BY Reena Lazar firstname.lastname@example.org
You know that you exist, and that some day you will die. This knowledge can either be a terrible burden or a great opportunity. The good news is you get to choose!
by Olga Nikolajev RN, MA, CT
Listening in this way can be used for any communication process, especially when “listening” to someone speaking about dying and death, or any difficult conversation. If we can start listening with presence, empathy, compassion, forgiveness during these discussions, imagine how much better listeners we will be with other conversations, developing true heart to heart communication, speaking from the heart as our ancestors did.
By Susanne Muirhead
The winter snow sparkles, its as if twinkling stars have landed from above and are surrounding me everywhere as I walk along the snow covered path. At this time of year, this time of cocooning, wood fires, early darkness, cold floors in the morning, icicles hanging from the rooftops, ice chunks floating in the river and creek, I am remembering my Mom. The river dippers help me remember to sing – to honor my Mom who has died almost five years ago now. I smile and my heart is warmed thinking about her. She died in February, in the winter of 2012. Today, similar to five years ago, the world here is covered in snow. Back then, our home was just being built on a piece of land that is bordered by river and creek. This is where my Mom chose to come to die. She had helped with the beginnings of building this house and so the land, the air, the water still share the fond memories of our time together here. The wild mountains held a space for her to die – as if they opened the palms of their hands and created a spot just for her. Mom died in a bed that we had built – it was big enough for someone to rest beside her as she travelled. The room where she died has a huge window that looks out onto the welcoming branches of the cedar trees and over large expanses of white snow. This is what her eyes beheld those last days spent in our home where family, candles and flowers surrounded her. We had time to laugh, cry, talk, remember, and prepare together. It was such a fitting end for such a humble, loving, magnificent woman. I miss my Mom – I miss talking with her, I miss her deep caring and loving ways. I miss her and remember her as I walk these snow covered lands – a season for remembering.
By Barb Phillips
I am going to share a story about supporting an individual and their family through after death care, vigil and transportation. I think this remembering may help others to be clear of our roles as deathcare practitioners and being good communicators as to what those roles would be.