Category Archives: Death & Dying, End of Life

Did You Say Green?

everal years ago I was reading something, perhaps The Encyclopedia of Immaturity but I’m not sure, when I discovered that one alternative to traditional funeral practices is to have remains made into artificial diamonds. I remember jokingly telling my daughters that they could split me into two diamonds and wear me forever. I’d forgotten about it until I happened on ... Read More »

Who Gets To Choose How Life Ends?

esterday I found the Readers Digest at my place at the breakfast table. My husband had left it conspicuously open to an article about how doctors die.  The gist of the article was that doctors rarely choose CPR, being placed indefinitely on a respirator, having surgery that most likely won’t improve their quality of life. The doctors have been in ... Read More »

Would You Want This To Happen To You?

Have you ever been in a hospital when over the intercom you’ve heard “Code Blue, code blue”? Have you seen the organized chaos that occurs in a room when a patient’s heart has stopped beating and the medical team is doing everything they can to revive the patient? When I was the on-call chaplain at a trauma hospital I saw ... Read More »

Peace at End of Life

If you’re like many people, Shakespeare isn’t at the top of your reading list. His works, however, contain many wise words.  “Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably. They also serve who only stand and wait” comes from Henry VI, pt II, act III, scene 3. These are words family members and medical professionals would do well to keep in ... Read More »

Things Your Mother Never Told You About Shopping

Have you ever shopped for cremation or funeral merchandise? Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not a shopaholic. I like to get in, get what I want, and get out. Walking into the merchandise room at a funeral home can make you want to get out even faster! Unfortunately, I’ve lost both parents in the last 20 months ... Read More »

Once Upon a Time We Knew How to Die

In Knocking on Heaven’s Door Katy Butler writes, “Once upon a time we knew how to die. We knew how to sit at a deathbed. We knew how to die and how to sit because we saw people we loved die all through infancy, childhood, youth, middle age, and old age: deaths we could not make painless, deaths no machine ... Read More »

Fighting For Life

When you were a kid, did you ever listen to adults talk about how they would most like to die? I remember hearing over and over that my grandparents, aunts, and uncles would like to “die in my sleep.” Nobody talked about wanting to be rushed to the hospital where they might have IV’s, breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and other ... Read More »