To Die Alone

Saturday my aunt flew back to New York after spending a week in Ohio. Despite the fact that the flight was only about an hour long, I am certain that it had to be the hardest flight she’s ever taken in her many years on this earth. She had just finished saying her final goodbye to her only daughter after leaving her on her deathbed.

My aunt’s daughter (my cousin) is in the final stages of cancer. We received a phone call a little over a week ago saying she had hours to live. My aunt, who lives in New York, flied out to Ohio to be with her the next morning. Ever since then the whole family has been on alert waiting for any type of news to come. 

I called up my father last week to ask him if there had been any progress with my cousin. The news had been the same all week. She is weak, mostly incoherent, and in pain for most of the time. By Wednesday it had been determined that she would be refusing any further treatment. The only thing the doctors would be giving her from that point on was a morphine drip. This is where things really went wrong.

A few of my cousin’s close friends showed up last week to the hospital. It was then that we learned of my cousin’s final wishes. She did not want a funeral. She had already made arrangements for her body to be cremated and spread over some mountain in Tibet. She did not want any type of memorial service. To make matters worse, my cousin also made it clear that she wanted to be alone when she passed. No friends, no family, no nothing.

She wanted to die alone.

My cousin has always had mental health issues. She has a history of exaggerating things and being a bit delusional. Her relationship with her mother has always been strained. Yet somehow, underneath it all, we all knew they were still close. It was one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen. I’ve always admired my aunt for how she dealt with her. She always tried her best to preserve the relationship. 

This is exactly why my cousin’s wishes to be alone at the end surprised us so. We thought if anything would make her petty stubbornness disappear it would be her impending death. The only person she consistently recognized last week was her mother. In her weaker moments it was obvious that she wanted her mother to take care of her. That she wished mom could make it all better. In the end though, it was the petty stubbornness that won out. It was clear what her wishes were and my aunt felt compelled to respect them, no matter how much it hurt her to do so.

It’s an incredibly sad thing to die alone. To have no one to hold your hand when you get scared. No one to stroke your head when you are in pain. No one to watch over you. But to wish to die alone. To be so filled with bitterness that you push away the ones who love you, and the ones you still love, even in your darkest hour. This is an even sadder thing to me.

My heart aches for my cousin, and even more for my aunt. 

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147 comments

  1. I couldn’t imagine. When it comes my time to go, I want to be surrounded by the people I love and care about.

  2. I am sitting here with tears, because as a mother , I couldnt imagine, as a daughter I dont understand. But your aunt is doing the right thinking by respecting her wishes, and I know its killing her. Keep us posted!

  3. I am so, so sorry, my friend. This is a truly tragic tale; and my heart hurts for you and your family. Regardless of who is there in the exact final moment, though, your cousin will know that her mother loved her enough not only to be there; but also to leave out of respect for her wishes. I’m sure it had to be the toughest thing your Aunt ever did. 

  4. wow what a double edge sword.  Maybe deep down she thought she would be sparing everyone the agony of watching her go?  All I know is I am way too selfish for that I wouldnt want to be alone.  hugs for your family and especially your aunt.

  5. This is so very sad, and I would so not honor that wish if my daughter were foolish enough to make it. Because I know she would want somebody there at the end, even if, in her hard-headedness beforehand, she thought she wouldn’t.

  6. I’m so sorry.  Do you think, maybe, that she is trying to do something unselfish this time?  Maybe in her opinion it’s harder to watch the person you love’s life extinguish before your eyes.  Maybe she figured it’d be easier for her mother to be able to say her final goodbyes while she was still living and then walk away without having to see her die.  Maybe she doesn’t want a memorial service because she doesn’t want people standing around being sad.  I, for one, want a party when I die…lots of alcohol to numb any pain, lots of story telling about the stupid and embarrassing things I’ve done, but not people crying and talking quietly and looking at my dead body.  Forgive me if I’m wrong…obviously I don’t know your cousin…but maybe it’ll make you feel better to think of it as one last unselfish act. 

  7. Maybe she just wanted to make it easier on all of you. Oh, Dave I don’t even know what to say. I am so, sorry. Know that I am praying for you and your family.

