Death is not an easy subject to talk about. For many persons, the process of dying is filled with more fear than death itself.

When dying comes slowly, its losses are experienced more profoundly. There is the loss of physical abilities as eyesight and hearing become weaker, bones become more brittle, and and mobility is affected by such things as arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. There is a loss of control as bodily functions that were once taken for granted are now major tasks or need to be attended to by others. There is a loss of mental abilities as the brain is affected by the aging process or even such devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s. There is a loss of freedom as simple abilities of the body and the mind turn into experiences of intense pain or even outright disabilities.

All of these things can also lead to a loss of community as well, especially as peers also die. Yet, while each of us will experience dying as a personal event, loss of community does not have to be a part of dying. In recent years, the hospice movement has taken dying out of the medical institutions and put it back into the home or a comfortable home-like setting.