“When we only die with death as a medical event, we sell death short. We rob it of its holy significance. In caring for each other, we must attend to both task and relationship. Without a relationship to each other and the realization of intrinsic values, purpose, meaning, and spiritual growth, there is a loss of soul. We split off the secular from the secret.”
Our culture tends to deny the reality of death. Disconnecting us not only from the reality of death as a natural part of life, but also the dying process itself. A strong healing practice is to gather as a community to share, listen, and start the conversation about what we want for our end of life.
Filling out an Advanced Directive
This is a form that can be voluntarily filled out and signed by witnesses to become a legal document, no notary or lawyer is necessary and it is free to download. The AD is a chance to clarify two important pieces of information: who would you like to represent your wishes for end of life care in case you are unable to communicate? What do you want for end of life care if you are unable to communicate?
Death and Dying
At some point in our lives we must confront and deal with the facts of death and dying, with ourselves and others. Let’s lift the stigma a little bit and start the discussion about what these experiences mean to us. What has our culture taught us about death? What do other cultures and traditions teach us about death? What is most important to us in life, and what is most important to us if we become ill?
Death Cafe is an informal organization of people all over the world that meet as groups to talk about death. It is strictly not for profit, can have no particular agenda and does not function as a grief support group, and cake and tea must be served! Death Cafes are wonderful ways to lift the stigma around talking about death in a casual and warm atmosphere.
Starting the Conversation
Reflecting on what you want, your values and goals, and communicating that to loved ones is the most important aspect of this. The content of your Advance Directive will most likely change over time, it is the process of bringing death more into our consciousness now that helps us to live life more fully and intentionally.