This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.
The Bible says in John 11:25-26: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
The featured quote for this episode is from Anaïs Nin. She said, “People living deeply have no fear of death.”
Our topic for today is titled “Gradual Dying and End-of-Life Care (Part 1)” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll. It is available on our website for just $20.
While 20th-century medicine drastically changed how we die, it has also had a more subtle — but no less profound — effect. Because of modern medicine, dying often takes a long time. One study found that most elderly are diagnosed as having a disease three years before it will eventually end their lives. On top of that a Rand study found that “Americans will usually spend two or more of their final years disabled enough to need someone else to help with routine activities of daily living because of chronic illness.” Long before we are visiting loved ones on their deathbed, we may be helping them cook, clean and use the bathroom.
While the period may average three years, many people — particularly women — will spend more than a decade caring for older parents and in-laws. In the coming years, “family care giving —[for so] long the backbone of long-term care — will be heavily burdened,” the Rand study predicted. Today’s family structures— smaller, often spread across the country and more independent— make it even more difficult to care for the elderly and dying. “Longer durations of illness and greater numbers of women working outside the home also place greater burdens on the pool of potential caregivers.”
While the first half of the twentieth century saw the major causes of death change from quick-killing infectious diseases to quick-killing heart diseases or cancer, the end of the century saw those diseases replaced by chronic ones that killed gradually. In 1976 the leading cause of death was heart disease, which typically manifested itself as a heart attack. Strokes were another instant killer. Today, a life-ending heart attack happens at a rate 61 percent below that of thirty years ago. Stephen Kiernan writes that even the death rate from accidents, either on the road or elsewhere, has dropped 36 percent. Rapid response teams are so proficient that they have been able to significantly reduce the number of deaths that occur from such emergencies as car accidents and heart attacks.
Having largely succeeded in treating these, our leading causes of death now advance slowly. Kiernan writes, “In a recent fifteen-year span, deaths from chronic respiratory disease increased 77 percent. Fatalities from Alzheimer’s disease have doubled since 1980… People now succumb to congestive heart failure, lung disease, diabetes that leads to kidney failure, ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, [and] osteoporosis.”
Despite the health care system’s best efforts and unparalleled success, it has only delayed the inevitable.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.