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death and dying


When I first viewed this, I knew I would post it on our blog. What I also knew was I would share a brief synopsis of my own journey of grief. The one thing I discovered about grief is, it takes it own course and it is best to let it run the course it needs to go. When I lost mom, all that appeared to come forth was strength as I wanted to help dad through grieving his wife of 64 years. I was numb. And I could hardly believe it when dad died 3 months later and I found myself sitting back in that damn cemetery. Up to that point I had always viewed cemeteries with reverence for the deceased but seeing a headstone with both my parents names on it was horrifying. I learned we all grieve differently and we all grieve over different periods of time. (more…)


Here is another great video by Dr. Marion Somers. Her website is .

This video of hers is special to me as my last moment with my faher before he passed was life changing. My father never fully went into a coma so I continued speaking to him right until he passed. Before I finish this story though let me state that even though someone is in a coma I believe they continue to hear us. Anyway, (more…)


I suppose this video can be viewed with feelings of, “Oh, no”, or allow it to be a lesson to those of you who will one day have to pack up your parents’ home. When my mother and father died, we found an attic full of stuff. My brother felt like we should just throw everything away. All I can say is thank goodness we took the necessary time to go through everything as there were many treasures. Look closely at everything before throwing anything away. What might look like junk may very well be invaluable. Also look within old items, like books, etc., as many times our relatives have hidden their treasures within something else, just like in the video you are about to watch.


Does life change after losing one’s parents’ and it is a resounding yes. It is never quite the same. Today, November 6, 2008 marks the 4th year anniversary of my mother’s passing. I pulled out and then posted the picture above as it was a day filled with laughter. That is not dad in the picture :>) although as a child when he disciplined me, he looked very similar to this Universal Studios character. Actually, dad was taking our picture and we were trying to stop from giggling. And today is also my brother’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mark! My mom wanted to make sure we never forgot her by passing on one of her children’s birthdays. We almost lost her on my birthday, which was in July, and thankfully she held on and waited until Mark’s. Not funny but somehow it is. All I can say is I had the kindest, most gentle mother in the whole world and to strive to be like her is one of my life goals. Rather than be sad, I feel blessed for having been her daughter. Here’s to the life my mother had and the birthday of my brother who has life to live…

Hospice Chaplains Take Up Bedside Counseling

(Photo courtesy of Flickr and Tidewater Muse)

Being at the bedside of a dying person is a profound and often life-changing experience. It was for me. I got to know more about my dad and who he was as he was dying than in all of the previous years he was alive. Having had a traditional fear of dying, I was not prepared for the honesty and raw emotion that comes with helping a person die “well”. In the end, it was the hospice people that showed us incredible grace and compassion. I am forever grateful for their dedication to families like mine.

It was with great interest that I read the following article from today’s NY Times, about the new breed of non-denominational hospice chaplains. They are true heroes and deserves our deep admiration. I hope you enjoy the story: (more…)

Dedicated to Dad – It’s Been A Long 3 Years…


When I watched this youtube video I could not help but think of my mom and dad. They were married 64 years and therefore I should not have been shocked when they died within 3 months of one another. They found beauty in each other right to the very end. It was February 12, 2005 when dad seemed to be heading into a coma. I remember saying to him, “Dad, it’s only 2 days to Valentine’s Day. You better hurry on over to the other side or mom is going to dance with someone else”. My father died within 4 hours. Today it was 3 years since his passing and though I miss both mom and dad, I see this youtube video as a tribute to my parents. They had a long and happy marriage and I know they will be dancing with each-other throughout all eternity.

The Tenacity Of A Senior To Continue To Learn, Part 1


This is a fascinating journey of an older woman to want to learn computers and to not let any obstacle get in her way. It also has it’s sad moments, (yes, I cried), as some of the harsher realities of growing older have to be faced. It is a phenomenal young man who produced this. We need more young people who appreciate the journey all of us will one day go through. Make sure you watch part 1 and part 2. This video will touch your heart and I hope help each of us to be kind and loving to our elders.

The Tenacity Of A Senior To Continue To Learn, Part 2


I have to warn anyone who watches this 2 part video that it is a tear jerk-er. It’s reality. The young man who produced this deserves a stand-up applause for documenting her journey and further applause for his own compassion in working with older adults.

Death of a Spouse – Being Prepared

This video is short but carries a big message. Fortunately my mother died right before my father, otherwise the scenario discussed by Dr. Brian Kluth would have played out quite the same. Being independent is actualy a good thing but our parents’ generation was such that the man cared for the woman. So what happens when he dies and you don’t know where to turn or how to get things done? Start putting lists together before you lose a spouse.  Spend a day going over all the different people your spouse deals with as  relates to paying bills, house repairs and upkeep, insurance, credit cards, savings accounts, etc. The end of one life does not mean the end of yours if only you will prepare so that you will have a road-map to follow.

Hospice Care – In The Hospital Or At Home?


This video shows the tough decisions a family must go through when end of life decisions need to be made. I believe the majority of us, if given the choice, would prefer to die in our own home. The family in the video has a family meeting and they discuss all the options for caring for their loved one. We brought in hospice for my parents as they wanted to be at home for their final moments. With my father-in-law, the decision was made for him to be in the hospice wing of a local hospital. From having seen both at-home hospice and hospice within the hospital, I would proceed differently (more…)