Men and Women


Maybe you’ve noticed it. I have many times. In a room where someone is dying, and people are gathered around, notice where the women are and where the men are. There are exceptions, but most of the time women are in the room, tidying up, grooming or stroking the hair of the patient, and talking to him/her. The men are normally in the hallway or waiting room. They go get food, run errands, anything that takes them away from the suffering. Why? Men tend to be fixers, and they cannot fix this, so they nervously pace until the women give them something to do. Women are much more comfortable nurturing and sitting, without the need to fix or solve anything. It’s simply built into us to be that way. We each play our role in this end-of-life ritual. It’s not always smooth, but we muddle through until the job of waiting is done.

attending a dying person

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