Sitting with, living with, or caring for someone for the last few weeks or months of life are the most revealing to what it really takes to provide good care and comfort for the terminally ill and the dying. Dropping in for a few minutes or FaceTiming the terminally ill or dying does not give any sense of the minute by minute needs of these loved ones, or the responsibilities of their caregivers.

Illness and death, as portrayed on TV and in movies, typically have little to do with the realities of the same events in real life. TV and movie dramatizations are needed in order to hold our attention and to move a storyline forward. However they do a severe injustice to the masses of people who are watching these shows, when it comes to helping these people in real life, to better understand and deal with death and dying.

Many families have to be exhausted (physically, emotionally, financially, even spiritually), in order to accept, without regret, the dying process and the eventual death of their loved ones. Sadly, some families’ denials are never resolved.

Charles Tadros, M.D.

March 4, 2022

Saint Louis, Missouri

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