As a hospice medical director I've been to a lot of funerals, but only one of them has been labeled "perfect" in my memory. Over the years I have made...
Somewhat recently a cardiac arrest survivor I helped to resuscitate was diagnosed with a terminal disease. This brought about the question, is it better to go quickly, not knowing the end is near, or is it better to have extra time on this earth, but know that you and your family may have to endure an end full of potential suffering?
Today Jack would've turned 16. Had he not been swept up by a flooding creek in a friend's backyard in September of 2011, Jack would be with his mom and dad, sister and cousins and friends tonight, celebrating his sweet 16.
My experience of losing my 5-week-old son to SIDS has taught me a few things about how to help other people who are dealing with loss of any kind. I've come up with a list of the best ways to really help someone in the emotionally taxing situation of losing a loved one, in hopes of helping you navigate those complicated waters.
I am deeply thankful for the time we had together. I am grateful to have had such a mother and I am privileged to have known her.
I have been privy to the wisdom of what death teaches you. As the years and months have passed, these 20 deaths have taught me something very valuable about how to live my life, the importance of love, and how to make each day last a lifetime.
Co-founder, in 1987, of the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in the U.S., Ostaseski currently heads the Metta Institute, created to provide education and training on spirituality in dying.
When you see the dead are not treated with respect, something within you shakes. Not because you have to treat a body with respect, but because he is exiting slowly. It does not matter how that person lived, at least his death must happen well. Every human being must have that much intention to allow others to die gracefully.
Nestled in suburban Kansas City, the Vikings of Shawnee Mission West High School are a tight, supportive community. That strong foundation of community ushered the students through the separate events of four deaths during the school year when I was the principal.
We are so sensitive and avoidant about death in this culture, aren't we? Not only about the death of the body -- our own, and those we cherish. But av...
These next 40 days offers us a time to put on our metaphorical and literal glasses and look in the mirror and examine what we see in the eyes of the one who looks back?
I often wonder about the millions of people who don't have any money -- those who don't have decades of savings to draw on for end-of-life care. What happens to them?
I make a conscious effort to stay current in my relationships and let people know how I feel about them. I don't want to live with "If only I had..." I never want to have regrets about the things I didn't say, and so I say them whenever I can.
What makes the fifties be so damn grievously discombobulating? Here are just a few possible discombobulating factors:
Death-and-dying usually goes with I-don't-want-to-talk about-it. Katy Butler wants us to talk about it. She worries, though, about the culture of death-denial, and about the lack of language when we do try to talk.
This story is included in Tricia McCallum's first book of poetry: Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered .
I was fortunate that nature allowed me the chance to give Phoebe a peaceful death, and that has brought me peace in return. But I wonder about the human deaths that are coming, my own and those of the people I love. Will I have the grace to be there for them at their final breath?
While we may not be able to singlehandedly transform the death industry in our country, each one of us can do something in our lives and our own communities to make a difference. We just have to be creative and strongly motivated to implement change.
Thank you, Yellow Dog, for accompanying Micah on his journey into adulthood, and for being part of Micah and Janelle's first family. Thank you also for reminding us that life is always connected, that the roots of both life and love run deep, and that the connection to either is never broken.
Why do I sit here, watching the curser follow my Times New Roman thoughts-turned-into-words that might only be seen by my dry and extremely nearsighted eyes? Will anyone think highly enough of my tome to throw some shekels my way?