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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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The next step?

The next step?

(p.145) Chapter 15 The next step?
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

Dying is a normal part of living and some would suggest the most important. The major challenge for the dying is to accept what is and what will be, but acceptance is not easy. People die alone and unaccompanied but we may be with them to the very threshold. The ‘Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying’ promotes comfort and well-being for patient and family at the end of a life. For the patient there can be wistfulness about the past and a questioning about the future. Rituals, letters or memory boxes can help, but it is argued that their impact on the dying patient and on the survivors needs to be carefully explored. For the bereaved it is also a hard time. Some common attitudes towards and by the bereaved are reviewed and commented upon, as is the value of bereavement support. Adjustment to the loss can take months, years or is never achieved. Grief is a painful experience, but it need not necessarily be destructive.

Keywords:   death, social response to death and dying, new life is possible, liverpool care pathway, memory boxes, bereavement support, grief, loneliness, end of life

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