Pay Attention!

April has been designated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “Distracted Driving Month.” It seems to me that it should have been named “Non-distracted Driving Month” but be that as it may, we need to be reminded to pay undivided attention to our driving.

The NHTSA states that at least eight people die each day from distracted driving. That is in addition to the 1,000 who are injured daily. Cell phones are the first culprit that comes to mind. We love our phones and it is hard to not use them when driving, but whether hands-free or not, using them is dangerous. Auto manufacturers have not helped because they keep coming up with more technology to use while in the car.

Technology is not the only danger. Other areas named by the American Auto Association (AAA) as distractions from driving, include loose gear, GPS, eating, children and pets.

Stay alert! Stay alive!

Photos and Graphics by Pixabay

Land of the Lost Souls

“Land of the Lost Souls, My Life on the Streets” by Cadillac Man

This book was originally written by Cadillac Man in spiral notebooks over a period of sixteen years. He covers the perils, freedoms and uncertainties of a man living on the streets of New York City. No matter how many homeless people you’ve seen, perhaps even known, I am sure that you know little about what their day-to-day life is like. I know that I did not. This book gives an intimate and frightening view of what that existence is like.

Cadillac Man got his street name from being hit by a Cadillac and afterwards bearing the imprint of the car’s logo. He has a way of telling much of his story humorously, but there is also fear, fighting, death and even romance in his life. If you are offended by foul language then perhaps this isn’t a book for you. I found the gritty verbiage more believable than if it had been sanitized.

This book is illuminating and probably should be read by most of us who have a safe environment and place to call home. There are many reasons why there are folks living on the streets and we should be more aware of them.

The Loss of a Dog

Why is it so hard to lose a dog? Having a dog die is heartbreaking. Having to euthanize one is worse. I had that experience many years ago and years after that with a cat. As much as I love my cats, I believe that the bond one has with their dog is stronger. It is hard to explain why but it must have something to do with dogs having spent the last several centuries adapting to the lives of humans. While some dogs have been bred to have dual roles as hunters or shepherds most have evolved only to be our companions. 

Dogs are like a friend who never brings up our weak or negative points. Dogs accept us unconditionally. Our dogs are always glad to see us and with their eyes they thank us for every morsel or treat that we provide to them. 

If you’ve never owned and loved a dog, don’t be surprised when someone who does have a dog becomes grieved at its loss. There is no service, no newspaper write up, no visitation to comfort the owner but don’t miss the fact that the owner does need for you to care. They may be hesitant to show their grief, but it is there just as it is with the loss of a friend for a dog is a faithful friend. 

As we established before https://crookedcreek.live/2019/12/05/benefits-of-owning-a-dog/ dog owners live longer and research shows they live happier. Dogs give back so much love and devotion for what they receive from us. 

“May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am,” someone has said. 

“When the dog looks at you, the dog is not thinking what kind of a person you are. The dog is not judging you.” Eckhart Tolle

Title portrait of Luke by Artist Pat Brooks

When Breath Becomes Air

“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

If you have questions about life and/or death this book is a must-read. Paul Kalanithi, MD was a brilliant neurosurgeon and scientist who strove to meet his patients’ needs emotionally as well as physically. He had many questions about death while he held the life of his patients in his skilled hands.

At the zenith of Paul’s career while in his fourth decade of life, he learned that he had terminal cancer. During his final months, he wrote this book about facing and accepting that reality. He honestly tells us his fears, doubts, and hopes in the most sensitive way. It is a beautiful story about an extraordinary yet humble life.

His wife, Lucy, completes the book via an epilogue about his final days.

64229920-7C51-4CC7-B404-4EA9AD3031F6_4_5005_c

This book is a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

 

 

 

The Body

“THE BODY – A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson

The size of this big book might be off-putting but if you are interested in how your body works I suggest you read it. Being a Registered Nurse I wondered if this would be of interest to me since I expected it to be just anatomy and physiology with which I’m familiar. But, when I realized that the author was the same witty Bill Bryson who I had read before, I wanted to give it a try.  Read more about this prolific author here:      https://crookedcreek.live/2019/07/04/bill-bryson-book-review/

This fascinating book is twenty-three chapters long, beginning with the skin and hair and ending with the end, i.e., death. Each system of the body is described along with its functions. There is much history included regarding discoveries and photos of those who made them. Anecdotes included are purely Bill Bryson showing off his dry humor from time to time. Borrow or invest in this operator’s manual for your body!