  8. As a nurse, I have seen many many deaths. Many people choose to “die alone”. It is not uncommon. It is ususally very peaceful. It is harder on the survivors than the patient. I am proud of the people who respect her wishes. It isn’t easy to do. God will take care of her in the end. I will pray for her and especially for her family.

  9. I feel I must side with those who wonder if perhaps she made that request so that those around her would not have to watch her wither and die, so their last memories of her would not be her frail body on her deathbed moments before she passed. It may have been her misunderstood way of being selfless.In any case, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

  10. I am sorry this is happening. But like someone else said, wanting to die alone is not uncommon and nor is it selfish. It’s almost ALWAYS harder on the family than the one dying. This is, after all, HER death, ultimately. Not the family’s. I admire the incredible strength in your Aunt to follow through with her daughter’s wishes, in spite of what SHE wants.

  11. I guess I’m gonna be the lone ranger here and say, from a spiritual perspective, I don’t see that as so weird or sad or dumb or anything that people are saying. From her burial wishes it sounds like she was of alternative spiritual persuasion, Zen Buddhist or something like that.  In that context her wishes make perfect sense.Actually, it’s given me an idea and I am now thinking of putting that request in my will…I don’t want sad faces hovering over me, telling me I’m not dying when I am (which is what my mom would do), or not wanting me to go, trying to pull me backwards from the inevitable. I want to be moving foreward, all eyes on the Divine.  I’m afraid that if I look back I will have to come back (I believe in reincarnation) I want all eyes on God. A family member or loved one would be a distraction and while that might not seem fair to them, their time will come to deal with the same thing. I think at this point I am pretty unlikely to pre-decease my mother, but I think if I put it in my will she would honor it. she has already told me I better not “break her heart” and die first – nothing like a little pressure over something you have no control over….Major kuddos to the mom who gave the kid her last wishes; it was the right thing to do.@JadedJanissary – yes

  12. You are right this could be the hardest flight that your aunt made in her many years on earth. Thinking of her daughter – whom she nourished and cared for when she was young – it’s really hard to bear. The logical chronology should be that the parents are first to go and the children should send them off. But here it’s the opposite. And what’s more, the request to be left alone in her deathbed. Their last moments together, no doubt, were agonizing ones. But there is always a letting go. 

  13. Your aunt and all the rest of family is in my prayers. I know it must be hard to have to deal with that. On one hand, I could see the reasoning in wanting to die alone (as in, not wanting to put people through watching you actually die, though that’s obviously not the reasoning here), but it also makes closure for the rest of the family much more difficult. 

  14. Your aunt sounds like a very strong woman.  I hope she understands that your cousin’s wish to die alone probably has nothing to do with their relationship.  In my (small amout of) expirence, I have been surprised by the number of people who wish to be alone when they die.  Some people don’t want an audience, some seem to feel obligated to hang on as long as people are in the room, some seem to be more at peace by themself in those final hours.  Most people don’t want to be remembered as they are on their deathbed.  I can understand that.  No, I don’t think I’d want to die alone, but depending on the circumstances, I think I would only want one or two people with me at that time.  I’m glad your aunt chose to respect your cousin’s wishes and I hope that she doesn’t feel that it is her fault.

  15. that is so sad, dave, i’m so sorry… it got me choked up enough to hand you this useless mini. i don’t even have anything cynical / witty to say. i just hope that, in time, your family and your aunt can overcome the hurt.

  16. I really think your cousin isn’t being stubborn but thinking of the people around her. While I think I want my SO beside me, but no one else, I am not sure I want him to go through that either. I wasn’t in the room when my mom passed and I feel so horrible for that but when I aired my thoughts to my brother who WAS there, he said it is better and he thought it was something my mom wouldn’t have wanted us to experience. My mom also chose to be cremated and it was something we didn’t know whether to do or not. But I think it had to do with the cancer. Also I wouldnt want to be remembered like that but by how I was when I was healthy. My thoughts and prayers are with your cousin and your family.

  17. That’s an extremely sad experience.But I don’t find it hard to believe that there are people out there who want to die alone. It’s not the saddest thing to me, because if that’s what the person wants, then so be it. Who are we to say that it’s sad. The heart wants what it wants. My condolences.

