Hospice is a difficult decision for anyone, but it allowed me to bring my late husband home, somewhere he desperately wanted to be.
When shaping that wild and precious life, it's good to remember that there's so much to see out here in the light -- nature, beauty, the blue sky, the trees, music, art, sex, laughing, good food.
It's impossible to believe, but in less than three weeks, it'll be Halloween again. It's impossible to believe because it's nearly 80 degrees and instead of being blistery cold, it's like another August, but of course it's not.
It would have been easy for me as the officiating rabbi to try hide my emotions. However, when I revealed a layer of my soul I offered comfort and ignited the souls of everyone in the room.
I admit that I would feel much less pain over all this if I didn't care about the bowl in the first place. But I also think that there would be far less beauty in my life if I didn't care about it.
"She's gone, Dani," he said just before bursting into loud sobs. His hand rose to cover his face. We had never shared any kind of physical contact, but I didn't hesitate to reach out and touch his shoulder; it seemed the most humane of all my available options.
I got the call at night. My 86-year-old father Morry, a man so full of energy and life that he worked full-time until he was 76 years old, had overdosed on pain medicine. They pumped his stomach, but they couldn't tell yet whether he would live.
I count it a lucky break to have been born in a day and age when answers to the question "Why do I have to die?" were still looked for in the experimental laboratories of art and literature as well as in the teachings of religion. The problem hadn't yet been referred to the drug and weapons industries, to the cosmetic surgeons and the neuroscientists.
A friend died of cancer a few weeks ago. That, of course, in itself is unsettling, heartbreaking, emotional. But I knew almost immediately that it wa...
I learned compassion. I learned that you cannot do life alone. I learned that pain is part of life and it cracks you open in ways that make you a more compassionate person. I learned that the obstacles on the path ARE the path.
Just because someone is struggling with new and potentially overwhelming challenges doesn't mean the tenor of your relationship with your friend has to change. Allowing her to continue being that friend can be its own form of compassion.
In Simon's case, the grace, respect and love with which he portrayed his mother transcends technology. It is his words, and the sentiments behind them, that resound in our hearts. He is writing a love poem to his mother, and power to any poem that has a readership of 1.2 million.
I'm not much one for crying. But this morning I did, as I watched Irish poet Seamus Heaney's funeral, and heard his last words. Words he sent to his wife minutes before he died. 'Noli timere' -- don't be afraid.
It is the one visitor we are sure will show up one day at our door, yet it is never easy when death finally visits your household. I recently had a death in my family, and what I saw and heard made me wonder about my own funeral one day.
Death is the great universal in all our lives. We are all going to die. How will we do it? A deep search for ultimate meaning will touch a large number.
I held him in my arms on the side of the road, sat with him in the ambulance, and heard those unforgettable words in a small hospital waiting room. "We did everything we could." And just like that he was gone. He was 52 years old.
Welcome to Week Two of Bereavement Boot Camp; your continued "kick start" on your Healing Journey. Don't worry if you missed Week One (or any week hereafter), you can jump in whenever you like. This week's theme is an important reminder and one that every single one of us (myself included) needs to hear periodically.
In 2009 I went through almost the entire list of life's most stressful events. To say I got hit by what felt like a tsunami of loss would not be an exaggeration. I was in so much pain, I could barely take a deep breath.
Working with the dying is like being a midwife for this great rite of passage of death.
It arrives every year, like clockwork. It's the type of day you know all of the people that care about you remember, but you also hope they will forget. There is the idea of going about your business like it's any old day of the year, but that is utterly impossible.