Dignity is when you surround the suffering person with the love and care that reminds them that no matter how badly their body is functioning, they have not lost their value, and they have not lost our attention and they have not lost our love. Nor have they lost their place in society. That’s where dignity is.
I have been at the bedside of loved ones, assisting in their care and holding their hands at the moment of their deaths. I’m not naïve about suffering. But I do know that in suffering, there are moments of grace, even for the person in pain. I have been witness to these moments. They taught me more about life than they did about death. They taught me about courage. They taught me about love and compassion and dignity.