As I face the inevitable of not knowing when my father will pass, I know that because of him, I will be able to get through it. All that I am as a son, brother, father, and person is not something that will end because of his death. More importantly, because I am my father's son and the relationship I have had with him, I will carry it on in who I am.
It's been over a year since my father's death. In that time, I've struggled to remember him as a well person. He was healthy for my first 45 years of life and yet, hard as I try, I cannot reimagine him as whole. So dramatic was the scenery of his decline, it infected the memories that were amassed underneath.
We loved each other once, my soon-to-be-ex and I. We had wonderful times together. We traveled; we laughed; we made a family. It's OK to cry, it's OK to be sad and to talk about it and to ask for a hug. So, when I need to cry, I just let it out.
photo credit: Jarosław Pocztarski Even if you aren't a religious person or adhere to any particular faith, you can't really escape the whole Easter ...
To make room for loss, do what you can to open your heart and breathe the breath of life. The more you fill your heart with love and appreciation, the more space you make for healing and growth. Here are eight ideas:
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.