To a dying patient, life review can offer validation of the life that has been lived and a way of saying goodbye to family members. Perhaps paradoxically, the review of a life at its end can be a life-affirming experience. Fears about time running out may be reduced and replaced by an acceptance of the past and an appreciation of the here and now.
However, for some individuals, reviewing a life at its end can cause what Eduardo Krapf called "panic at the closing of the gate." In the extreme, life review may involve the excessive preoccupation of the older person with the past. It may proceed to a state approximating terror and result in suicide. The more severe consequences tend to occur when the process proceeds in isolation in those who have been deeply affected by the loss of friends and family, and notable psychosocial discontinuities such as forced retirement and death of a spouse.