3 Questions to Ask Someone Fighting to Live

dead tree, winter, desert, sage brush, hiking trail
Death is part of this world.

It's not a topic I discuss too much on this blog because I'm largely trying to help people learn how to live from the space of freedom before death comes a-knocking. But sometimes, death comes before that. Sometimes, a death of a loved one is a catalyst for someone's spiritual journey. Or a near-death experience for the individual him/herself jolts them into an inquiry into truth and life.

Regardless, death is part of this world, and the longer we are on it, the more often we will have to support someone who is on the doorstep to death.

The following questions can help you to best support someone on that doorstep.


1. Do You Want to Live?

The above question escapes people, but it is crucial. Assuming someone wants to live is presumption, and quite frankly, it is up to every person whether they want to live or not.

I know this can be a hard thing to accept, but sometimes, people lose the will to live. Sometimes, people truly want to embrace the release of death. Those two types of people can be actually different, by the way, and at a certain point in our lives, consciously embracing the release of death is a natural and health way to surrender.

Asking the question if a person wants to live is critical in supporting someone appropriately, and for those who want to live, it may help to cement their conviction, which then leads to two more really important questions.


2. What Does Living Mean to You?

We often assume that people should live for the sake of living. There are lots of people who are just existing. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is important to know what kind of life a person wants to return to if you're going to support them. The answer to this question may also inform you as to why a person answered the way they did to the first question.

For instance, a serviceperson who is going to be a paraplegic after coming back from battle may have to grieve not having the same active lifestyle they once had if they are going to decide that they want to live. Losing the ability to live that former lifestyle means they have to re-evaluate what living means in general. Opening a discussion around what living has meant and what it may mean is critical to help a person in this example.


3. What Are You Willing to Do to Live?

The first two questions establish what a person wants, and with that clear between the person fighting to live and all involved parties, a reasonable discussion about what they'll be willing to do to live can be had. 

Because fighting to live and overcome battle-wounds, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening situations is going to ask a lot. It asks a lot of time, perseverance, and--in the U.S.'s healthcare system--a shit ton of money. It's important to be clear about how far a person is willing to go.


Getting Used to Difficult Conversations

A lot of conversations are difficult because we don't have the language for them, so hopefully, these questions can help you and your loved ones when they are needed. But even then, people have a lot of attachments to other people living. Those attachments don't dissolve without inner work, and thus, you may often be having these conversations while still feeling deeply triggered. It's a challenging thing to ask your mother with stage 4 pancreatic cancer if she wants to live. To truly ask that means that she can say, "No."

For more thoughts on topics related to death, you can check out these blog posts:

Grieving a Lost Loved One

Near Death Experiences and Spiritual Awakening

Awakening After the Death of a Loved One

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