By Maria Popova — 2016
“When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world.”
Read on www.brainpickings.org
In most modern cultures, it’s common for people to feel uneasy about death. We express this discomfort by avoiding conversations on the topic and lowering our voices when speaking of the dead and dying.
My Feb. 5 column, “A Heartfelt Appeal for a Graceful Exit,” prompted a deluge of information and requests for information on how people too sick to reap meaningful pleasure from life might be able to control their death.
Though I wince at the redundancy, funeral “pre-planning” is a phenomenon receiving increased attention, and a growing number of Web-based guides tell how to go about it.
As www.funerals.org puts it: “Funeral planning starts at home.
The fear of death and dying is quite common, and most people fear death to varying degrees. To what extent that fear occurs and what it pertains to specifically varies from one person to another.
Frank Ostaseski, an internationally respected Buddhist teacher and pioneer in end-of-life care, has accompanied over 1,000 people through their dying process.
For more than 50 years, Ram Dass has watched as other nontraditional spiritual leaders have come and gone while he has remained.
Studies of dying patients who seek a hastened death have shown that their reasons often go beyond physical ones like intractable pain or emotional ones like feeling hopeless.
For three decades Charles Garfield has trained volunteers to care compassionately for strangers. He shares what he’s learned about the extraordinary deeds of ordinary people.
Is a “good death” just an oxymoron? Or can the experience of death be far more positive—an opportunity for growth and meaning?
Prognoses are more of an art than a science. Maybe it’s better not to know.