Aging/Gerontology, Education, End-of-Life, Humanity, News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Who Wants to Talk About Death? Not me, Says Most…

Death, dying, end of life, palliative, hospice-most do not want to delve into these topics. Why? What is one afraid of? The inevitable? We will all die one day. I am realisitic…to be born, we will die.

I tell my kids all the time that everything will die at some time; the trees, grass, flowers, pets, humans….no choice and even if it was a choice; I would not want to live forever. BUT, in the meantime, while I am alive, I want to make the most of it! I want to enjoy life, spend quality time with my kids and fiancé, continue to do the things I enjoy like cycling and writing.

I recently attended a staff training/development at my work and we were asked to write down 3 things that are MOST important to us. I wrote my kids, my fiancé, and writing. I can live without things and objects as long as I have the above 3! Quality time with the ones we love is important. Doing what you enjoy is important. Giving back is important and I very much believe in ‘pay it forward.’ Someone helps me, I help someone else no questions asked (within reason).

Ok, now I will segway into an article I came across on LinkedIn today that I think is important. Death is not as frightening as we think. Take a look at it as it describes and compares individuals who are dying in hospice and palliative, and prisoners on death row.

I would love to have feedback and hear your thoughts!


Pay it Forward for the Holidays…..

I loved the movie and the book, ‘Pay it Forward. ‘ To think it took a child to start something amazing at his school. I also like Kevin Spacey as an actor and he played his role well.  As a continuation of my article on  ‘Compassion during the Holidays,’  I would like this to be a focus as well.

In the spirit of giving, do something nice for someone just because you can! Let the person who has two items go in front of you at the cash register, buy someone a coffee or lunch because you want to. Pay the toll of the person behind you at the tollbooth, treat a stranger to dinner, give a donation to charity… give of yourself. There is nothing like volunteering, particularly during the holiday season.

Clothes and non-perishable food items are all needed at this time of  year, as are  handmade items such as quilts, knitted blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, or perhaps a new winter coat for one who cannot afford to buy one. I very much believe in the concept of: when I buy something new, I give away or donate something ‘old.’ If I buy a new shirt, I choose one from my closet and donate it. I have tried to teach this to my kids as well.

There will always be people who have more than you and there will always be people who have less than you. Be happy with what you have. ‘Pay it Forward’ means you do something out of the kindness of your heart and when that person says ‘thank you,’ you ask them to……’Pay it Forward’ and do the same for someone else.

By Victoria Brewster, MSW

*First published at: