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Planning Ahead: Resources

By bringing death out in the open, by witnessing it, talking about it, learning about it, and trying in whatever way we can to accept it as an inevitable part of our lives, we can be better prepared, we can make better decisions when the time comes, and we can change the way we die [AND LIVE]– for ourselves and for our loved ones.                              -Talking About Death Won’t Kill You                               by Virginia Morris For this last post of our series Planning Ahead, we’ve gathered all the resources mentioned throughout into one list: Resources 1. Mourning Dove Studio website 2. Mourning Dove Studio Tribute Ideas 3. Post #1 April 21 – Introduction (structure it in) 4. Post #2 April 22 – Planning [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: funeral poems, quotes and truth-telling

Although I initially thought I had no preferences or quotes/poems, etc, to record for my funeral, over time some have come to mind. I think I became more attentive when I had a place to write them down. Now I’m happy to have some beautiful quotes that express my loving goodbyes in ways I like. (Some who are dear to me will read this post so by sharing the quotes here I’m also expressing my love to them while I’m alive, but that’s not so bad, either!) “Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure” – Oliver Sacks “My glory was I had such friends” – W.B. Yeats “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love” – Stephen Hawking Maya Angelou’s gorgeous poem, When [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: Home Funerals

What is a home funeral? We can think of it as “a home vigil immediately after the death, when friends and family would come to help, visit and share” This is often for 2 or 3 days, and it can be as private or public as you like. Why choose a home funeral rather than a conventional funeral? “We are seeking the kinship and meaning that doing these simple, mindful things brings us. And the home funeral experience is, first and foremost, mindful. Instead of handing off the inconvenient responsibilities and uncomfortable details, we immerse ourselves in them—we want to be fully present with and for our loved ones, living and dead; we choose deliberately to not let this tender time speed by at a distance, in a blur.” Both of these quotes are from the nonprofit organization called the National Home Funeral Alliance  (NHFA). This website is just the start of the [link to read more…]

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