End-of-Life, News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Death, Dying and Reflection

End-of-Life issues, care and the topic of death and dying in general need a ‘sexier’ image. I find that many do not want to delve into such conversation. There are no plans in place for ‘what if.’ Family does not know what other family members would want should such a situation arise. I keep reflecting on why people do not want to discuss their own mortality. ‘To be born, one must die.’ Death is part of the cycle of life.

Society celebrates pregnancy, birth and all the events that lead up to death; all the ‘happy’ occasions. Death and dying is somber. What if we viewed the rituals associated with death as a time to celebrate the life of the deceased? People whether family, friend, colleague or neighbor share stories, memories, videos while at the same time reflecting and grieving. Would this make the topic of death easier in a sense?

I have created a list of URL’s below that focus on Death, Dying, Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia. The links will provide stories, information, videos and most importantly make you think about this topic and provide you with lots to reflect on. Please forward any others resources on Death, Dying, End-of-Life Care to me so we can continue to build this resource list. vikki.brewster@gmail.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/26/kathleen-wynne-assisted-suicide_n_3996181.html?ir=Politics

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-tables-bill-on-medically-assisted-death-1.1263943

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/assisted-suicide-quebec-has-found-a-flexible-approach-to-euthanasia-law/article12853839/

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Little+consensus+among+Canadian+doctors+issue+assisted+suicide/8808520/story.html

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/dr-donald-low-pleads-for-dying-with-dignity-in-posthumous-video-1.1468542

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/09/25/john-ivison-quadriplegic-conservative-mps-support-for-assisted-suicide-puts-him-at-odds-with-party/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/banning-assisted-suicide-akin-to-torture-b-c-appeal-court-hears-1.1306315

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/05/gloria-taylor-b-c-woman-at-centre-of-assisted-suicide-court-battle-dies/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-s-susan-griffiths-dies-by-assisted-suicide-in-zurich-1.1315114

hhttp://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/

http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2013/07/assisted-suicide-is-not-safe-dr-stephen.html

http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/resources/blog_news/post/674.php

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-09-24/death-dinners-at-baby-boomers-tables-take-on-dying-taboo

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/life-and-death-in-assisted-living/

http://www.csa.us/email/spirit/ssarticles/0913Lifestyle.html

http://healthydebate.ca/opinions/dr-lows-legacy-and-a-culture-of-fear

http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/news/supreme-court-upholds-right-life-support-against-medical-advice#.UmFiQWKG-aQ.twitter

Any book written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Victoria Brewster, MSW
vikki.brewster@gmail.com

 

8 thoughts on “Death, Dying and Reflection”

  1. Wow lot’s of links! I can’t speak for everyone, but to reply to your question about why it is people don’t want to discuss their own mortality, I’m guessing it’s because it’s an emotional rather than intellectual and logical situation.

    When you are not near the end, you believe there is much to live for, and talking openly about dying and what you want at the end seems far off and something one can do later. It’s only when one is older and nearing an end, or presented with a life-shortening illness that brings them closer to the end that the need to face and discuss final wishes surfaces.

    Of course with a person like yourself who works in the field, it may be others in pain and dying that make it so real for you yourself.

    The links you have provided may do a lot of good for readers and their loved ones.

    1. Kelly,

      Thank you for your comment! I think if one has been exposed to death in a personal way, it makes the topic extra relevant. Also, as a professional who works with older adults it is relevant for my work.
      All the links are to show what I have so far and I hope others will forward more resources (links, articles and book titles) to me and I will create a new resource page here on my blog specifically on this topic.

      Have a great day! – Vikki

      1. Thanks Vikki.. I feel that it is not only older individuals who long to speak about death, but also our younger generations… within society we are still very ” fear based” when it comes to speaking of our own mortality.. If we don’t understand life, how will we understand our own deaths?

        Death is inevitable and is merely a transition from one dimension to the other.. Vikki I will also provide you with some resources, many of which are of a different philosophy from the mainstream western society thoughts.

        Have you heard of the death café concept?

        have a super day and thank you….Jean Bota… ..

      2. Jean,

        I have heard of the Death Café concept. Groups of individuals who meet voluntarily to talk about the topic of death and end-of-life issues, correct?
        I am open to all resource material whether it is western, eastern or of a different tradition or cultural background entirely. The list would not be complete without resources from around the world! Feel free to send me an email at: vikki.brewster@gmail.com – Vikki

  2. Thank you for the list. For me it appears that I am ‘okay’ with others dying, but being in a death and dying situation with my own father is creating all kinds of conflicts and dynamics within myself. He wants to be ‘let go’, but I don’t want him to go yet. Hmmm.

    1. Margaret,
      Not easy is it? I am sorry to hear you are going through this situation with your father. What would you want if the roles were reversed? It is hard to let go of someone we love and care for. – Vikki

      1. Vikki,
        Thank you. I’d want to talk about it. I’d want to be honest and open about how I feel, and have that be okay and maybe validated. My father appears fearful or hesitant to do these things. He said to me, “If I wasn’t Catholic…” He seems conflicted and torn. His wife, my mother, doesn’t want to hear anything about his thoughts and feelings on death and dying, probably due to her own fears of God, what others think, and of course, not wanting to let him go either. I listen to him and I try not to interject much, but thoughtful consideration. Time is a beautiful thing. Transition is even more beautiful, if one can do it.

      2. Margaret,
        You mention your father is Catholic-is he willing to discuss death and dying with a priest? This might be more comfortable/acceptable for him. The discussion cannot be forced; the individual in question (your father) has to be willing to go there. Just letting him know you are willing and will listen is a good start; it opens the door in a sense should he wish to. No one wants to let someone go that they love and care about. -Vikki

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