I donít think it has too much to do with sparing the family member any pain, as usually the loved one has more pain and guilt as a result of leaving the room when they did. I believe based on almost ten years of readings that it is the physical pull of the dying personís loved ones that keep the soul grounded to the body longer than the dying person would wish. We donít want to lose that special someone, we donít want them suffering either, however many times the thought of our loss over shadows the need of the terminally ill loved one. Once the family member has left the room, that person has in a sense freed up the opportunity for the dying person to pass on to an eternal and pain free life.
I had the honour to be with my good friend when he passed from a brain tumor back in 2004. What I noticed that evening was that Ezio held on and his breathing was very erratic. My friend had told his wife weeks earlier which people he wanted with him when he passed over and those people were present. It was not until after 3 in the morning with us all around his bed side, that his mother nodded off. It was within in only a few minutes following his loving mother letting down her guard that my friend took his last breath and went home to God. He did not require privacy, he just needed his mother to let him go, something, I donít believe she could ever have done. So he took his chance as soon as he could.
Thanks for a wonderful question.