Personal Growth at the End of Life

by Cindy Longanacre, RN, CHPN, Hospice of Chickasha

Dying patients often experience tremendous personal growth at the end of life. This rate of growth is unlike any other period in their lives, except for the beginning of life. As they work to complete their lives, they may have insights and come to a deeper understanding of life’s meaning. These insights would most likely never have occurred if the person had died suddenly and without warning. In other words, we continue to grow, and therefore live, until we die.

These insights and understandings frequently come about as a result of the following:

  • Completing of relationships – saying goodbye or I love you, giving or receiving forgiveness, repairing of damaged relationships
  • Providing for loved ones – knowing that your death will not cause financial hardship to your loved ones can relieve much anxiety.
  • Achieving personal goals – taking a trip postponed for a lifetime or leaving a legacy of memoirs can provide a sense of satisfaction and that life was indeed worth living.