People who are said to be dying often have a lot of living left to do. There is no requirement that someone with a serious illness spend all of his time thinking about how close he may be to death. While some observers may think that this behavior is some kind of "denial," it is actually healthy to continue to focus on living. Feel free to refuse to dwell on the nearness of death. You do not have to talk about dying when you have better things to do. After all, most of us have many roles to fill, dying or not. As husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and colleagues, we work, play, love, and argue. Your interests and concerns do not suddenly disappear because you are ill. In fact, some issues may become much more important to get resolved while you still can. Often you will appreciate ordinary daily life and its stresses and troubles even more.
Patients with fatal illnesses may pursue medical treatments for a variety of conditions. These conditions may or may not be related to their fatal diseases. As one nurse noted, even hospice patients are not particularly interested in dying early from a treatable problem. Prolonging living can go hand-in-hand with accepting the inevitability of dying.
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