“No man is an island”, John Donne, meditation XVII, English clergyman and poet (1572-1631)
Ultimately, the story of your life is not your own but affects all whom you have ever known. The story of your life carries great power. That’s why we are so moved by the stories of individuals who have overcome unusual odds. Continue reading
“Only with death is the story of our lives complete”
~Monica Williams-Murphy, MD
A Eulogy, the recitation of ones life story, is a powerful tool for transformation and growth among survivors. Perhaps, the writer of the eulogy experiences the greatest growth from penning the words. Below is a freshly-written eulogy by one of our readers. Beautiful, simple, even poetic. Afterwards, a short praise of the eulogy and legacy is discussed. Continue reading
Guest Blogger, Robert Jones, shares a brief, deeply personal story illustrating how death changes the living, how grief may become a vehicle for growth and how a legacy may become reinforced in the lives of survivors.
Dad’s body died on April 12, 2013.
Last week, I wrote about the concept of a “good death” and how it can be created. If there is meaning and utility in comparing and contrasting ideas, then this week I should identify what might constitute a “bad death” and suggest ways to avoid this Please prepare yourself, the “yuck” factor is, at times, fairly high in this discussion.
I will begin by begging you to avoid a bad death at all costs. I have seen too many and can assure you that this is not the path that you should allow yourself, or any one to take. You should plan to avoid a bad death with just as much motivation as you plan to create a good death for yourself and those whom you love and care for. Continue reading
I have decided that if I am going to continually encourage my very elderly and terminally ill patients to decline artificial life support measures at the end of the road, and instead, choose a “good death,” then I need to be able to explain and provide this “better” alternative more effectively.
So, I thought it time to revisit an article published in 2006, analyzing factors that define the concept of a “good death.” The author, Karen Kehl, MS, RN, ACHPN, gathered forty-two articles from diverse sources including medical, nursing, patient perspectives and sociological literature, and extracted concepts most frequently mentioned as contributing to the creation of a good death. Continue reading
Emotional wellness is important to cultivate in all phases of living, but may be most naturally available at the end of life—the very time when the wellness of the body may be waning.
How is this so?
When people have a sure knowledge that they are nearing the end of their lives, a new type of energy is unleashed. Old inhibitions and blockages may be released. An emotional and spiritual window of opportunity opens which allows love to be shared more freely, old grudges to fall away in insignificance, and relationship healing to occur which seemed unobtainable at other times of life. Continue reading