This book has won much acclaim including The New York Times bestseller and The Washington Post book of the year.

E91A63E7-38C8-41F6-8C5C-EC00AB265DDC

The End

If the world was to end tomorrow, what would you do and how would you spend your last twenty-four hours?

Hopefully, I would spend it with my wonderful family members  . . . all of them together.

During the last half-hour of those twenty-four I would eat fried shrimp!

Other things I’d enjoy doing, given the opportunity, would be to hold a baby, pet a kitten, pick a flower, watch a bird, see a summer sky and feel the sun on my face.

What would you like to do in your last twenty-four hours on this earth?

17EF5F3C-BABD-4B7B-88EE-6A662424D865

“If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.” Sam Levenson

 

Photos by Pixabay

The Bright Hour

A Book Review: “The Bright Hour” by Nina Riggs

233759DD-FFA1-42EE-86E0-E24FCD2653C7_4_5005_c

People tease me about being too interested in death and I do see the subject as something to be explored. After all, it is the last and greatest mystery of all time. We won’t know what it’s like until it’s our death and then we won’t be able to share details. Therefore, I wonder about the subject.

While “The Bright Hour” subtitle is “A Memoir of Living and Dying” I saw it as much more about living. Nina Riggs faces death from terminal breast cancer while she is witnessing the death of her Mother from a blood cancer. Riggs is in her late thirties with two children. She and her husband face cancer with strength and even humor.

The author manages to find beauty and truth because she looks for it. She is brave and she shares her most personal hopes, fear, and treatments. I recommend this book. It will make you smile and maybe shed a tear.

“It’s mostly just normal human drama, negotiating life with your kids, your parents, your partner, your friends, you job, your home, your pets, etc. It’s life.” Nina Riggs

 

Bucket Lists

Do you have a bucket list?

According to Webster a bucket list is “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.” That’s a more positive way of saying things I want to do before I kick the bucket.

When I think of this I see an actual written list to be achieved. The experience may be to own a particular item like a diamond or a special home. Achievements might be to complete a certain educational degree or to open a non-profit organization to help others. Regardless, I see a bucket list as being a tangible record of things to be marked off when attained rather than just ideas that come and go in one’s mind.

The truth is that I resist writing such a list for fear of not accomplishing it and feeling like a failure. Also, I can think of nothing worth striving toward more important that what I already have in terms of family and friends and the joy they bring to me.

I admit that I may be all wrong when it comes to bucket lists, so please tell me what you think and share your own bucket list if you have one.

Thank you.

091CA8E9-8382-47B0-9912-5A8ED4B72136_1_201_a

“I don’t keep a Bucket List. I’m open to anything.” John Scalzi

Photo by Pixaby (altered)

Born Terminal

Recently I attended three funerals in one week. Each deceased person was different in so many ways, e.g., age, interests and family unit left behind. But one thing was consistent, each left a hole in the hearts of those surviving. When someone we know dies we are usually shocked. We use words that mask the reality of death. He or she has “passed, gone on or left us” when in fact the person is dead. How we fear that word and that reality. Why is it so hard to accept that we are all born terminal. We will all die. This is no way negates the loss and pain of losing a person we care about but if we could at least acknowledge that life ends for each person surely we would be better prepared for our own death as well as that of others.

We need to move beyond “if something happens to me” to “when I die.” It is inevitable.

B0B52658-14A4-44F5-B288-D1160CF88DAC

Photo by Pixabay

Viruses

The coronavirus is all over the news today. It is important and it is wreaking havoc in China, but I wonder why it is of more interest in this country than plain old flu. Many people refuse to be vaccinated against the flu for various personal reasons. I think seasonal flu needs more respect in view of these statistics:

Roughly 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year in the United States, and about 35,000 people die.

8F191480-33BC-4B40-92C5-D1FF455BB10C

 

“Mobituaries”

Book Review

My close friends, family and regular readers know I have a fascination with death which includes careful reading of obituaries. I don’t see it as morbid. I see it as a window into life, but be that as it may, it is no surprise that I received the book “Mobituaries” for Christmas this year. The book by Mo Rocca was just published and it is a delight to read. It really is not about obituaries, but about people and things that Rocca believes did not receive the sendoff they had coming. Some examples are dragons, Medieval science, Lawrence Welk and the station wagon.