  18. My grandfather passed away like this. He was trying to spare us, but closure took a very long time for us, especially with the lack of funeral, which were also his wishes. It was like he was just away, which I think I he had hoped for. But it almost presented itself like abandonment. My grandmother on the other hand, passed away in front of us, we took her off the ventilator, and all watched her take her last breath. It was almost too peaceful, and even then there is horror in death, and she still had to go through it alone. We were helpless in easing her passing. I tell you this, because you and your aunt and everyone who loved her should try to realize that this was her eventuality, and bravo to your aunt, not only because she was able to respect her, but because true love is a sacrificing love, and if her daughter was never sure of that love before, she is now.  Blessings and comfort to you all.

  19. I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. It’s sad that death sometimes brings out the best and the worst in all of us.My grandmother just died a couple of weeks ago when her liver gave out after taking too much Tylenol. My mother decided not to have a funeral, explaining to me that her uncle (Grandma’s youngest brother) wouldn’t make the trip. She, too will be cremated.I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

  20. Not to sound like a dink or a know it all but, awhile ago, I came close to dying. The doctors didn’t give me even a 1% chance of making it. This isn’t bullshit either, I wouldn’t dare make up such a lie. I was drifting in and out of a coma and said to myself, “So be it” If I’m going to croak, I just wanted it over so my family didn’t have to see me the way I was hooked up to the life support and the way I looked was horrible too from what I was told later. I just didn’t want them to see me like that and wished it was over – for all of us.  I am sorry to hear about this and feel for all of you. I hope you know I don’t mean any harm with this contradicting story about this but it’s true. The last thing I wanted to do was make things worse and having it over quickly crossed my mind when I realized how bad off I was.

  21. So sad.I was with my grandma when she died,my mom and I sang the song ” I’ll Fly Away, O glory ” as her she took her heavenly flight,it was the most bittersweet moment I have known. To be there with her ,but to see her draw her lasr labored breath was so hard. I have your family in my prayers.

  22. So, not an origional thought, but we do all die alone.  When I read your post, the first thing that went through my mind was, “How beautiful.  To meet death, alone, on your own terms.  To look it in the eye.”But, that’s just me…

  23. i’m so sorry for your loss, im sure the hurt is very overwhelming for you and everyone involved. i will pray for you and your family right now.  i wish you the best….

  24. “Tell ’em that I’ve realized that everyone who lives will someday die, and die alone.” ~ Brand NewI actually think that I would prefer to be alone.  That way, my final moments wouldn’t haunt anybody’s memory.

  25. Let her die alone, these are her last wishes and they should be honored, regardless of who thinks its a bad idea. It’s going to be sad and hard but maybe there’s a reason for it. Some people want the room filled with people when they pass and some people would rather be alone. Who knows why. My condolences, I’m sorry you have to go through something like this, it must be very hard.

  26. I would like to die alone, I think.I love all of my family and friends dearly, dearly!But I’ve always been a very private person, and strong willed. I like to be able to do things on my own, and get embarrassed when people see me struggle. When it came down to the final moments, I think I would want to be alone, with me and only me. I don’t think it’s such an awful thing. 

  27. The worst thing I ever experienced was being with someone when he died. I was there, and he was alone anyway. You don’t know what it’s like to die at all, you know, since you’re not dead, so I’d suggest not making such presumptuous statements. Your cousin’s request sounds more like a desire to keep personal matters private, rather than sharing it with SELFISH people. I highly doubt it came from any “petty stubbornness” on her part. 

  28. My friend died of cancer in April. The symptoms you mentioned, I remember. When he died, it wasn’t as expected as it would have been if it’d been any other day. He was doing the best he’d ever done. And then his blood pressure started dropping and he was gone. His father was in the room.To die alone, though. It just makes me wonder. Why would someone want that? No funeral or memorial service, I can understand. But to actually be alone..hmm.

