There are as many end of life rituals as their are cultures. Each intended to ease through the dying process and to help those left behind to move on, while celebrating a life lived, and honouring memories.
For some memories are triggered by a treasured momento: a piece of jewellery, a hand-knitted blanket. For many, it’s photographs, special occasion cards, scrapbooks. For some, it’s a project worked on together for a shared experience to remember: creating a puzzle together or – using available technology – iphone video conversation. Virtual experiences offer more options: a Facebook memorial page, a shared photo library.
What if what you want until you die can’t be done exactly as you imagined?
Consider it an opportunity for creative thinking.
When medical assistance in dying – MAID (also referred to as Medically Assisted Dying – MAD and Physician Assisted Dying – PAD ) was just a twinkle in eye in most of North America, I began my layman’s journey into learning all things end of life – encompassing much more than ‘help me die’. Now, with medical assistance in dying taking center stage, I’ve made it my business to attend every Town Hall, Presentation and Info session.
We need less sleep as we get older. Everyone knows that right? Wrong! Completely and utterly wrong.
The myth that the need to sleep drops as we advance in years is one of those random misconceptions that somehow takes hold and persists – kind of like how if you eat something within five seconds of it falling on the floor it will be fine. No, it won’t.
Of the three siblings, Ricky – the sole daughter – was closest to her mother, Anna. “When my marriage ended, my kids and I lived with my mother. We all adored her.” In the last three years of her life Anna- who died at age 91 – was beset by Dementia. “It was more than memory loss – it was her wonderful personality that vanished.” In spite of the pain of her beloved mother disappearing, Ricky took care of her until the end.