The actual process of dying is unique for all individuals.
Each individual's date and time of death is unpredictable. This is perhaps the single most fearful element about the process for most people.
Not knowing when there time will be up here on earth is an uncertainty that can consume those who worry about such things.
Medical personnel will tell you that the actual process of dying has a "final stage". Even, if death happens quickly, there is still that stage; just a very short one.
When a disease is involved in the dying process and the individual has time to go from learning about the impending death and the actual "final stage" there is time to prepare for the dying process.
There are two interrelated and interdependent dynamics involved in this "final stage" of dying. One dynamic is of a physical nature and the other one is a spiritual/emotional one.
These two dynamics are at work during the dying process and are what both the individual who is dying and those who love the person or are most affected by the death of the person will have to address.
This article addresses the unique physical dynamics of the dying process. It is hoped that understanding the process of dying can bring a measure of comfort to those that are going through the process and also for those who are witnessing the process.
Death is an inevitable part of life and the process can be confusing and frightening. Understanding the process may make it a little bit easier to go through.
Each organ system follows a sequence designed to shut down the physical body as it prepares for death.
Each system will cease to function. The shutting down process is not treated as a medical emergency by hospital staff but instead the individual is made to be as comfortable as possible while undergoing these physical changes.
The shutting down process is a natural bodily process. These physical changes may happen suddenly, quickly or slowly.
The changes may also not happen at all as in the case of someone who dies instantly in a vehicle crash.
There simply is no time for a process of shutting down to occur; the systems just instantly stop.
The physical symptoms concerning sleeping, breathing, appearance of the physical body, vision and hearing and bodily functions may not be the same for each individual going through the dying process.
Some individuals will experience all of the symptoms and some individuals will experience some of the physical symptoms but not all of them.
The physical aspects of the body dying will involve breathing pattern changes that are to be expected and are a normal process of the respiratory system shutting down.
Another physical aspect will happen due to the circulation slowing down and that is that the individual's extremities (hands, arms, legs, and feet) will become cool to the touch, may become dark in color on the underside or turn bluish or splotchy purple.
They may become cold or even feel hot. Blankets will bring comfort but stay away from electric blankets or electrical heating pads.