I recommend this book for easy, fun reading. It is over three hundred pages of humor and history. I learned new information and was guided to look at old information in a different light. The book is well researched with all consulted works documented.

Mo Rocca is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and host of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation. He is a frequent panelist on NPR and has done acting on Broadway and writing for TV including The Daily Show.

B6FFB65F-D1F3-41AB-BC68-7028AA0C3345

Peace

A while back I read a blog post by Brandon Knoll which resonated with me. Knoll questioned why we talk about people being at peace after death rather than during life. The question was raised by this sign (taken from his blog post):

123

Life can be so challenging we forget to live in peace or feel it is impossible. I think it is only possible if we are mindful each day, each hour life should be at peace. Imagine a world where every person had that same goal. Alas, we are only responsible for our own actions.

We are therefore responsible for our own peace.

+oLIm1w0T4C88Q5J3TWvdg

Check out the post referenced above in Brandon Knoll’s “Chaotic Shapes” blog: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/123568371/posts/4814

Earth Day

earth

with bare hands 
i sink my fingers into the earth
and lift it from the ground

i need to feel it…

damp and crumbly
as it sucks the moisture
from my skin

i want to smell it…

thick and organic
as its rich aroma
streams into my nostrils 

i touch it to my tongue…

coarse and gritty
as the taste of minerals
washes over my taste buds

i need to see the earth
with my eyes closed 
and know through my other senses
that what i am holding in my hands
is something precious

earth
ancient and elemental
the mother of us all
reminds me
of our close kinship

for in essence
I am nothing more 
than a carbon creature

nothing more 
than the ashes and earth
from which we all rose

and in death
will be

nothing less
than the ashes and earth
to which we all return
written by: Sylvia L. Mattingly
April 8, 2019

earth-661447_1280

Book Review – The Book Thief

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

A few years ago someone told me about a movie entitled “The Book Thief” (released 2013). At the time I pictured a professional thief stealing valuable books from museums and universities. This Christmas I was given the book by the same name (published 2005). 

I was so surprised to learn that the thief is a nine-year-old girl in Nazi Germany. Having books unapproved by the party was a crime and put the girl and her foster family in danger. 

At first, I found the writing style a little disconcerting, but I quickly fell into the rhythm of this prolific award-winning  Australian author. Interestingly, the book’s narrator is death. Death is very busy during WWII as he comes for people of all ages. 

This fiction novel is listed as “Young adult literature” but I am glad I did know that or I may have missed a very good read. I loved the book and look forward to seeing the movie. 

fullsizeoutput_2141

Depression II

Phillip

When I was in the first grade my little brother, a toddler, died on the way to the hospital. He had been ill his entire little life.    https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/27/little-blue-bird/

Daddy

That loss brought about many changes in our family. The most profound change was in my father. Fortunately, perhaps, I do not remember details about the absences, but my father was often missing from our family after Phillip died. I learned many years later that he was hospitalized for a mental illness. In those days depression was called “involutional melancholia” and if the condition was severe the patient spent time in a mental hospital. 

In researching my father’s condition and medical records (this was before HIPAA) and eventually meeting with his psychiatrist many years later I learned that he underwent two types of shock treatments. In the late forties and early fifties, he was repeatedly given massive doses of insulin which caused a coma. The coma was then treated with glucose to save the patient from death. When insulin coma/shock therapy fell into disfavor as dangerous electroshock (electroconvulsive) therapy became the treatment of choice for depression and some other mental illnesses. EST (also called ECT) is initiated by applying an electrical current to the anesthetized patient causing a grand mal seizure (convulsion). The intended result of these repeated treatments was the improvement of depression.

Both of these methods of treatment seem cruel and bizarre and although insulin shock was discontinued many decades ago, EST remains an accepted, although infrequent, mode of treatment for depression. The side effects include loss of memory, learning problems, muscle aches, and upset stomach. In my father’s case, I believe a loss of his personality (or at least a significant change) was also an effect of the numerous treatments he underwent. 

He was a good man. He was intelligent and managed to work again, but was never quite the same person. He had to fight hard to participate in life, but he did so for many years. He died of a heart attack at age sixty-nine. 

Today

Major depression, also known as unipolar or major depressive disorder, is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in outside stimuli. It is generally treated today by medications and talk therapy. 

