Pain that is not relieved in a person’s life continues after they are gone, held as a sordid memory by loved ones. Just as we retain treasured thoughts of joy, wisdom and warmth, we preserve images of pain. Unrequited suffering contaminates memory, preventing healing, healthy grieving and closure. This pain in turn flows across our communities, touching many who may never have met the patient.
A poorly managed end-of-life experience can transform families for generations.