The dilemma dying people face is not knowing when the dying begins. How would know when it's your time to die in a culture of death denial and more treatment options known as hope?
If you don't know when your dying time is upon you, there is little chance of dying whole. The chances are good that you'll hold on, bargain for more time or engage in the common distractions a consumer culture provides. You will do the opposite of what death asks of you—release.
Companions understand release. They are practiced in the skill of letting go. If you find yourself with someone who might be dying and likely is, you can help a them know where they are in the arc of life.
Ask them three questions that every dying person should be asked.
#1 What is your sense of where you are? Could these be the final weeks or months of your life?
#2 Where do you want to die?
#3 What is your greatest fear?
Listen closely for the answers. They will provide some clues about where the dying person is at and could be the starting point for the process of dying.