A poem for dying by Courtney A. Walsh.
Death - Dying - Euthanasia
A poem for dying by Courtney A. Walsh.
Every minute someone leaves this world behind.
Age has nothing to do with it.
We are all in this line without realizing it.
We never know how many people are before us.
We can not move to the back of the line.
We can not step out of the line.
We can not avoid the line.
So while we wait in line -
Make moments count.
Make a difference.
Make the call.
Make the time.
Make your gifts known.
Make a nobody feel like a somebody.
Make your voice heard.
Make the small things big.
Make someone smile.
Make the change.
Make yourself a priority.
Make sure to tell your people they are loved.
Make sure to have no regrets.
Make sure you are ready.
There are many posts here, now, and many more links to other articles and information.
Lately, I've relied heavily on Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By, largely because she is living and sharing her dying.
Don't see how we can get more pertinent to our purpose than that.
I will keep posting here, because it's one of the things I do.
But I have become aware that this blog and, indeed, our Salon have fallen prey to the distractions of the pandemic, internet insecurity, politics, and a general lack of interest. I haven't sent emails about new postings lately because they produce no evidence that any of you are engaged here any longer. That's fine with me, sort of.
There are certainly many more important things on our individual & collective minds these days.
I miss you. ...without intense longing for you. I'm conscious of pulling in.. not sure it is in any good way.
These days - these covid days - I am intensely aware of loneliness as something separate from solitude.
I've always known it, maybe, but I have a new respect for the difference, now.
The biggest critter in that wilderness of Alone that is not solitude, is fear. Fear that the Alone will continue forever.
That I will end up as Ronni is, without someone by the bed when I die. I will have hospice, if that is available then.
And, really, I sell my friends short when I think or assume that they don't care. I know that.
That, and other aspects relating to mental health are why I still talk to a therapist every month.
Oregon Hospice and Palliative Care non-profit spotlights Time Goes By.
This is a quick way to save these titles... thru Ronni, of course...
This post from TGB's Ronni Bennett talks about recent legal changes; links to her own personal experience.
Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By has done these half-hour videos with her former husband for some time now.
I rarely watch them. But She has received her MAID drugs; she talks about them herein; and there is no way to know which/when the last one will be done.
I'm embedding one or more here, just because...
Compassion and Choices
"Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey." according to their home page.
Ronni Bennett knows now. Read her impressions and thoughts here.
As is usual with her, she writes with humor and honesty in this quote:
"But I suspect that more often now I will take up the questions that have both buoyed and bedeviled me from time to time
and even, in a couple of cases, made me laugh:
Will I have breakfast on the last morning? If so, how will I choose? Cheerios? Scrambled eggs? Maybe just a muffin with jam?
Should I wash the dishes or leave them for someone else?
And what does one wear to one's own death, especially when you know you are dressing for the final time?
To whom should I look for inspiration? Anne Boleyn? Marie Antoinette? Lady Jane Grey?"
Her post is well worth the read, IMO.
Riffin' on Ronni Bennett again. She is now under hospice care at home.
She says no.
"Going gentle into my personal good night is one reason I have embraced medical aid in dying.
Those drugs will send me on my way quietly without a prolonged period of decline or pain."
I confess that I tend to lean into the idea (of suicide), if not the reality.
But/and I know that a bit of depression is so common now that it is effecting almost everyone. (and I have my therapist on Speed Dial!)
I've wondered about suicide rates in these months. There has been a lot written about the subject, mostly from a therapeutic POV.
You'll find no end of articles on Google if you're so inclined.
I'm completely with Ronni regarding attitude, though. I want to go gently. I believe it's a 'good night'.
The hard part now, when I contemplate my death, is the solitude the pandemic has/is enforcing.
I really don't want to die now...
...when it might be days before anyone knows it.
...or when someone might stop by and find Mango picking katecrone out of his teeth. That's funny, you know.
And I kind of hope someone will be standing by, even though I know I'll make that trip alone.
to die when I'm ready?
to be ready when I die.