  29. I don’t think wishing to die alone is bitterness and stubbornness, but rather… an attempt at saving the ones you care about from pain. And, to be quite frank, look at it from her perspective. She’s dying. Dying is a very personal thing. I know from experience that watching someone you care about immensely die of cancer is a heartbreaking thing. You said, that in the week before her death, she consistently recognized her mother. Her mother was there for her, and gave her the strength she needed. She gave her mother a chance to say goodbye while she was still alive. To watch your child die over the course of time due to something like cancer is a terrible thing, but even more terrible, I think, is your child dying in your arms, or while holding your hand. A mother is present at birth, and usually it’s the mother holding the child that calms the newborn down. Giving birth to a child is arguably the happiest time in a mother’s life; It’s my opinion that to be present at your child’s death is the most heartbreaking. So, I stand by what a few people have said. I think she was only trying to save her mother from the heartbreak she knew would happen. I would also prefer to die alone, to save the people I care about from that pain.

  30. maybe she doesn’t want to make her friends and family suffer more than they already have. i’m sorry for what youre going through right now, though. i can’t imagine what it would be like if i lost someone close to me.

  31. We all journey that lonesome valley by ourselves. ALL of us go before God alone. That is why we must reach up and take His hand. But it does help having family and loved ones around.

  32. sorry to hear this is happening….I am wondering this battle with cancer maybe has taken a toll on her, and she just want to die in peace.  If she dies with all you guys around her, she would be the only one going, alone, while all the living are watching. I understand that her actions can be selfish, the reason I am attempting to write from her POV is because I have considered dying alone too.

  33. your mind can do weird things. When I was tripping on shrooms, I didn’t want to be around any of my friends, I wanted to be left in the woods.Later on in the trip, I started freaking out some and felt like i was dying. I had no desire to be with anybody. The brain releases all the DMT it has when you die, so death is supposedly a pretty intense trip, that might have something to do with it.

  34. being with them while they pass out away isn’t even easier or  make things better. i watched as my grandpa took his last breathes and passed away, i dreamt about it for the longest time and couldn’t sleep right for a few years. but, i would still want someone with me.i’m sorry to hear about your cousin. xo

  35. Dying alone doesn’t mean you’re bitter. I remember hearing a saying that goes, “In the end, we all die alone”. You walk towards the light by yourself, so you technically die alone. Your aunt made a fine choice in respecting her final wishes. I would prefer to die alone as well, without a memorial service. (I often make jokes that because my family is considered “lower class”, that I tell them to burn me in a garbage can since we can’t afford anything. HA!)I recall when my grandma died, we always had people around her, but instead of being sad, I was happy. Her illness caused her so much pain. All we said was, “She isn’t suffering anymore.”-Kunoichi

  36. I highly doubt that she wanted to die alone because of the reasons you mentioned. Someone I knew just died a couple days ago after losing his battle with cancer. Imagine how hard it is for him and his mother. Together, they had to make peace with the reality of the end being near. What do you say in that kind of situation? Your cousin was probably thinking that she wants what’s left of her dignity and doesn’t want her loved ones to see her in such a horrible state but rather to remember her as the lively woman she used to be before the cancer beat her.

  37. i can understand wanting to die alone. – i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  maybe she’ll be self conscious having a bunch of people looking at her, crying and sobbing, as she dies.  maybe she just wants the peace and quiet.

  38. I can’t bear the thought of not having my mother at my deathbed. When I was a little girl, the thought of my family dying before me always terrified me. Of course, as I am the youngest, I have the best chance of outliving them all. This is really is sad. But then, isn’t death always that?

  39. I think I can understand your cousin’s wishes for I probably would have asked the same thing as well. I cannot really explain my mindset and reasoning, yet I know that inside, I would much rather be alone when I pass than surrounded by my loved ones. At the most, maybe my friend, but not my mother and father.Then again, you never really know what you want until you’re about to go. Who knows.

  40. Watching my stepfather die last year was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I didn’t even last long enough to see him go.  My friend had to take me away before he died.

  41. Maybe she didn’t want anyone to see her like that. It maybe wasn’t stubborness, but to spare others from seeing her go and being sad. I’m sorry for your loss, but maybe she really did what she thought would be best.

