldn't get to him physically. Not in time. I told him I appreciated the time he took to spend with me. I thanked him for being my pawpaw and for being my friend.
    Last words I ever said to him, "Love you old man. Look for me on the other side and we'll go fishing. Thank you for everything. "
    He said a word or two and I hung up the phone.

    I understand why you're asking but the hard truth is; No one can tell you what to say. It's not given to anyone among men, THAT kind of wisdom.

    If he meant something to you, don't dare let him leave here without telling him so.

    That's all I got. Sorry.

    I'm sorry for what you're about lose as well. It's a part of life.....a particularly sucky part.
    Last edited by NoAngel; 09-04-2017 at 03:12 PM.
    When dealing with islam one should always ask themselves: "What would Leonidas do?"

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    rl69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Brookeland Texas
    What did y'all talk about before? What brought y'all together? Every situation is deferent I lost a friend a while back.I would just joke and pick on him,telling him how he was just being lazy, and he needed to get up and get a job. (He was handicapped ) I lost a friend from church we talked verry little. She did like for me to read scripture about heaven.
    when the dust settles and the smoke clears all that matters is I hear the words " well done my good and faithfully servant "


  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    jonp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Planet Reality
    I've done this and had to again just a year or two ago with my daughter in law. You talk to them about whatever they want to talk about. Stuff exactly like you described.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
    Knights Templar

  17. #17
    Moderator Emeritus

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Wow! This is always a tough one. Many good and plausible answers given too! But mainly, you just need to be as reassuring and thankful to him for all he's meant to you along the way. Just let him know he's appreciated, and that if it's his time, that he'll be deeply missed, but that you expect to meet him again on the other side. After that, there always seems to be a lot of space left to fill, and that's when a good many folks find talking of past good times and funny events a great boon to them at this time. Not all, though.

    Ultimately, you have to assess the kind of persons you both are, and decide what to try, and always have a backup and a backup to the backup. And don't let your sorrow control you. This can be the hardest part of it all. Just speak as you would were he healthy, and not expected to die. After all, if you really believe you'll see him/her again, then it need not be a sad or morose occasion. Before you leave, I think it helps, at least some, to smile and say, "We've really had some great times, haven't we?" At a time when a person is going through their own PERSONAL most significant moment, when that moment cannot possibly be shared with anyone, it can be very reassuring to share what you CAN, and those great times and funny things are still funny. Even death can't change that. They're on the record for all time, and God blesses us with times like that. And re-hearing about them tends to re-emphasize our thankfulness for all the great times and great friends and friendships and loves we've known. Just, above everything, be yourself, and forget any sort of PC stuff. Just shoot straight, for the dying don't have time for all the "fluff and window dressing" of PC sentiments.

    It's a shame, but PC has really kind'a robbed us of our ability and often even our willingness to just speak what's on our minds. IMO, PC has robbed this land and this people of SO much more than we tend to realize, and this is just one place where it's a real inhibitor of saying and doing what we really need to, for the sake of the person departing soon. No need to be melodramatic. Just speak straight up about what you're grateful to them for, and about how much they've meant to you, to just be there when you've needed them. At the very minimum, this leaves them with the realization that they haven't been quite so "useless" as many seem to fear they've been in the past, and reassures them that their lives have meant something positive in this world. That's about the most powerful thing one CAN give a person who's not expected to live much longer. Just let them know how grateful you are that they were a part of your life, and shared themselves with you in so many wonderful ways.

    And then, just step back, and let God have His way, as He will with each of us in time. It's a very moving moment, especially since we all know, but try not to think about very much, our time will come just like theirs has. It's a time for facing reality and dealing with it in the most poignant and effective way possible. I really feel for the faithless when they reach this stage. On either end of the event, they cannot fully appreciate the gravity of the event.

    We're human, and thus, so easily fallible. We can't seem to do what we so often WANT to do. So we have to just take our best stab at it, and let them know that they mattered, and they mattered in a positive and definite manner. The rest is up to them and God. And it's hard, but the best you can do when their moment comes, is to just accept it, and be thankful they were in your life. Don't expect some sort of "perfect" speech from yourself, that will make everything "alright." That speech doesn't exist in any of us. Just do the best you can and be straight and honest with them, and don't fear. Fear is always a killer of anything good. Just be as bold as you feel is appropriate, and they'll understand the meaning behind your words. Trust them to understand, and trust God for all the rest. That's all anyone can do at this time. And render praise to God for allowing the person to face the event eye to eye. That takes a lot of courage, really. No PC theology will ever work in those moments - which I think is an indication of just how debilitating and dysfunctional PC really is, ultimately.

    God bless you both and grant you the best words you have for your friend, and keep the Faith. It always pays off in the end. And one day when you DO meet again, it's likely that he'll tell you how much he appreciated your words. Words really DO matter, and sometimes, they matter more than we know.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    If it was me, yes talk about the good times, the good memories.

    Talk about the people you both knew, living and dead.

    Listen a lot.

    Just be there, sharing his day. Even if nothing is said.

    Pray with him and for him. Ask for peace for him, an easing of symptoms, a quick painless end, and the Lord waiting for him to take him home.

    Reassure him that it will be ok. That he lived a good honorable life.
    Tell him that he is loved, and will be missed.

    I think he has a good friend in you. That is worth a lot.

  19. #19
    Moderator Emeritus

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    Apr 2005
    I've long thought that if I were at the end of my life, mostly, I'd just want to review the great times and wonders I've seen. This would, I think, help create the right atmosphere for me to be so very thankful to Him for all He's given me, despite my wanton ways at times. I think that would make me feel a bit more "complete" and more appropriately submissive to His will, and not my own. Just my 2 cents' worth, anyway. You cannot lie to a dying person, and there's no use trying to play cheerleader for them. This basically leaves us with reviewing and "reliving" the good times, and this helps keep our perspectives, for all concerned, appropriate to the occasion. If they know the Lord, the dying will be thankful they've been taken from this sinfilled, messed up world, and transitioned into the Lord's realm to be with Him. And the ones who remain will know that their time is imminent too, and we can never know when it might be. This puts us, the survivors, in the position of seeing things and life itself a bit more clearly and in the right perspective. It's a win-win situation. And we get to laugh and enjoy each other's friendship before the tie is cut. That's as good as these things CAN get, I believe. Sobering, isn't it?

  20. #20
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist

    RP's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Nahunta NC
    If they can speak I talk about what ever they want to talk about if not I tell them anything I want them to know after that I just tell them about what may be important to them or what they are into family cars guns and so on. The main thing is they know you care and they are not alone.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

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