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Archive for April 5th, 2012

“If all of us would make an all-out effort to contemplate our own death, to deal with our anxieties surrounding the concept of our death, and to help others familiarize themselves with these thoughts, perhaps there could be less destructiveness around us.”

~~ Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying

Look around today… how many wars do we have going on abroad?

How many do we have going on right here on our own land?

How many do we have going on in our hearts?

When people began talking about Universal Health care, the spin machine turned this great idea into something horrible… death panels… like we were going to go back in time to WWII all of a sudden and we were going to decide who would live and who would die?

I thought that LSD must have been added to the water in certain places because honestly, that kind of thinking could only be from a bad trip.

Look at the current push from clinicians and the bereft alike to say NO to the APA who wants to make it a psychiatric “crime” to hurt after loosing someone to death.

I’m sorry Elisabeth, we have not listened to your solid advice and taken to heart that we have the ability and the responsibility to be an advocate for change in how we live and how we die.  And look where we have gotten.

We see more dehumanization of human beings on tv, movies, games, songs than probably any other time in history.  We stand in line to get games where we can hold the trigger and go on a rampage.  We scurry to the box office to see the latest horror film…. but we don’t sit and think about what it will be like when we are old, ill, aging, or what it will be like when those things happen to those close to us.

Would it make us any more compassionate to remember that we only had each other for a short amount of time?  I don’t know?

But I do know that when we focus on how precious life is, when someone we love has been given those 6 months to live, our world becomes a vastly different place.

When we, ourselves, are given that 6 months prognosis, whatever we may go through, one thing I have seen time and time again is that we push past the nonsense and don’t mince words.

So, my post about the conversation was a few days ago?  Have you thought about it?  Have you written about it?  Have you started the dialogue?

What if talking about your dying was the thing that made your living filled with more peace and more love?

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How can the person just forget ??

How can the person just forget ?? (Photo credit: Zuhair Ahmad)

 

Please take a look at the following petition site.  Many people can’t take time off from work when a loved one dies.  Or they have three or fewer days to use.  We know that grief takes longer than this, let alone travel and preparations for services.

Help grieving families by letting our politicians know they need more time!

 

http://www.petition2congress.com/3937/modify-family-medical-leave-act-1993/

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Alzheimer's Speaks Blog

Assisted Living Today wrote a great article check it out!

The Caregiver’s Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease:

20 Memory Care Experts on Caring

Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia can be a confusing, emotionally taxing and overwhelming experience for caregivers and family members. Often, it’s tough to know where to turn to get the best, most informative answers to your questions about Alzheimer’s care. With that in mind, we reached out to 20 memory care experts to tap into their years of experience and collective advice on the topics of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and memory care. We asked each of our 20 experts three important questions on memory care and compiled their answers into a comprehensive caregiving guide to Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

Click Here to go to Assisted Living Today to the article

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Evolutionary_Mystic Post


It was way back in the 1970s during my initial interest and pursuit in Tibetan Buddhism that I came across in a magazine featuring this book “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism ” by Chogyam Trungpa. It was mentioned that this book could be obtained as a complimentary copy just by writing in and requesting for the free copy. So out of sheer curiosity I wrote in and requested for the free copy of the book.

To my utter surprise and joy,a few weeks later the book arrived at my doorstep. It was the first edition, I believe, when the book was published in 1973, and the book cover was golden yellow in color. Hence the ‘sentimental’ reason for choosing this edition to be posted in the blog. Later on, there were several reprints and updated editions as can be gleaned from the internet.

Unfortunately through the passage of time some…

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Life is but a dream!

Who is it that loves and who that suffers?
He alone stages a play with Himself.
The individual suffers because he perceives duality.
Find the One everywhere and in everything
and there will be an end to pain and suffering.

— Sri Anandamayi Ma

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“Death touches the lives of young people far more frequently than most of us would like to admit.  Robert Kastenbaum has called childhood “the kingdom where nobody dies,” but even in the lives of the most protected child, death is a dark intruder in that “perfect” fantasy world.”

~~Robert G. Stevenson

We are truly naive and almost cruel when we believe that kids don’t know anything about loss or that they don’t grieve.  So many kids have later resentments and feel disconnected and not bonded to their families when they are shut out from grief.

Sometimes I think that talking to kids about death is like talking to them about sex.  We’re afraid, embarrassed, uncomfortable.  We forget though that we will get over embarrassment, people don’t always get over secrecy, lies, and half-truths.  If we try to shield our kids from too much or the wrong things, we truly hurt them with our love.

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Whitney Houston -  Concert in Central Park   /...

Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park / Good Morning America 2009 - Manhattan NYC (Photo credit: asterix611)

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on using literature, television, and film to open up conversations about children’s experiences with grief. Today I am going to continue that theme, but with a more real subject matter.
We are living in a somewhat tragedy obsessed society. For example, a few weeks ago pop singer Whitney Houston died and the news of this death was everywhere. The news had live footage of where Ms. Houston’s body had been found with a crawl of people’s text messages reacting to her death across the bottom. Newspapers had photographs of her plastered on the front page. Even the bar that I was in made an announcement of Whitney’s death and played only songs by her for the rest of the night.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Comparisons were made across the board to other untimely deaths of famous individuals such as Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, or Princess Diana. The cases were all similar, individuals who have achieved wealth, have families, and died tragically young because of various vices.

Another interesting thing these individuals have in common, their memorial services were televised.

Princess Diana died a few months after my father died. I remember watching her funeral and seeing that her two sons had written letters to their mother and placed them on her casket. I was saddened by the image of another child grieving the loss of a mother, and angry with myself for not thinking to do this for my father.

Sharing the death of any public figure with a child is a very personal decision. However, one should keep in mind that children will often hear some details about the death in school or through friends. It is important to remember that these images can be triggers for some children.

Though we often cannot control how much of a public death children see, we can use these stories to open up conversations with children about the funeral of their loved one, what they would have done differently, or what feelings are brought up by this new death. Even asking children how they think the loved ones of the person who died are feeling can empower a grieving child to openly share and express their feelings.
As for my eight-year-old self who was angry for not thinking to write a letter to her father to put in his casket. I later wrote that letter, and many more but in a fit of teenage rage I tore them all up and threw the pieces away. I remember feeling so ashamed of writing to a dead person that I wanted to hide all the evidence. The moral of this story, encourage children to keep a bond with their loved ones, and also lock these precious bonds away so they are safe from teenage rage.
-Liz Hendrickson

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