  42. after just witnessing my mother die of lung cancer just 3 months ago. I can see why she might want to spare that pain for others. She may feel guilty about how she lived and doesnt want to see people weeping over her as her last memory of them.I for one would want my family holding my hand and singing to me for comfort. That’s what we did for my mother and she looked at peace. Good luck to you and your family and try not to question her reasoning. She just might need people to understand…

  43. That doesn’t sound sad at all, to me. It sounds petty and stubborn that anyone would be upset by it. “You don’t want the same things that I would want when I die – there’s something wrong!” How selfish of the rest of you to want to be with her, when she doesn’t want it, and to be upset by the things she does want.

  44. i don’t think i would ever understand why someone would want to die alone, but maybe she doesn’t want to see the pain her family is going thru when she knows she’s dying.  some people are just different that way.  people have different ways of coping with pain.  i’m sorry to hear that you and your family are going through a tough time.

  45. Honestly, I think that you’re looking at the situation in sort of an egocentric way. What you would want and what you feel isn’t necessarily what your cousin wants and feels. “It’s a sad thing to die alone.” Well, maybe for you; however, not everyone must feel the same way. Obviously I don’t know the situation other than what you describe, but I feel like it’s an injustice to this woman in the way you equate her (again from your perspective) mental health problems with her last wishes. She wants something that you perceive as being strange or wrong, therefore it must be mental defect. Maybe there’s something wrong with me too, but I think I can understand where she’s coming from. She is withering away. I would be self-conscious, depressed, even ashamed. People feel pity, guilt, grief, anger, a myriad of negative emotions, which ooze into me. They have expectations that even in my dying moments I feel required to meet. I feel the life slipping away and I just want to rest and let the peace of death wash over me without everyone else’s emotions screaming at me. I think that viewing her as selfish more “wrong” than any of her last wishes. It is completely selfish to become indignant because she isn’t planning her dying moment around what would be best for everyone else. Because other people want to be there gawking at her as she dies, because it would feel better for them if they could hold her hand, that’s why she should do something she doesn’t want? It is hardly “petty” if having those peaceful last moments alone was that important to her. Just because it’s not what you would have wanted for her, or would want for yourself, absolutely should not degrade the validity of her wishes or her worth as a person. You should not look down upon her for what she wants. There’s a degree of scorn in your words that I understand, but nevertheless, I believe that you are yourself being unintentionally selfish.

  46. Cancer is so hard. My mom went through stage four lung cancer and only months after it was diagnosed, she passed away. 😦 She had family and friends around her though. She never said specifically who should be there.

  47. Perhaps your cousin wanted to leave her mother with the memory of a living daughter, not a lifeless one. Seeing someone just before they die is emotional enough, but when it’s over, you never quite lose the image of your loved one lying so very, very still. Either way, I’m sorry for your family’s loss and wish your cousin peace and serenity.  

  48. I can understand why she chose that and I respect her bravery. I have seen what it does to people to watch someone die, it’s the hardest thing. My mother died two months ago and seeing her in pain and the way she was in the casket haunts me after this time, and it will haunt me for the rest of my life. I think it was easier for your cousin to help everyone remember her how she was when she was alive. With time the image of her being sick will fade and you will remember her the way she really was. I’m sorry for your loss. And I somehow feel the pain of your aunt. I don’t have a child, but loosing the closest person to you is one of the hardest thing anyone can ever go through. 

  49. A girl I was in love with was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer called Andocarcinoma (not Endo) Even though she never smoked cigarettes and lived healthily. She died 9 weeks after being diagnosed. She refused to try chemo or any “traditional” medicine and after she died an oncologist told her family chemo would have only made the last weeks of her life worse, it would not have helped. She spent only the last few days of her life in a hospital. She had to because she needed assistance breathing and something for the pain she was in. I lived in NYC and she was in North Shore Community Hospital on Long Island. I rode my motorcycle to the hospital each day and came home at night. As I was about to leave one night a nurse asked if I wanted to spend the night in her room. I couldn’t however because the next morning I had to take care of something in NYC. I planned to do that and come back later in the day. I rode the approximately 25 miles back to NYC and when I got home there was a message for me. She had died. I called the hospital. The nurse said something interesting. She said that a lot of people seem to wait until friends and family members are gone so that they can die alone. She told me it happens all the time. Does that mean she would not have died had I stayed there? I kind of doubt it. Could it possibly mean that the nurse was only saying that to make me feel ok? Maybe but I managed to remain calm on the phone with her. Could it be that somehow when one is about to die that person doesn’t want to be surrounded by people who might well become hysterical the moment he or she passes? That might make sense. We often hear that death is tragic only for the people left behind. Just some thoughts. I don’t know what my girlfriend was thinking. I do know what the nurse told me and that my girlfriend died only after her parents and brothers left for the night and shortly after I finally left. 

