In science, one learns about irreversibility, unavailability, and entropy. As students, irreversible processes are difficult to grasp. Young people see everything possible and reversible, it is part of their very “elastic” minds / brains. Once married with children, irreversible processes become easy to understand. Just try to undo marriage and children, good luck! Very little recovery. An irreversible process.
Recovery is the important metric for reversibility/irreversibility concepts.
If you study math, and then decide to change to a biology major, you will have good recovery (credits applied, residual useful knowlege, etc.) There’s short-term and long-term recovery. Some math knowlege may come in handy in your future projects. This is the concept of “hysteresis” – how much recovery (net output) given the history of the input in effect.
Now to terminally ill people. They’re not only ill, they also have a relatively short time to live. Their sickness is irreversible. News of such illness creates a shock wave. This creates instant “disorder” in thinking (turbulence). The shock wave will dissipate after a short while, and acceptance takes place. The patient now understands she moved from the sublime to the ridiculous in no time (discontinuity point).
What to do in the few weeks left on earth?
What legacy (read net recovery) to leave for children and the world?
If the person is an experienced professional, transfer of knowledge and experience (book project) maybe a good rewarding activity, crowning the end of the patient’s life with an immortal gift that will benefit many others in the future.
Other end of life activities should be focused on immortality actions, things that have a purpose and leave net legacy for relatives and the world, things of rememberance (knowledge, wisdom, keepsakes, etc.) Issues of estate transfer and allocation are appropriate activities during the acceptance period.
“هل أدلكم على شجرة الخلد وملك لا يبلى”
This verse in the Quran summarizes life drivers and in the correct order: (1) tree of immortality (your children, your legacy, anything that ensures continuity), and (2) possessions (personal property, wealth, fame).
Death will render these drivers useless.