 

Graphic by Pixabay

 

 

 

Victims

In Remembrance

Yesterday these eleven people left their homes to attend a religious ceremony at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA. Today they lie in a Medical Examiner’s office on a slab.  

Joyce Fineberg, 75, of Oakland, City of Pittsburgh

Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township

Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough

Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

David Rosenthal, 54, (brother of Cecil), of Squirrel Hill

Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg

Sylvan Simon, 86, (husband of Bernice), of Wilkinsburg

Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington, City of Pittsburgh 

On Wednesday, four days ago, three miles from my home two African-Americans were shot and killed while grocery shopping. One in the store, the other in the parking lot by a white man who allegedly stated, “Whites don’t kill whites.”

They were:

Vickie Lee Jones, 67, Louisville, KY

Maurice E. Stallard, 69, Louisville, KY

I just came from a vigil in their honor at the sight of their deaths. While it was good to see people of all colors together showing love and respect, I couldn’t help wondering why we don’t act more like this in our daily lives.

Thoughts, prayers, vigils . . . too little, too late. 

Cause of deaths: Hate      

Method: Guns  

6a00d83451ccbc69e201b8d1b7d000970c

“Researchers have proven, scientifically, that humans are all one people. The color of our ancestors’ skin and ultimately my skin and your skin is a consequence of ultraviolet light, of latitude and climate. Despite our recent sad conflicts here in the U.S., there really is no such thing as race. We are one species — each of us much, much more alike than different. We all come from Africa. We all are of the same stardust. We are all going to live and die on the same planet, a Pale Blue Dot in the vastness of space. We have to work together.”  Bill Nye

Smile

I’ve often been accused of thinking and talking too much about death. I do contemplate the subject and read and talk about it quite a bit, but I want to declare that I am not morbid. Death is inevitable for each of us, so why not acknowledge that and get on with laughing, loving and living? That’s my philosophy. 

Can death be funny? If your first instinct is to answer, “No,” think again. If you’ve ever watched the late eighties movie, “Weekend at Bernie’s” you know better!

John Cleese’s Philosophy 

Is death funny? It is. Death is certainly present in my life, and there’s humor to be mined from it. Somebody was saying to me last week that you can’t talk about death these days without people thinking you’ve done something absolutely antisocial. But death is part of the deal. Imagine if, before you came to exist on Earth, God said, “You can choose to stay up here with me, watching reruns and eating ice cream, or you can be born. But if you pick being born, at the end of your life you have to die — that’s nonnegotiable. So which do you pick?” I think most people would say, “I’ll give living a whirl.” It’s sad, but the whirl includes dying. That’s something I accept.  John Cleese

Now everyone loves me

“Die with memories, not dreams.” Word Porn

CPR in the Field

CPR

Everyone knows what CPR means. It means saving a life with certain breathing techniques and chest compressions when one’s heart has stopped beating. Right?

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation literally means heart lung revival. That puts it in a slightly different light but still sounds promising.

We’ve all seen it work over and over again on television, but is that a reflection of real life CPR? I can tell you that it is not whether in the hospital or on the street. Fewer than 20% of in-hospital recipients of CPR live to be discharged. And, this is with a team of highly skilled professionals, IV medications, and defibrillators to shock the heart.

Expectations

Many people today are trained in CPR, and that is a good thing. I’m sure that most take the training with the expectation of being able to save lives. It does happen, but the chances of being unsuccessful are high and this is often an extremely hard outcome to accept. If occurring in the clinical area there are several people involved, but if you are performing CPR as a layperson or even a professional in the field you are often alone and it is a formidable responsibility. It can be extremely difficult to overcome emotionally when one is unsuccessful.

My Experience

Many years ago I was an Emergency Department (ED) Registered Nurse (RN). I was used to “codes” which was the word we used when a patient went into cardiopulmonary arrest. Everyone worked together as a team. We started IVs,  did chest compressions, charged and used a defibrillator and we continued until the patient was either revived or pronounced dead. Needless to say with all the needed supplies and professionals working together we often were able to revive the patient and send them on to the Intensive Care Department. From there we lost track of their progress or lack thereof. We went on to the next emergency. I was used to “saves” in that environment.