  50. I don’t know how to even begin to have an opinion about this. Nor do I know what to say.I hope you and your family are holding up okay, especially your aunt.

  51. The hardest and most unselfish thing a person does is respect one another. I understand the desire to want to say I am staying no matter what you say or want but honoring a person’s wishes is the right thing to do and is so very unselfish. I feel for your family. Dieing is never easy. Watching a person die is very hard. Letting a person die is very hard. Letting them die alone is easier on the person dieing and torture for the family.My prayers go out for your family. Know that what your Aunt is doing is very much a Mother’s Love.

  52. I do not think you should judge your cousin at all! Her life was her own and maybe she DIDNT feel all that closeness that you “thought” she felt. It is such a personal choice when faced with such a daunting task as dying… to judge anyone for how they want to die… seems petty within itself.I’ve volunteered for Hospice and I learned a lot about the wishes of those on their death bed. Or the amazing stories of how the dying person didnt pass on until some family member finally arrived. Or how the dying person (sometimes in a coma) passed on when everyone briefly left the room. Dying is such a personal thing… Funerals really are for the living… not the dead. Its where people can gather to grieve and make closure on their behalf. It’s not closure for the person who has passed on.In conclusion, not all people want someone with them when they die. It’s more common than you think. In Hospice they say, people die the way they lived. Those who were private individuals tend to go privately. Those who always surrounded themselves with those they loved, often waited to slip away…as if by some miracle, until they were surrounded by those they loved.Some of us dont get a choice in who surrounds us when we die. It happens so quickly… but for those who have a choice… I’d like to think we could respect their wishes no matter if we understand or not. Death and Life is so much bigger than the perspective we manage to conjure for it.I hope you can open your heart, as complicated, scarey, or confusing as this may be… and not judge her while she faced the most intimidating part of life, that we all will have to do some day.

  53. she may have wanted to be alone to lift the burden from anyone who would watch her pass. to let them just live on as if nothing happened. it may not be as petty or stubborn as it seems to you. i’m sorry for your loss.

  54. Maybe she wanted to go in peace, unattached (from reading her last wish). Maybe she just wants people to remember how she was before this onset.

  55.  There is no fear in dying alone peacefully, it is the pain that hurts and kills the agony beloved survivors that count!   For I must pray God to hold my tragedy death, not let anybody sad!

  56. =[ I think that was the most emotionally provoking thing I ever read. I’m sorry, and your aunt really is a super strong woman. For being able to do something like that, she is really strong. Maybe your cousin thought it would pain everyone even more to be around when she passed on, to actually witness the moment,

  57. Gotta side with the dead on this one. How do you know she was merely being stubborn or bitter?? Maybe, she just wanted to be alone- simple as that. People don’t get a choice  to come into the world, they’re just born, and most of people don’t get a choice as to when &/or how they leave. Your cousin was in the final stages of cancer -not a choice there. She deserves/ed to choose how she goes. 

  58. I watch a lot of sylvia browne and she says that when people are going to go, they dont want others to be around. I know when my grandma passed, my dad had told her a few hours before that he felt something wasnt right, she told him that she was fine. I think people want to pass alone so that their family and friends remember them alive and living, not completely gone. I guess it just makes it easier for them to let go before they go, kind of a no guilt of leaving love ones behind.

  59. Tears are in my eyes as I read this. My Nana passed away 6 months ago from cancer. And I don’t know what I would have done if she wanted to die alone. I can’t imagine how HARD it is to respect those kind of wishes. Man, I miss my grandma….Hang in there. I am so sorry….so, so sorry…

  60. You said she has mental health issues, so I’m pretty sure what you’re viewing as “petty stubborness” is really a manifestation of her mental health combined with her grief. I feel for both your aunt and your cousin, but I hope your last memories of her aren’t of her being petty, because I’m betting it goes way deeper than that. You all are in my thoughts. 

