Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec


Social Work


The research explored a personal account of a man's experience of actively dying. From the findings, five major themes emerged describing the participant’s experience of dying. The first theme, physical states, was sub-categorized by states of being, felt senses, and physical things. The second emerging theme, mental, was sub-categorized by emotions and cognitions. The third emerging theme, beheviors, was sub-categorized by actions and communications. The fourth emerging theme was spirituality and the fifth and final theme was time. The findings provide valuable insight into the process of death and dying, the emotions surrounding the process of dying and various aspects of living while dying (that is, how one person has described using his experience of dying to live more fully). By providing a rich, thick description of participant’s experience, this research will aid helping professionals in the medical and social service field improve the quality of care for those facing the end-stages-of life, thus enhancing the patient’s quality of life during those critical, final stages. Researching and understanding the process of death and dying can assist in reframing negative social constructs of death as a natural part of life. The findings also provide some lessons to live by.

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