If you have a loved one or friend who has a terminal illness, the family and friend group may hold a vigil around them to make sure they are not alone when they pass. It is important to support the people you love through the hardest time in their life. Passing away doesn’t happen suddenly or easily for everyone. Before you go through the rituals at funeral homes in Richland, PA, you may end up participating in a vigil before your loved one or friend passes on. Here are a few things to know.
First, you want to make sure the person you are sitting with is comfortable beyond anything else. That means physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Let them guide the conversation. There may be certain things they don’t want to talk about and other things they would like to dwell on. There might be some things you want to say, and you should have that chance, but you also need to consider their feelings before anything else.
Second, you need to be aware of signs that your friend or loved one is in pain or is suffering in some way. Some people may not want too much medication because it might make them sleep or feel foggy. But you also don’t want the person to be in too much pain. Watch for a rising temperature, muscle spasms, and just that look in their eyes. If you are participating in a vigil of this nature, you likely know the person well.
Third, it’s tempting to talk to the person as much as you can to get in as many memories and moments with them as possible. But you also need to let them sleep. If they’re sleeping when you arrive, let them rest. If they fall asleep talking to you, let that happen as well. Their bodies need to conserve energy in order to make the most of their waking hours.
Fourth, your friend will likely be dehydrated, and they may not want to eat much or drink as much as they should. Offer them small sips of water or place some Chapstick upon their lips to help them remain comfortable and hydrated in that area. You can do other things like wash their feet, face, hands, and arms and other things. Giving them a sense of touch can be a great comfort.
If you aren’t sure what to do when you are participating in a vigil, contact the professionals at funeral homes in Richland, PA and ask for advice. We are experts in the field, and we do more than just arrange final services. We will help to support and comfort your family before the death occurs as well. The professionals at Simple Alternatives Funeral Home & Crematory are here for you whenever you need us. Stop by and get advice and visit with us about impending services at 717 Main St Windber, PA 15963 r give us a call for options and ideas at (814) 533-5832.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a vigil for death?
A vigil for death is a special time for relatives to gather together to mark the transition of death in the presence of their dead family member.
How long does a vigil last?
Average length of a vigil is about two hours. Some finishes it around an hour.
What happens at vigil?
Vigil is a prayer service held the evening before the funeral. Family and friends gather together to pray and remember the deceased.
What is a bedside vigil?
Bedside vigil is an act of vigiling with the dying at his or bedside, during the final hours of a person’s life. It is providing spiritual presence with the dying so he or she doesn’t feel alone during his or her final minutes.