Does grieving ever end?
Grieving lasts for as long as you love the person who died. However,
the most acute grief lasts from two to five years, depending on the
manner of death, the person's age and their relationship to you.
When did it become customary for mourners to wear black?
It began in the 15th century when Anne of Brittany wore black after her
husband, France's King Charles VIII, died.
Do the terminally ill prefer to die at home?
out of ten people who are in counseling suffer from unresolved grief
over a loved one's death.
Some do not. Those who don't sometimes feel their dying at home will
somehow "contaminate" the house and that their family will forever
associate it with the death and not want to live there anymore.
I was privileged to have hands-on
experience with 542 dying people through my association with
The majority of them wanted to die at home
in their own bed, surrounded by their loved ones, amid familiar
furniture, books, paintings, views and beloved pets.
What, in your opinion, constitutes good postmortem care?
Home Administrator, IL
Wash the body, apply lotion, comb their hair, clean the fingernails and
toenails and put on a clean garment. Close the eyes and mouth and place
the hands on the chest in order to minimize lividity (setting of the
blood), which stains the skin and is difficult to cover up during the
embalming process. Never tie the wrists or jaw - this can cause marks
on the skin which do not disappear and which greatly upset the family.
Placing a small rolled towel under the chin will keep the mouth closed.
Meticulous postmortem care is good for the morale
of the staff, patients and families, to say nothing of your facility's
reputation. I know funeral directors who have made hospital and nursing
home choices and recommendations based on the quality of the postmortem
care they see in hospital patients and nursing home residents.
of men and 6% of women don't shed tears during any given month.
embalmed body has been on display in Moscow's Red Square since 1924.
Is it ever appropriate to ask a family if they would like to
participate in the postmortem care of their loved one before the
funeral director comes to pick up the body?
Home LNA, AL
Because a crucial part of the journey essential to healthy grief
resolution can begin at the death bed, I believe it's not only
appropriate, it's eminently desirable to ask the family if they would
like to perform these last, loving tasks. However, be sure to give the
family a choice of doing it on their own or having a staff member or
volunteer assist them.
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