When you visit somebody you care about on their deathbed, don't be fooled by what you see. The person lying there may look totally incoherent, but they can probably hear everything going on in that room.
Photo by Tim Samoff.
Death comes for us all here on Earth at a rate of nearly 7000 people every hour. Yet, despite its inevitability, most of us know very little about the experience. This is what happens to your body and mind as you slip away — and it's not as frightening as you might think.
There's a lot going on when someone's body is in the process of shutting down. They don't want to eat or drink, they're tired, they can't speak, they can't see, and so on. But there's one sense that tends to stick around longer than the others: Hearing. A Lifehacker reader and retired nurse reached out to me after I wrote a piece on what death feels like to remind me why it's important people know that:
When a person is dying the hearing is always there. So, be careful what you say and make your words count when a person is dying. There should be no idle conversations about the person whom is dying in the same room. Take the conversation outside — way outside — so they cannot hear you or anyone else. Always use kind endearing words, and tell the person you love them.
So, as weird as it might seem, try to treat them as if they were awake. Talk to them normally, keep the scary, morbid, depressing talk to a minimum (even if you're talking to someone else), and be mindful of what you put on the TV. The last thing someone wants to hear before they slip into the great beyond is The Big Bang Theory.