This is very important; discussing your post-death wishes with family and close friends. Do not wait until it is too late or crisis time. When you are very ill, in hospital or diagnosed as terminal; your thoughts might be elsewhere. Plan ahead as much as possible.
No one wants to think they will die tomorrow, but in reality we never know. Some deaths are far in the future, others could be in the near future, and still others happen when we least expect it.
I keep thinking about what I would want. I know I do not want my kids to worry about it in any way and have to come up with the money for my funeral or worry about where to bury me. I am an organ donor. My driver’s license states so and I have told my kids and my fiancé this. I would like to be cremated and they can do with my ashes as they wish. I am not a person that wants a whole lot of ‘hooplah.’ I would rather have a celebration of life before I die if possible surrounded by the ones I care about and love. I do not want a large, dramatic funeral and I especially do not want anyone to lay out thousands of dollars. I would rather that money go to charity to help others.
I am practical, low-key, and down to earth. I was raised to focus on others and not myself. Charity and volunteering along with giving back to community are important to me.
This is the message I want my kids to walk away with. You need enough money to live on, put some away, and enjoy life a little and the extra should go to charity as there are always others that have less.
Source: Talking to Family About Post Death Wishes
That is a very difficult question; Do you know the answer? I do not…because the answer will be different for each person.
What is a tragedy? Job loss, homelessness, fire, car accident, tropical storm, ice storm, a pet dying, a family member dying, abuse-whether physical, mental, emotional, sexual or financial…the list goes on and on.
For this particular article, it is about death, and unexpected death of a spouse.
Imagine all of a sudden you are a widower with 2 children. Are you prepared financially? Mentally? Emotionally? Is all the paperwork in order?
Do you have any family to help you? Do you have friends to help you?
Think of all of this as food for thought and the type of questions that need to occur BEFORE death happens; not after…
Source: How to recover from tragedy
There is nothing like coming home and finding a box leaning against your front door and when you rip it open, there are your author copies of the book that you spent 2.5 years writing and editing!
Such joy, such elation, such happiness, such a sense of accomplishment… so, Julie and I are busy marketing and strategizing how we each will use the book as we come from different backgrounds.
As a social worker/case manager/group facilitator, I have big plans with this book that will compliment my consulting business NorthernMSW, that I just launched last month, very well.
My goal, my mission, my passion is to raise awareness about death, dying, and end of life; provide education and training to professionals, lay-people and facilitate workshops, support groups, and discussion groups on this topic. A topic most ignore, pretend does not exist, do not discuss, and do not plan for.
Why is that? Why the fear? To be born, we will die. With any luck, we live a long life, but we never know…
Julie and I collaborated on this book to begin what we term ‘inspirational’ discussions, to further cultural awareness, understanding, and acceptance.
I have stated in other posts that I am an organ donor. To me, there is no greater mitzvah than to have my organs help someone else live a longer life after I have died…. My fiancé knows this and it is on my driver’s license.
Next, comes the ‘BIG’ talk and decisions of advance care directives and mandates; especially since I am getting married next June. I have 2 kids to think about. While they have a father to look after them, in case, my life insurance, and any pensions will go to both my kids and my soon-to be-husband.
Not a very happy conversation, BUT a needed one.
So, Julie and I collaborated and created this wonderful book that has so many perspectives in it from birth to death-abortions, miscarriages, child death, spousal death, friend death, partner death, pet death, client and patient death, resource information, training information, grief and bereavement information, checklists to plan, funeral information, advance care and mandate information and a chapter on an all to taboo topic-euthanasia and assisted dying, but it is a presentation of the facts and what exists around the world, along with quotes and more…..there is no other book like it on the shelves of any book store or library because I always look. An all in one book!
No matter how many times I read this book I am in awe of the contributions, the stories shared and yes, sometimes I tear up and other times I laugh….that is what life is about!
It is available on Xlibris, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble. We are very proud of this book and owe a HUGE thank you to all who contributed as we would not have the book we have if not for all of the contributor’s perspectives.
So, from the bottom of our hearts, you have our gratitude and sincere appreciation!
The contributors are:
Jordon Grumet, MD
Linda Darrah Reynolds
Jan Larsen-Fendt, RN, BSN
Carol Brannan Marimpietri
Sue Rumack (Canada)
Anonymous x 2 (1 Canada & 1 USA)
Elizabeth Gillman, RN, BSN
Keith Branson, MA
Virginia L. Seno, PhD
David Laliberte, AEMCA, PCP (Canada)
Karen Wyatt, MD
Karen Smith, PhD
Major Lynn Jones, Retired
Yosef Ben Avraham Yaacov
Rea L. Ginsberg, LCSW-C, ACSW, BCD
Anne Lastman, BA, MA, MTS
Rabbi Michael Wolff (Canada)
Robert S. Ball, MSN, RN
James C. Salwitz, MD
Claire Willis, LICSW
Andrew Thurston, MD
Barbara Bates Sedoric
Blair Botsford (Canada)
Donald M. Burrows
Eleanor Silverberg (Canada)
Robin Gordon Taft
Cassandra Yonder (Canada)
Heather Taylor, RN (Canada)
Vicki M. Taylor
Sheryl Beller-Kenner, EdD (Canada)
John Shuster, MD
Karen Wyatt, MD
Cynthia Cooper, RN
Sheryl J. Nicholson
Marcy Rosen Bernstein, LMSW
Gabriel Heras La Calle, MD (Spain)
Guillermo Godoy, MD
Sheryl Beller-Kenner, EdD
James Salwitz, MD
Along with various perspectives from both Julie Saeger Nierenberg (Canada)
and myself; Victoria Brewster (Canada)
Julie and I are very excited to announce that our book is available on the Xlibris website at: www.xlibris.com.
Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life; 2.5 years in the making is finally available. Thank you to all who contributed to our book. We never could have done it without you…
by Victoria Brewster, MSW
It is always hard as a professional to lose a client because of death. While death is a fact of life, part of the life cycle; remember to be born, one must die, it is never easy.
I work with seniors and older/adults and this is something that I face all the time as do many in the helping professions who work with seniors, patients who have chronic health conditions or diseases, patients who are palliative or in hospice. We now the reality. We know this is part of our professional life. But it is never easy.
I just found out that one on my clients died on Friday and the funeral is tomorrow. I will attend the funeral, not because I have to, but because I want to. As much as possible I make a point to attend the funerals of my clients or one of their family members. I do it out of respect for the deceased and to offer support.
This is a personal decision. Also, if possible, I will visit a client who is in hospital, in rehabilitation or at home recovering if my schedule allows this. Otherwise I call and send a card to let them know I am thinking of them and wishing them a speedy recovery.
I know I would appreciate and want this if it was the reverse.
Treat others as you want to be treated…… it’s a good motto.