Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Dark Side of Sod...16

Headlines Read…You Died Two Weeks Ago!!
First of all, anyone that knew you well would be starting to understand that their life has a void, you are missed, and they are more then likely in the proverbial death fog. I know this because in 6 months or so, conversations your survivors had with people prior to this time, they will have trouble recalling them. Random tidal waves of varied emotion will flood the lives of those closest to you. And…where’s your stuff? Who’s fighting over it? Who’s happy now that you're gone? (Well, it could happen!)Who is devastated?

Everyone will have a legacy of some kind. Some will be grander than others. One thing’s for sure, after a period of time, your legacy will begin to solidify. After the shock of your death wears off, there will be fewer stories told about you, and the ones that are told will be the highlighted version, or just the bullet points of your character traits. (You might be surprised what people say).

Picturing your world now, without you in it, may be frightening for you to think about. Believe it or not, there are those who can totally picture their life…done!!(Don't judge) Every situation and every person is unique. Your death can happen…just like that!!(snap) With NO notice. One minute you’re here, the next minute you’re dead. OK, so I know that sounds a bit harsh, but beating around the bush or denying something as absolute as your death is not healthy for any BODY. For a million reasons.

Please consider these…

  • Understanding and embracing the fact that your life will end is healthy and that by doing so, you will live a more meaningful existence.

  • Communicating your thoughts about death to your would be survivors will only help them later with your care and handling your affairs.

  • You need to make a decision whether or not you would like to be a candidate for organ or tissue donation. Write it down and tell somebody about it. This requires advanced planning. A gift that keeps on giving.

  • Remember, Advanced Directives are your best friends…

  • At death, your body MUST be separated from the living. So what would you like done with it? Are you thinking...Burial? Cremation? Anatomical Donation? Your legal next of kin will need this information. Or you will put them in a position of “winging” it. Sometimes that doesn’t work out so well. KNOW the death care processes and ask questions. (Funeral Homes, Cemeteries, Celebrations, Churches)

  • Having regret in your life is very bad on every level. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve will stay with you forever. Everyone wishes that they had just one more chance to say or do something with the person that died. Live your life fully. Ask yourself this question as you interact with other people, “If I found out this person died, would I be regretful?” Depending on your answer, you may want to adjust how you live and interact with them differently going forward. You do not want to have regrets. Period. Besides, living a full life provides great material for future conversations about you.

  • Grief must be addressed. No age restrictions, and on an individuals terms.

  • Picture how you would like to be remembered, and live your life accordingly. Being dead does not shield a person from the reputation they had living here on earth. No excuses allowed. If you are a person that enjoys making life miserable for any one that comes in contact with you, then that will be your legacy. Your legacy could impact future generations. (Good or Bad)

In my work, these things have become apparent. I hope it helps you in some way.

Be well friend,

Julie Pope

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Dark Side of Sod...15

Beautiful Death…A Tribute to Margaret

We all think that the proper order of death in the family starts at the top. First it’s our grandparents, then our parents and followed by the kids. We feel that it is absolutely unacceptable to be any other way. Kids simply are not supposed to die before the parents. Ever! But when it happens…parents, no matter what age say things like, “I was supposed to go first!” or "this is not the way it's supposed to be!"

Margaret is 94. She reminds me of Ever Ready Bunny, she just keeps plugging along while the majority of people she knows and loves are dying. Her attitude about death now is basically, that when you get to the “end of the line” stage in life, the sting of death doesn’t hurt as bad as it once did. Her frequent visits to a local funeral home were almost as common as going on a trip to a grocery store. In one week, she said she went to 9 funerals!! Can you imagine? 

Last weekend Margaret's daughter Ann died at the very young age of 62 years. When Margaret told me her daughter died a couple of days ago, she seemed in shock that it happened, but she had a complete calmness about her. She was sad, yet she seemed at peace with life in general. She remains optimistic about the time she has left alive. She remarked that Ann’s death was so beautiful. I thought what more could a person ask for? To see your child enter into the world and then leave it…ready, comfortable, and with her family at her side. WOW! (I’ll have one of those please!)

Margaret said that her daughter had just been moved to a rehabilitation facility from a lengthy hospital stay. Everyone in the family thought she was getting better. But she took a turn for the worse. Margaret said “She was ready to go” and that “She had a happy death”. Margaret was sitting beside the bed holding her hand. Ann received her last rights. Margaret was telling Ann that it was OK to go. Ann’s last words on the planet were, “Hello Daddy”. And she died. Her father had been dead about 15 years.

I wanted to share her experience because so many times death gets a bad rap. There is a distinct possibility that the person moving on is comfortably happy to be done with their world. They have accepted the fact that THEY WILL CHANGE. Into what or how they change ultimately doesn’t matter to anyone but them.

Margaret is not afraid to change someday either. In the meantime…plug on Margaret!  ; )

Be well friends!
Julie Pope