Can I die without dying

Our church

Dying and Death - What Can I Do? - In the face of dying

I've heard that the process of dying is different for everyone. Is that correct?

Yes. Dying is something very special. Everyone dies their own death.

How long does it actually take to die? Isn't it over quickly if the dying person is just ready to die?

Every dying person needs their time to go their own way, even if we sometimes think it would be easier if they just let go. It is his dying and his way is right.

The dying person's breathing sounds like he is suffocating.

This is normal, even if it is unsettling to us. Even the pauses between breaths can be longer.

The dying smells funny. I can hardly stand it.

Try to improve the smell in the room with flowers, scented candles, or incense sticks.

The dying person's mood changes frequently and I don't know how to react.

Let the dying be what they want. He has to go through a lot before he can accept that he will soon die.

I have the feeling that the dying person is in pain. What can I do?

It is not necessary for a dying person to be in pain. There are drugs that take the pain away and still keep you conscious. Ask your family doctor about pain therapy.

What should I do if the dying person refuses all food?

It's hard to take, but it's natural for a dying body to stop wanting food. He doesn't need her anymore either. But watch out for signals as to whether the dying person would like to drink something, perhaps you can also moisten the mouth and lips a little.

The dying man no longer wants to be touched by me. Did I behave wrongly?

It may be that the dying person is ultimately so sensitive to touch that any skin contact causes him great pain.

Many want to visit the dying man, but he is no longer interested in other people. What should I do?

Accept the wish and pass it on. Accepting rejection is not always easy, but hopefully the visitors will understand that the dying person only wants a few and trusted people around him.

The dying person is in a coma. Can he still hear me?

Yes. Talk in the room as if the dying person is conscious. You can also tell him something, give him something to take along or ask his forgiveness. He may also feel your touch.

The dying person says that he can see other deceased !?

Yes, because from a certain point in time your reality and that of the dying person no longer coincide. Do not talk him out of his reality, but take part in it. That can be enriching for you too.

Should I leave the dying man alone if he does not want to speak to me, or should I try to get him to speak??

Words aren't that important anymore. The dismissive attitude of the dying person does not mean that he does not need you now. He is very busy with himself now.

Should I even talk about dying, doesn't that make one discouraged?

Illness and death are part of life. These are experiences that no one is spared. We live this time more consciously when we can talk about it. The dying person can also freely express their fears and share them with you. But don't press him.

Shouldn't I rather hide the actual condition of the dying person?

The dying are often aware of their situation! You don't want to be fooled. It is part of their dignity to be able to experience the truth - carefully.

I don't even dare to leave the room because I'm afraid that death will come exactly when I'm not there.

Do not have any concerns! In fact, it is often the case that the dying person waits to be alone and then dies. Maybe then it will be easier for him to break away from a loved one when he is not in the room.

I care for a dying person at home and I need time to myself once in a while. What can I do?

You can turn on the outpatient hospice service. Here are people who, among other things, take over watch and hold conversations. But friends and neighbors are also often ready if only asked.

I have a guilty conscience because I want to do something else too.

It is good and right that you take care of yourself too. You can only regain strength for the dying person if you can recharge your batteries.

I don't want life-prolonging measures to be taken on the dying person. And now he's getting a nasogastric tube.

Basic care is part of dying with dignity: A person must not starve to death or die of thirst in agony. The decision on this can only be made on the basis of the specific situation with those authorized to do so. Who is authorized can be found in the Living Will Act.

I want to say something to the dying man, but I have no words.

Something doesn't always have to be said. Often it is also good to just be there and be silent. But it can also be appropriate to read familiar texts or say a prayer (e.g. Psalm 23; Take my hands then, Evangelical Hymnal 376).

Can the outpatient hospice service administer pain medication?

No. Talk to your family doctor about this.

Can the outpatient hospice service also provide active euthanasia?

No. The outpatient hospice service only wants to help with dying, not with dying.

Does a written decree on the type of burial make sense?

Yes, so that the relatives know what the will of the person concerned is. However, the decree should not be written in the will, as this is only opened after the funeral.

What happens after death?

Christians believe in the resurrection. Jesus, God's Son died - and then he was raised. And we can also hope in the presence of God and his company through death. Dying is like being born again.

How do I know that death has occurred?

The deceased is no longer breathing and his heart has stopped beating.

Death has now occurred. What do I have to do first now?

Take your time. Why don't you light a candle. Allow your feelings. You may want to say a prayer or say the Our Father.

I don't want to be alone with the dead. What can I do?

