Mourning Dove Studio Blog

Planning Ahead: Your Last Words

Planning Ahead: Your Last Words

-You?ve written down your choices and wishes for the way your survivors for your after-death care. That?s such a gift to them! Emotions can run all over the place after a death – this is normal – but that means it?s a set-up for painful conflict if there?s disagreement as to how to honor and express our love for someone who?s died. A lot of our feelings during this time can get parked in the Guilt area. So If it?s true for you, writing down something like this is also a gift: These are my wishes, and I know you?ll do your best to honor them. But if for any reason at all that?s not possible, you don?t need to feel guilty. I love you and I know that you love me. –The Four Things that Matter Most?by Ira Byock This well-respected doctor of palliative care distilled his experiences into[link to read more…]

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Terminal Case

Planning Ahead: Talking with Others

The Conversation Project encourages families to talk about advanced care directives, that is, what kinds and levels of medical interventions someone would want for themselves. Their free, beautiful Starter Kits?start off by asking us to think about our values and what?s important to us as the basis for proceeding to deal with possible situations. ?It?s the perfect beginning to thinking about the after-death care choices, as well, by combining the first 2 pages of the starter kit with the questions in your planning guide. ? As previous posts in this series have pointed out, aligning after-death care with our values and what’s important to us makes the whole thing meaningful and less paralyzing. ?When people value?caring for the environment, for example, learning about natural burial can open up a conversation. Talking About Death Won’t Kill You?by Virginia Morris, can help, and help a lot. I wish I?d been able to[link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: what we leave behind

I couldn?t resist using the above photo, though this post doesn?t focus on the details of legal wills. ?The quip made me smile for itself – and then also that it?s attributed to Anonymous. ?Before a death, any time we get near the topic of divvying up belongings after a death might make us want to go into an anonymous mode if we?ll be the inheritors. ?On the other hand, since we regress after a death, not dealing with the topic ahead of time tends to set up a higher degree of conflict with others. As a relative of mine told me, ?Grandpa said he wasn?t going to bother making those decisions and his kids could just fight it out afterwards. And, boy, did they!!? It?s tough to take this on in so many ways. ?I offer the following ideas and information in the hopes that they may be tools[link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: Death Cafes and more

Maybe you have ideas or questions related to death that you haven?t had a chance to explore out loud. Maybe you?re not sure how to voice these thoughts or would like to hear the thoughts and questions that others have for themselves. It?s generally noted that we have a death-denying culture here in the US and that this is true for many other countries, too. Enter ?The Death Cafe– started by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid in London in September 2011. ?At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death… Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’?? They’ve estimated that 6,289 Death Cafes have been held in 56 countries – approximately 63,110?people talking! “A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or[link to read more…]

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