  61. Watching loved ones die IS hard.I didn’t see my father as he died but seeing him in hiscasket….man..that was so hard and not to mention i was only 5 years old.Witnessing a dead person, my father, for the first time.I can only imagine what it’s like to watch a loved one die. Helpless, without being able to help in anyway.I would probably ask for the same thing as i die. If i’m around people as i’m close to death.

  62. Hey, at least now you know she’s an angel. Watching over you. I remember reading a story you wrote a longish time ago, about angels. Now you know she’s going to be watching over you and your family. She’s not suffering anymore. Your family as well as you, will be in my prayers.

  63. She must have her reasons for wanting to die alone.  I think it’s not neccessarily well thought out for you to call her reasons petty.  Youn don’t know what’s going through her head, or what she’s been through.Did it occur to you, that maybe she wished to be alone for her own beliefs and not to get back at anyone?Just because someone is family, doesn’t mean we have autonomous ownership over them.  If to die alone is her wish than peace to her and so be it.

  64. Dying alone sometimes is wanted because of the peace people are known to keep when facing death.  Having sadness around them makes it harder for them to pass.  I am sure your cousin has done her fair research on this subject.  It’s not easy for those near death to pass on knowing people they love/who love them are in pain.  People in that stage need peace, and having anxious and worried or hurt people around may not always be of assistance.  We come into this life alone and we leave alone.  It seems from the limited amount of information you’ve shared that she possibly just wants to be prepared; not that it’s necessarily stubborn.  It’s a fear she must overcome, and having others afraid doesn’t necessarily help.I wish your family the best, be strong and send her love constantly through heart, because that’s exactly what she needs.

  65. oh my god.. i am deeply sorry. this is so sad! i’m sorry for your aunt and her daughter and your family.  Is it really bitterness that has her making these last decisions?

  66. This is terribly sad, maybe I’m just selfish, but I would want anyone and everyone who could handle watching me die to be by my side….I would hate to be by myself in my final moments…

  67. I guess you could see it that way, but I feel like if I was going to decide all of a sudden that I didn’t want anywhere there when I die it would be more for them then for me. I wouldn’t want to make anyone suffer with me or watch me suffer. I’m dying anyway, so having companions there to then morn after is a little bit selfish. Of course, you knew her better then me.

  68. It’s so sad and I’m so sorry to read this.This must be hurting.Know a little bit what you and your family going through.How difficult it is,I would respect her wishes.Hopefully she,your aunt and the rest of the family will find peace soon.Best of luck for all of you!                                                                           Autisable

  69. @SimplyNita – Agreed. None of us were meant to be alone. People need people. That’s the way God designed it. I’m sorry about the young woman’s fatal condition and sorry for the family’s loss. God bless you all.

  70. wow.I know if i were to go before my mother id want her by my bedside.I couldnt imagine what that has to be like for your Aunt.Thats really tough.I hope she’s dealing well, as well as someone who’s lost their child can, atleast.

  71. Aw, that’s one of the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. 😦 I’m sorry for your loss.But I can kind of “empathize” with your cousin. I would hate it if the last things I see before I die are the tear stained faces of loved ones. But I would never want to die alone.

  72. @raquel_as_in_welch – I thought the same thing. We assume because she wants to be alone that she’s the one who has the problem when in reality, it’s the ones who are left behind that have to deal with things and emotions long after the parting of death.  It also depends upon how a person views death; is it something to be feared because of the unknown, or is it something to look forward to because of new life without pain and suffering?  It all depends upon one’s point of view.  She could have just wanted to spare those who were left behind from the pain and suffering of watching her final moments. Unless someone has actually spoken to her about this, and about her reasons behind it, then who’s to say?  But I agree, I would want my loved ones there too because I think that’s what families are for; to be there for each other.

