As radical as this all might seem to you now, just remember, the future is impossible to predict, but utterly inevitable.
Needless to say, we are not taught how to face our own death or that of a loved one, and are likely to panic in death's presence. So start by recognizing this state of affairs, and don't pressure yourself to "do it right."
Bear witness to what is happening inside yourself. Are you shocked? Angry? Unable to listen? In denial? Wanting to believe this is a lab error? These are all perfectly normal responses, but they do not serve as a solid foundation from which to respond to the situation.
After my husband's death, I came home to complete silence. He died in the midst of a Michigan winter. This meant it was dark by 6 p.m. and cold. Curled up with a blanket on the couch, I had the fantasy that I would quit my job, move to Hawaii and walk on the beach.
As a cancer patient, I've become keenly aware of the reality of death. I guess I'd gotten so accustomed to thinking about my own death that I never considered the possibility of the (relatively) healthy people around me dying.
You need to understand this: Everything that you can experience is life. What you call "death" is also life. So, are there choices about death? There are, definitely.
Conflict is reduced by appropriately addressing the grief and loss from the very beginning. Doesn't it therefore make sense that lawyers involved in the field of family law should have a better understanding of grief and loss?
People get sick but resist their own sense of frailty; people witness another's death but deny their own mortality; people age but fight against every visible reminder. As a result, they are compelled to project death and dying onto someone else, and people with HIV become prime targets.
I think we have come a long way from denying death to making a serious effort to think about what our mortality means. As glib as it may sound, what this means is that we recognize that for all of our smarts, there are problems we cannot solve, concerns that do not yield to our inquiries.
Though we suffer too, we're aware that it is only a small fraction of hurt compared with yours. So we hold each of you in our thoughts and in our hearts because that's something we can do.
The paradox, then -- the fact that people want to be actively saved if they are near or at the moment of death, but also want to die peacefully -- seems to be rooted in a pretty profound medical illiteracy.
It feels like we just got done with New Years, so it is unbelievable to me that we are now preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July; the 237th year of our independence as a nation. Along with my family, I will be celebrating at home with hot dogs and homemade coleslaw.
In the pain of these situations, you try to shut off the feelings because the marriage is over, the behaviors were hurtful, you need to move on. And then suddenly with a diagnosis of a life threatening illness you find yourself wondering, "What is my place?"
What do you say to console someone who has seen the ugliest side of humanity? Who has faced their worst nightmare? Who has lost everything? What do you say to comfort yourself? I'm not an expert on grief and loss, but fortunately, I happen to know one.
The relocation of death from home to hospital, nursing home and funeral parlor has made it less familiar and consequently more frightening. Attempts to mask aging, while nothing new, have grown increasingly extreme and speak to a more intense reluctance to acknowledge the inevitable.
The nature of chalk is ephemeral and writings on Candy Chang's wall may be anonymous, but it is also public and witnessed attestations are more powerful motivators. Just ask anyone who has struggled with an addiction.
Contemplating death is a powerful tool to re-appreciate the present and remember what makes your life meaningful to you. We're all trying to make sense of our lives and there's great comfort in knowing you're not alone.
No matter what happens to you, or your current emotions, always look inside -- to the variable nature of your thinking -- to explain your feelings.
Deaths caused by drunk drivers have a long-lasting ripple effect -- it spreads to all family members, friends and even acquaintances.