Advertisement

Why might a person who is dying reflect on her childhood?

David Kuhl
Hospice & Palliative Medicine
To know who we are as adults we must understand who we were as children in the context of our family of origin. This is strengthened by knowing the context of our family history through past generations. For in understanding the context of our family of origin, we begin to understand and appreciate “who the world wanted us to be.” A feature of knowing one has a terminal illness is visiting or revisiting one’s place in -- one’s relationship to -- the family of origin. Even for someone who has already done this, the need recurs at the end of life. It can happen in the context of an adult relationship with one’s family, whether that’s the family of origin or of choice. It pertains to one’s understanding of self. With the understanding comes a sense of peace and, for some, a sense of meaning. This process seems to mark the experience of living with a terminal illness. One’s experience of childhood is a reality throughout life, whether that person remains in the family community or moves far away. Understanding that context is part of answering the "Who am I?" question.
What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom For The End Of Life

More About this Book

What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom For The End Of Life

Facing death results in more fear and anxiety than any other human experience. Though much has been done to address the physical pain suffered by those with a terminal illness, Western medicine has...

Continue Learning about Healthcare Basics

How to Protect Your Family From Whooping Cough
How to Protect Your Family From Whooping Cough
The Whooping Crane is an endangered species—about 400 of these noisy, five-foot tall birds are left in North America. If only whooping cough—that’s pe...
Read More
What is an internist?
RealAgeRealAge
Internal medicine doctors (or internists) are trained to treat adults of all ages. Their training al...
More Answers
Am I Normal? 6 Body Issues Explained
Am I Normal? 6 Body Issues ExplainedAm I Normal? 6 Body Issues ExplainedAm I Normal? 6 Body Issues ExplainedAm I Normal? 6 Body Issues Explained
If you’ve gained a little weight or your hair is a bit thinner, check out some common problems and what they may mean for your health.
Start Slideshow
How Does mHealth Work with Traditional Healthcare Providers?
How Does mHealth Work with Traditional Healthcare Providers?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.