  73. I think that maybe she was trying to do what she saw as the best thing in her eyes. Maybe she thought that it would hurt her friends and family more if they were there, and had to watch the life fade slowly away. Maybe she didn’t want them to see her in pain, thinking that it would only cause them more pain when she passed.The mind is a funny thing, and I think that you can’t really make assumptions on this one because you weren’t there and you didn’t know what was running through her head. Js.

  74. @NoelleN – That’s kind of what I was thinking.  Not the whole party thing, but the final unselfish act.My father died of cancer, so I have seen what a taxing and horrible disease it is.  My heart goes out to you and your family.

  75. That’s really sad.It makes me think about the Apostle Paul, and how he said that death has lost its sting. He wasn’t afraid of dying, but he saw himself only still on earth for other people’s sake. Anywase, death is surely losing its sting for me.

  76. its weird, but i myself don’t think its so sad that she wanted to die alone.  matter of fact, if i were her i think i may have had the same wishes.  death is such a natural part of life that i dont think a memorial service is really that necessary.  i think someone’s life can be commemorated in so many different ways, that a funeral really isnt so much required.  although she may have physically died alone, i’m sure she didnt feel all that alone when she passed.may she rest in peace. 

  77. I don’t want to die alone, but living alone is worse than dying alone. I feel great sorrow for you loss, as I lost my cousin who was like a brother to me, raising me, and my grandmother, so I know how loss feels, but the pain is worst not for them, the deceased, but us who are left her alone without them.  If you care spend time with your aunt as she probably hurts the most.

  78. I understand why you would want to die alone. Don’t want to be more sad than you have to be. I’ve seen someone die from cancer and its not pretty. He didn’t die alone but at times, I know he was was upset with the way he died but also his look. It’s not a pretty sight and you have to be strong to endure it. My grandmother was strong enough to stay and take care of my grandfather… its a tough thing. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. You guys might not have been close but its still the loss of a family member.

  79. It is sad, but it may not be just bitterness driving this decision.  Yes death is really scary, even from an outsiders point of view. But the state she’s in…the pain, the wasting…maybe she feels there would be more dignity for her if she went this way.  Im only guessing. But then I wonder, how much dignity is there in death to begin with. My heart goes out to you and your family. 

  80. Well your cousin was on a morphine drip therefore she could not be bitter.I’m sure your cousin and her mother had a long talk about when  the time came what she wanted. Most people before they die they will send a loved one out of the room for  something, so that their loved one does not witness the death, less trauma. Your cousin was not alone, Jesus was waiting to escort to Heaven.  Many near death survivors give accounts that dieing is not a scary thing, and no longer fear death. the really sad thing the suffering your cousin experienced before dieing and knowing when enough was enough ! Cancer is a painful journey, sometime all the suffering is worth it because one can beat cancer, others suffer and still die. Of course cancer is not the only terminal disease that is painful & long suffering; there are others. I cannot tell you how to feel, but her suffering is over no matter what her final hours were like, respect her wishes and rejoice  that her pain is over, let go in peace!  And just give yourself  permission to let go of that sadness, its all water under the bridge now, its in the past and things cannot be changed  ; whats done is done !

  81. The thing about having someone there when you get scared, made me really sad. Just sitting therr waiting to die and not knowing what it’s going to be like would be terrifying.<3

  82. I am terribly sorry for your loss, and for your aunts loss. I can’t help but somewhat sympathize with your cousin in that maybe she was ashamed of the fact that she was dying from such a disease, withering into her last few moments of life. But I also can not fathom how your aunt must feel, to have to standby and know that her daughter is not by her side, to know that she is not there to make the pain go away. But I think she may have realized that a long time from her diagnoses and her mental health issues. I’m not sure if what I’m saying is right, but I truly hope your cousin is in a better place, and your aunt can keep living, growing, loving.

  83. I’m sorry for your lost… loosing part of your famil is never been easy. But maybe in a way, you cousin just didn’t want to see people suffer because of her. for so may years i wish that i can just die alone, so i need not to suffer seeing people that i love suffer because of me. a selfish reason, but i think nothing is more unbearable but to realize that you relieve of pain cause another pain for those you love. especially after all these time you had caused them in troubles and pains. i don’t know whether i still want to die alone or not. but either way, i wish i still have time to make a proper goodbye to those that i love.

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