I wonder if those are different things... one wonder full day, I will wonder no more.
I'm not going to comment on this post today. Just want to post it here. (How I long for our group meetings...)
This is from Ronni Bennett, one of the Internet's recognized experts on aging, who has been told now, that she qualifies for Hospice
...meaning her doctor expects her to have less than 6 months to live.
Her words in this post from June 15th, are worthy of our time, and may even inform some of our own choices in our futures.
I've found that Ronni has quite a presence on the wider web, as well.
If you're curious, an online search will turn up several interviews and a Wikipedia entry.
Not long before his death in 2016, Leonard Cohen was interviewed by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.
The magazine published this excerpt to Youtube a few weeks ago.
Leonard Cohen on Preparing to Die
This article/review is relatively short and quite interesting.
The documentary follows Dick Shannon, his wife and family, and 5 other families of people making preparations for their approaching deaths.
Do you know what you want your death to look like? Do you know what's possible? Care to?
We did not make quorum for this meeting, but since we never established any guidelines for such stuff, we just carried on. Made decisions and everything!
The business part of the meeting included talking about the film Antonia's Line that we will watch at our next meeting on July 12, 2019. As a group, we had not really thought through the idea of watching a film and trying to discuss it, when the film itself is about 1:45hr long. The current plan is now this:
We'll have dinner and a Show! The meeting will be back to the usual 3:00 pm time. We watch first, take a break for supper, then discuss what we saw; though supper and the discussion will probably overlap. Supper will be something casserole-ish that will cook itself, and a salad. At the moment I'm thinking of a big spinach pie ala Spanakopita, and yes, there will be a few things to munch on during the movie). Feel free to holler if you don't like this idea, but really...makes sense to we 5.
Next, Angela shared a flyer from Rosemary's Herb Shop about a product she offers called Really Deep Sleep. Angela has not used it for long, yet, but feels that is definitely helping her sleep.
Irma offered to facilitate our 4th Friday meeting and will let us know the topic when she chooses one.
There are New links up on the Links page. end of business, on to topic.
As you could tell from my emails, I struggled a bit with choosing a topic. And we may revisit at some point my first idea of Ritual or Capital P Practice.
But we went with Euthanasia, a rich and deep and compelling subject. Five of us were here; all of us approve of the idea and want legislation that would make it legal everywhere, even when we might not want to use it ourselves.
We shared a bit first about what a Good Death for each of us might be. We all had similar ideas of how that might look:
- Pain-free was a high priority!
- With friends/family
- By choice if at all possible
- At home
- Conscious and aware
We had similar ideas about when the right time might be:
- a terminal diagnosis
- dementia or Alzheimer's
- uncontrollable pain
- when we can no longer do the things that 'feed' us, whether that is our shared life with a sp0use, hobbies, music or art, etc.
We heard about the Neptune Society from Angela. The Neptune Society is a national organization that sells cremation services in 45 locations, including Albuquerque.
There are other companies who offer similar services, and most local funeral homes will allow you to pre-pay for the services you want.
Exit International is a site I mentioned to you, having heard of it from someone who had first-hand knowledge of the successful use of it's non-medical information for ending one's life. From this link here, you can learn about the company, founders, mission, etc. I have linked to a specific article on Euthanasia on our Links page. I have signed up to get their email newsletter and let you know what I think.
We felt also that this subject, Euthanasia, is one we may want to pursue in greater detail. Particularly information from sites like Exit International, because no form of assisted suicide is legal in New Mexico. Or at least, not now. The latest efforts to pass a bill were defeated in March of this year. Kate suggested that a small committee might want to take on further research. Mostly we agreed on that, but felt that a larger number of members could make a better call about that. It won't be a topic on the 12th, but it will come up again, I'm sure. If you are intrigued by this subject, as I am, share whatever you find, or post here in comments.
Disclaimer: Links to businesses selling or offering anything, whether product or service or information, are there For Your Information Only.
Neither I, nor any member (or friend or associate of a member) is a substitute for your own good sense and/or your own research.