When my own sixty-nine year-old father had a cardiac arrest at home it was a totally different world. My Mom wept nearby. A neighbor wrung her hands. There was no one to help as I did CPR alone for over twenty minutes while we awaited the ambulance and EMTs to arrive. I felt his sternum crack. Was I compressing his chest too hard? I became short of breath. Was I breathing the right ratio for him? My mouth bled. My father turned blue, first his ears and then his lips.

My father died that day and I have never stopped blaming myself. How could an ED RN not save her own father? My brain itemizes many factors to answer that question, but my heart keeps saying, “I’m so sorry Daddy, I’m so sorry.”

I’ve shared this to warn those of you who are so altruistically prepared to perform CPR that it might not work. It might not be possible. 

Please do be trained. Please do try if you are given the opportunity. But, please also know that it is not always in your power and be prepared to live with that possibility.

heartbeat-304130_1280

Graphics by Pixabay

SOUL 6

bird-migration-2996830_1280

THE ESSENCE OF EACH PERSON 

I believe the soul is the essence of a person. It is who they are at their core. This is not original, we’ve seen this word used by others in this series.

Since “soul” is such a difficult concept for me to imagine and since that word has connotations of both good and bad from my religious upbringing, I needed a different, more neutral word and “essence” works for me. It means a person’s intrinsic nature and immutable character. It is real, everlasting and never changing. Even after the person has died it is as recognizable as their face or their voice. 

My Recent Experiences

fullsizeoutput_812

My husband, who died in December of 2014, was a nature lover. He was wise in the ways of animals and birds. He was a master at growing beautiful things. He imparted his reverence for creatures and his appreciation for all living things to each of us who knew and loved him during his eighty-five years of life.  

When my two daughters and I visited their father’s gravesite for the first time we were driving along a country road on our return home. Suddenly, we all three, at the same time, saw a large group of cranes ahead of us flying in a V formation. In my entire life, I do not recall seeing more than one crane at a time and rarely in flight. I pulled my car to the side of the road and we watched this magnificent sight approach and then fly over our car in direct view of the sunroof and then behind us and off into the distance. 

We did not need to discuss or compare thoughts. Each of us knew that we had experienced our loved one communicating with us. Those strong birds in flight represented his essence.

We rarely go the thirty-plus miles to that quiet old cemetery without seeing a deer, a beautiful blue bird, or some other unexpected creature. One time there was even a box turtle on the road to be rescued and repositioned in the grass. It happens at other times, too. Just days ago I opened the front door to see a beautiful squirrel in front of my porch, sitting there to remind me of my husband’s nature and his love. This was the very first squirrel at our home in five years of living here and it was a gift. Let me be clear, I am not saying that any of these creatures are my deceased husband nor his soul. I’m saying they represent his essence. I believe they are there at his beckoning.

These instances happen less often now than in the first year or so after his death. I believe he knows we need them less now than early on. I believe he knows somehow that our family continues to think of him and cherish his memory, but that we have been comforted and are more at peace now with his absence. 

 

For more information I recommended this book: images

 

“Some cognitive scientists believe human response to music provides evidence that we are more than flesh and blood—— that we also have souls. “ Judy Picoult

Post 6 of 7

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

 

Soul 5

 

Questions? Questions!

More questions than answers, perhaps nowhere is this more the case than in discussing the soul. We speculate, imagine, believe, or believe in, a certain idea but we have no facts to back up that concept. One may have had experiences that reinforce personal beliefs, but is that proof? No.

Or perhaps you do not believe there is a soul at all? Many do not. Although said in jest, the statement made by a friend sums up that philosophy. She once referred to death as the “long dirt sleep.” Believing there is no soul, is no fun! How boring that would be. I would much rather speculate, study and discuss possibilities. As one reader/follower commented earlier, that means being “not a doubter, but a questioner.”

So, for the sake of discussion, we will go with the thought that there is a soul. I hope you are not offended as I sometimes refer to “it.” We all know that soul is the subject.  

pexels-photo-356079.jpeg

When does the soul begin? At conception? At birth? At death? 
Does it come as a vacuum or filled with wisdom to dispense? 
Does it belong to us or us to it?
Can it travel? Can it be in one location while one’s body is somewhere else?
How does the soul communicate?
Is it a generic template or are all souls individualized?
Does it direct? Correct? Control? Comfort?
Does it stay with the body after death, i.e. in the crematoria, in the grave or tomb?
Does it make choices or is it programmed?
Do only humans have souls? What about pets? Other animals?
Can a tree or body of water have a soul?

