Many have asked me about dying. And as a chaplain, I ask, "What do you think will happen?" "What do you believe about the dying process and death?" Tough questions to ask and to answer.
It's often said that we are more afraid of dying than death, and this is very evident with my patients. They want to know, "What will my dying look like?" "Will you make me comfortable?" "I'm afraid," "How much time do I have?"
Sometimes I'm asked if I ever felt like dying or had a near-death experience. And I haven't, although this experience happened after I began to heal, but I do remember 2 distinct times when I knew I could die, when I knew I had a choice to leave or stay. All I had to do was decide what I wanted.
One of these times was I had just finished my 5th chemo. Another time was about 10 treatments into my 33 of radiation. Both times I was absolutely exhausted - to the bone, bone-tired. So tired and sore and sick I was taking a morning and afternoon nap and sleeping through the night. I remember Scott having to help me out of bed, after a nap, I was too weak to stand on my own. And as he held me in his arms, face to face, I told him I couldn't go on. I didn't have the energy to live another minute. And I wasn't afraid. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. His look, his words, I'll never forget - "Please, stay. Stay for me, for the kids, for the grandchildren. Please, stay." And I begrudgingly agreed.
There is no doubt that my nearly dying experiences were those near-death experiences. And while looking at death material, I found this video. And it explains, better than anything I've seen or read, this choice to die or stay. Grab a tissue first -