You are sure to think of your loved ones first. Don't be afraid to ask someone else for help, too. Perhaps one of your friends or acquaintances already has experience of dying and death. You may also want your pastor to come to rest with you at the bedside of the deceased. Or call the emergency counseling service via the fire brigade (phone 112), who will be at your side in these moments.

Do I have to call the doctor?

Yes. The family doctor issues the death certificate. But you don't have to call him in the middle of the night, that has until morning.

Can I touch the deceased?

Yes. There are no hygienic reasons that speak against it. Touch the deceased as you need to.

What else can I do?

Swipe the deceased's eyes to close them. If you want, wash and dress the dead man. You can also put your hands on top of each other and use a pillow or rolled towel to place under your chin to keep your mouth closed.
You can also prepare the room: remove the medication and other maintenance products, decorate it with flowers and candles instead.

Isn't it difficult to look at someone who has passed away?

The sight of a deceased person who was close to you is usually not terrifying. Most relatives find this farewell time to be beneficial.

When do I have to call an undertaker?

There is no need to rush. Take your time. You should do this when you feel like it, because you can keep the deceased at home for up to 36 hours (in Lower Saxony). Make an appointment with the funeral home within this time.

Why should a deceased still stay at home?

It is appropriate and good to say goodbye to a deceased in their familiar surroundings. You also give relatives who live far away the chance to say goodbye. You can also contact your pastor - even before the deceased is transferred to the funeral home. You may find peace and quiet and a blessing of the deceased may take place.

What is a blessing and what is it good for?

The blessing of the deceased is the clearly visible promise of God that the deceased does not have to go his own way. Care for the deceased is placed in God's hands and is a helpful ritual.
You or another family member can perform the blessing of the deceased (see Evangelical Hymns No. 949 and No. 950), but usually a pastor will do this. If you cannot reach a parish priest, speak to the emergency pastoral care for the service of the blessing (reachable via the fire brigade, phone 112).

How should the deceased be dressed?

You can have the deceased put on the clothes that they liked to wear during their lifetime.

How long can a dead person stay at home?

The deceased may stay at home in Lower Saxony for 36 hours without further authorization. You must also contact the health department. You can get help from the undertaker.

I want to keep the deceased at home, but I can't fix it myself. Is that still possible?

Yes. Talk to your funeral home, who can also arrange for a home laying out.

Can I also say goodbye in the hospital or home if I die there?

Yes, possibly in a special room, but sometimes it is also possible to lay out in the room.

Can I also bring a deceased home from the hospital?

Yes. You can have the deceased brought into familiar surroundings with the help of the undertaker.

Can I see the deceased again after they have been picked up by the undertaker?

Yes, you can take another farewell to the deceased at the undertaker. You can do that more often, too, if you want.

Who can decide whether the deceased will be buried in the earth or in fire?

Spouses or children can arrange the type of burial. Otherwise a cremation is only possible if the deceased ordered this in writing during his lifetime. If the deceased is to be cremated, very specific dress codes apply, which you should discuss with the undertaker.

I've heard that pastors sometimes refuse a funeral. Is that correct?

No. If the deceased was a member of a Christian church, no pastor will refuse the funeral! If necessary, ask the pastor yourself.
If the deceased has left the church, a church memorial service can take place for those who remain in mourning.

Who should be present at the funeral talk with the pastor?

The funeral talk with the pastor can offer the next of kin the opportunity to calm down. To visualize the life of the deceased is important for all the bereaved and also for the pastor.

Do I have to pay a fee for the pastor and the use of the chapel (church)?


Can I set the funeral date myself?

The undertaker will arrange the date for the funeral with you, the pastor and the cemetery administration. In Oldenburg, funerals usually take place in the morning.

Is an anonymous burial the only way not to burden someone with tending the grave?

No. For a grave site to be maintenance-free, it does not have to be an anonymous burial. There are, for example, maintenance-free burial facilities at the New Cemetery.

What else do I have to think about?

If you have any further questions that still need to be clarified, the funeral home will help you (funeral cards, notification, but also: notarization at the registry office, notifications, inheritance, death grants, pension matters, taxes and other things).

Blessings after death / our father

Eternal God and Father, you alone are mighty and gracious: give our / our fallen asleep eternal rest. Let him / her shine your light and unite him / her with those you have accomplished. Let us all see your face one day and attain your heavenly glory. (Evangelical hymn book No. 950)

Our father in Heaven.
Blessed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Our daily bread Give us today.
And forgive us our debts
as we also forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Because yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
(Text: Pastor Thomas Adomeit)