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OPENING POEM (read by Geoff Ainscow)

OH HAPPY DAY when in your presence,
my ruler, I shall die!
When near the sugar-treasure melting
like sugar I shall die!
Out of my dust will grow a thousand
of centrifolias
When in the shade of yonder cypress
in gardens I shall die.
And when you pour into my goblet
the bitter drink of death,
I'll kiss the goblet full of joy, dear,
and drunken I shall die.
I may turn yellow like the autumn
when people speak of death,
Thanks to your smiling lip: like springtime
and smiling shall I die.
I have died many times, but your breath 
made me alive again,
Should I die thus a hundred more times
I happily shall die!
A child that dies in mother's bosom,
that's how I am, my friend,
For in the bosom of His Mercy
and kindness, I shall die.
Say: Where would death be for the lovers?
Impossible is that!
For in the fountain of the Water
of Life - there I shall die!

~Rumi, The Master of Love

 

CLOSING READING (by Jane Hughes Gignoux)

I Dance Despite Death

   African: Niger Delta

I dance despite death, mother,

I dance despite death.

On my father's side is death;

On my mother's side is death.

I dance despite death, mother,

I dance despite death.

Whatever happens, I accept it.

--From "Isoko Songs of llue-Ologbo," by Philip M. Peek and N. E. Owheibar in African Arts, Winter 1971 (Los Angeles: University of California) Used with permission

 

RESOURCES FOR DIRECTIVES AND OTHER INFORMATION

Aging with Dignity

End of Life University Karen Wyatt M.D.

Caring Advocates http://caringadvocates.org/

START BY GETTING 5 FREE ITEMS (Resources form http://caringadvocates.org/)

  1. “Case Study” of Casey Kasem. One in a series of real–life cases showing how certain strategies may make a huge difference.
  2. Instructions to send us your Living Will for our no obligation, FREE professional evaluation and what we do/don’t cover.
  3. At www.CaringAdvocates.org/SAGE/ download Dr. Douglas Scharre's SAGE test to indicate the possibility of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Early Dementia.
  4. Worried about your risk of reaching Advanced Dementia? Answer these 20 questions; then read our recommendations.
  5. “Stress in Older People Increases Risk for Pre–Alzheimer's Condition”. Take the Perceived Stress Score test.

SEND MY 5 FREE ITEMS

http://caringadvocates.org/card-sorting.php for Dementia Directives by Stanley Terman; Interview at bottom of the page is the whose mother, father and brother had Alzheimer’s and then tested positive for the gene. Her name is Melissa Cook. She then courageously completely changed her life using this process and coaching from Stanley Terman.

BOOKS AND ESSAYS

Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

An Insistence on Life, by Jane Hughes Gignoux

Some Folk Say: Stories of Life, Death, and Beyond, by Jane Hughes Gignoux

Gratitude, by Oliver Sacks (by going online you can find the many rich essays Oliver wrote on his dying process by looking New York Times Oliver Sacks Essays

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

What are your fears about dying and death?

How did you develop your beliefs about death?

What are your beliefs about death?

How has the death of someone close to you had an impact on those beliefs?

Have you ever been with someone at the time of her/his death?

What do you imagine when you think of your own death?

Have you prepared your own advanced directives?

Barbara Sarah