OK! OK! 

I’ll stop with the questions because we could go on forever. Also, many of you have previously shared some personal thoughts and beliefs about what a soul is like, including the following characteristics: spirit, eternal, underlying part, essence, oneness with others, capable of regeneration. 

Essence

For several years “essence” has been the word I use or think of in relation to the soul. When we meet people and form a close relationship we get to know them on a deep level and develop a sense of who they are at the very core. We get to know them well enough to evaluate their fundamental qualities and we remember that essence long after they have left us whether in distance or death. I also believe this “knowing” lives on in many ways in our hearts and minds, consciously and subconsciously as we continue to live life without that person, that relationship physically present. 

Approaching my seventy-fifth birthday, I have by this time, naturally lost many persons in my life who I loved and who I continue to miss. That’s life, it includes death. If we have one we have the other. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that people do live on in many, many different ways and in the next blog I will explain further, but in the meantime here are a few hints in photos.

 

“The true nature of soul is right knowledge, right faith and right conduct. The Soul, so long as it is subject to transmigration, is undergoing evolution and involution.”                      Virchand Gandhi

Part 5 of 7

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

 

 

Death – Intro II

Introduction II

As we move forward discussing the topic of death and end of life decisions, in particular, I refer you back to this blog’s first page, HOME. At the bottom is a disclaimer and it is important that you review it at now, particularly this:

The content of this blog is not intended as advice . . . . Information contained herein is not presented as medical, legal or clinical recommendation . . . .”

And, I would add:

  1. It is extremely advisable to seek legal counsel from an attorney for estate/end of life planning.
  2. Forms are available Online for your review (or printing), but I caution you to use either the US Government (https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/a) or (https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs), your State Government (state laws differ) or the American Bar Association (http://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_  property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/living_wills_health_care_proxiesadvance_health_care_directives.html) Websites. Using these sites one can avoid ads and scams.

The kind of end of life decisions we will focus on are sometimes included during estate planning which deals with financial issues. Money management is not part of our discussion.


Future Posts

In the next few posts we will discuss the following topics, some more in depth than others:

  • Power of Attorney (POA)
  • Living Wills
  • Health Care Surrogate/Proxy
  • Organ Donation
  • DNR (do not resuscitate) orders

Other topics in the future will include: Funerals, Obituaries, Grief and Suicide.

In the last post I asked you to say the words: “When I die” and to acknowledge we are born terminal. Some of you responded with your thoughts and experiences and I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share. It is not surprising there are those who are not ready to talk about such personal feelings. Discussing death is difficult in varying degrees based upon our past experiences and other factors, e.g., religion, age, health status. It was reassuring some of you have already taken formal steps to inform others of your wishes at the time of your death.

cropped-img_3422.jpg

Reader Feedback

Marybeth, while sharing that her parents were very organized in having preparations in place for death, also stated, “Perhaps it is the way a person dies (long illness, accident, suicide, etc. ) that shakes our world more than the actual act of death itself? ” This is a valid observation, because while losing a person one loves will always be painful, there are many variables which affect how we react and how we grieve.

Rita discussed the awe of her own conception which is the beginning of the brief interlude we have on this planet. We often hear “cradle to grave,” which sums it up.

Finally, Lula shared the preparation she has made for her own death having had that responsibility for deceased loved ones. Such experiences in dealing with the estates and last wishes of others certainly point out the value of thinking ahead and making the decisions we are about to discuss.

Thank you to each of you who shared.

With the next post we will begin discussing the person (proxy) who makes medical decisions for you when you are unable to express your wishes. That person may be designated in a Medical POA, a Living Will and/or Designation of Health Care Surrogate.

“Life cannot exist without death; neither can death exist with life.” Osho Rajnish


Past Problems with the COMMENT Section

Some have expressed frustration with trying to comment on posts. I understand and I admit it isn’t easy to figure out and I’ve made some changes AND mistakes along the way. To comment on any post click the little bubble below and right on this page. If yours is the first comment that little black bubble will have a + sign on it. If others have already commented there will be a number in the bubble. Either way, all you have to do is click the bubble and a space will be provided on which to write.

Here is a screen shot from my phone that shows the illusive “bubble.”

fullsizeoutput_9ca

Thanks again!