This is a long read but an important one!
Death isn't a medical process of body alone - it is a whole person action - mind, body and spirit.
Often, care of the dying and those that surround and love them - screams for a breaking of the "rules", the ones that make medicalized deaths much more "neat and tidy" to medical systems that administer the care. "Yes" I scream, because if any part of this life deserves the respect and honor of being sacred space outside of the cost-effective assembly-line and cookie-cutter world of the medical system - it is death, an active process a person must participate in. Dying is what we do, not passively, actively, with every part of what makes us human, not just the body. In this day and age, in a society that all but denies death, this is not an easy task, but one we all come to.
More and more every day it seems, our system tries to manage death as if it were some routine procedure that can be placed neatly within a standard textbook chapter - but the uniqueness of each person's life experience combined with their dying body's circumstance requires a personalized and entirely human approach which defies at its very core being reduced to a single base methodology or "set of rules".
Hospice, or any part of care of the dying - isn't meant for strict rules, hour long visit times that fit in neat optimally scheduled boxes for maximum efficiency, emotional distance, professional detachment and cost effectiveness at the expense of the dying.
Sometimes you have to break the rules - or better yet - fight like hell as they're being made, because some things in this world just demand to remain sacred.
No, I can't relate at all 🙂
The points made in the article apply to all, there are some great talking points and insights.
I love this article and I've shared it before...these are good tips people don't necessarily think about!
There is so very much I love about this article and the courage and strength of the writer. It is so often in the quiet of walking these walks with people that I learn the most, and I, am always humbled at the bedside, always learning.
I find myself often giving the advice to parents, to friends, to colleagues in daily life - in a world of decreasing and minuscule attention spans - put down your electronics, be present, be silent, teach your children to do so as well. Practice meditation, learn to feel emotion and not hide from it in distraction. When I am personally more regularly practicing the art of quiet and awareness it is often when I am able to find the most peace and clarity in this tumultuous world.
It holds even more vital and true as we come to the bedside of those who are dying. As we settle in the silent presence of that sacred space, allow emotion to be felt and accepted, refuse the distraction and avoidance of all the things that could demand our attention and just breathe in that quiet place......we come back to a quiet truthful center where we can focus on what the one we are there for needs.
Sometimes it's just your quiet spirit holding space....and if it's anything more or different, because we are allowing space and time for them to find the words to tell us what they need, they will, if we can just fight that "do for you" desire to be busy in the presence of heavy emotion and things that make us uncomfortable.
In hours of sitting at the bedside of my grandmother, in the silence, I watched the lines of age slowly fall away from her face. in the months before her death I learned her stories, I heard a woman who never sang aloud, sing. Through the silence she shared her fears, and I etched in my mind the most beautiful images Gram walking the last mile home and an angel taking wing. I like to believe that in those silent moments we both were able to give each other the most precious gifts of all....I sat quietly helping sew the last feathers into her wings and she taught me how to live, love, and in due time let go and take flight.
My name is Amanda Carr and I am a death doula. Even my closest friends and colleagues don't necessarily understand what that means though - so let me try to explain a bit better from *my* perspective. A longtime ER nurse, I’ve transitioned into doing end-of-life work over the last few years. I've followed my growing impression that the medical establishment is spending increasing time on the wrong side of the equation: we are "saving" people too often that don't want to be "saved". [ 745 more words ]
May the sweet little Charlie Brand Rest In Peace. May his parents find love, solace and comfort in the arms of family and friends. May these be the only things that matter right now. Sweet peaceful rest Charlie, Goodnight.
This is so very true, so very true
Many of you who know me well, know there's a single angel wing that always hangs around my neck, 2 matching wings hang in my ears, unless one is off on a temporary journey - which debatably means I've lost it for the moment. The items are symbols and part of my journey to becoming a death doula, the wing on the necklace became part of my journey on the day before I met Zenith, the day we had planned to meet her at a Day of the Dead celebration in Gold Coast, Australia. These are days etched in my memory.
I do not know her well, but her work, I encounter often, and I am always touched to the core by her message and her spirit, her all encompassing way of capturing the essence of the work she does, the similar work I do.
If you can, I encourage you to go to this. She is well worth traveling to see, to learn from and with. If you cannot go , well I encourage you to browse some of her work. With such grace she shares the knowledge of this ancient art.
Thank you Zenith.
This one gets me every time, and every time I share it. Powerful.