“The most significant variable of a relatively uncomplicated bereavement period or a prolonged and
tragic mourning depends to a great deal on the relationship the child and the parent had, on the old unresolved conflicts they carried within, and on the level of communication they had. Last but not least is the mourner’s early experiences with death and loss.”
~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, MD
She cried as she held the baby bird. I cried as I held her (my daughter), after all she was my baby
My daughter’s attempt at rescuing and feeding the baby bird who had fallen out of it’s nest had failed. The bird had become weak and then collapsed this morning during feeding. Now it was dying. Continue reading
Buddhist tradition says that when an enlightened one dies there’s an opportunity for enlightenment for all of those present. In my personal opinion, when anyone dies, there’s an opportunity for enlightenment for those remaining.
The Baby Boomers, the largest generation in American history, are now almost all in the last 1/3 of their lives (if average life expectancy is 78). They have spent the previous, early and middle thirds of their lives transforming cultural ideas, expectations and practices (e.g with the Civil Rights movement, Environmental movement and Women’s movement, etc).
The question now is: “Will the Baby Boomers also transform our cultural ideas, expectations, and practices regarding the End-of-Life?”
I, for one, say “YES!” Here are my predictions and recommendations for this generation of “revolutionaries”:
1. Baby Boomers expect to live longer and will seek out technologies to do so.
We continue to see life expectancies extended (although the obesity problem may soon change that) and the Boomers will focus on ways to further extend their years on the planet. I strongly recommend however that they seek technologies that will extend quality life rather than quantity alone. For example: Take supplements designed to keep your cells in tip-top shape for as long as possible so that you can run around, play tennis, chase your grandchildren, and read a good book at sunset, but do not choose medical interventions that will prolong your days if those days are going to consist of lying in a bed, unable to poop or pee without assistance. Choose technology that creates quality alone, quality plus quantity, but never quantity only, at the expense of suffering. Continue reading