What does it mean to Live and Die Well?

How we live is totally up to each and every one of us, which naturally will be influenced by many, many things. Our culture, family, history, experiences, health, the attitude and values we develop and the connections we make are just a few of the things that impact and determine who each of us are. How amazing to think, with a world population of over 7 billion people, each person has something that makes us “us” – our own unique being.

It is said that “we die how we live”. How we approach death and dying is pretty well much the same as to how we live. An experience told to me recently challenges this but in a very caring loving way. A very private person spent her last day and hours surrounded by people who loved her dearly, had travelled across the globe to see her, to be with her and to say their goodbyes. As the group filled her room they were noisy, sharing stories and recounting happy times together. There was little they could actually “do” apart from be there, talk to her and touch her. They patted her arms and hands, stroked her hair and forehead and offered gentle caresses knowing these offerings would also soon end. In hearing this story I thought how beautiful to have such care and attention from your tribe at this time. The story continued with the teller knowing that this person’s last day and hours were not really how she lived. Attention, noise and touching were not part of her living.

As the hours passed and the time presented, words of love were expressed to her unconscious friend. She acknowledged she knew she wouldn’t have liked all this attention, noise and being constantly stroked; for this, she apologised. Some hours later the person died, after the weary travellers had left along with their noise and attention, and the touching had ceased.

There were just a couple of special besties by her side to bear witness to her dying. This sounds just how she wanted it.

Living and dying well is whatever that means to each and every one of us. I can’t think that there are 7 billion ways to die well but thinking and talking about what it means to you and your family is a great place to start. As they say, an action starts with a thought, so what are yours?

Would you like to know more? Book in with me for a free chat below.

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Inspirational Words

Are you a person that likes or dislikes an inspirational quote?

I’m generally not a person that goes for these, or to have affirmations written up reminding me to show up and be thankful for my life. I do have other ways to acknowledge this and I love it when I have moments where I need to pinch myself because a feeling of clarity and wonder catches me off guard. These moments are often in nature, be it the stunning beauty of a perfect flower, a tree that stands so still and majestically with a wind testing its stability, or the crunch and crackle of autumn leaves that are dying in preparation for the next season of life to come around.

 

Alongside these joys and experiences in nature, I will often jot down some words or a quote that somehow shakes my attention.

 

Words that someone has thought were useful for the world, sprayed on a wall, used as a slogan, written in a card or just picked up along my day.

 

Some of these include –

Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child. (Ron Wild)

Always forgive your enemy, nothing annoys them so much. (Oscar Wilde)

Arguing isn’t communication, it’s noise. (Tony Gaskins)

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. (unknown)

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. (Unknown)

Live life as if it’s rigged in your favour. (Rumi)

Do not be sad, as god sends hope in the darkest moments. The heaviest rains come from the darkest clouds. (Rumi)

There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen. (Rumi)

The trouble is you think you have time. (Buddha)

Every day I miss you and it still hurts like the first day you gained your wings. (Unknown)

 

And on a humorous note;

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”(George Bernard Shaw)

“Any day above ground is a good one” (Motto of the National Museum of Funeral History in Austin Texas)

Leigh

Would you like to know more? Book in with me for a free chat below.

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What is a Doula?

What is a doula ?

Doula is a Greek work which translates to “woman servant”. Going back a century it was the “doula”, a wise woman of the village that supported women in having babies and people dying. The emergence of birthing doulas in Australia came about in the 1980s as women wanting to do birthing differently, taking this part of life back to more natural ways, saw the growth of home births, and having fathers and supporters much more included in the birthing process.

In more recent years the role of having someone to support those at the other end of life (dying) become much more common – these practitioners are known as End of Life doulas.

End of Life doulas may come from a range of backgrounds, hold various skills and expertise and offer a range of services. While they do not offer medical or legal support it is the emotional support, knowledge and resources in a caring, compassionate and empowering manner that is of essence. Someone that can hold that space for the person dying and others to allow the process of leaving this life in a more peaceful and meaningful way.

A doula can be engaged by the person who is dying, family members or friends, or whoever it is that is needing support at this time. The range of services will differ from doula to doula but most cover a holistic approach and can look at supports and assistance around a person’s medical, legal, care, emotional, spiritual and practical needs. It is a very individualised approach, so not everyone’s needs and/or packaging of the service are ever going to be the same.

Would you like to know more? Book in with me for a free chat below.

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10 questions to ask yourself and your loved one

10 questions to ask yourself and your loved ones

  • Do you know what you want and don’t want at end of life?

  • Would you like to be informed and confident in making legal and practical end of life decisions while not being overwhelmed with emotions?

  • Are you informed about what care, resources and support options may be available?

  • Would you like to be empowered to make choices about living and dying with meaning, compassion and integrity?

  • Are you worried about being a burden or upsetting family members and other loved ones?

  • Is having end of life conversations a tough call for you and the people around you?

  • Would you like to be able to engage in honest and meaningful conversations with the people around you about this journey?

  • Would you like to celebrate living and dying in a way that reflects your personality and style?

  • Are you ready to build on your own unique legacy?

  • Have you got a hand to hold on this journey

If you answered each of these questions with ease that’s fantastic, you’re a rare breed and I bet you embrace every moment of living. If you didn’t, and you’d like to get to that place of ease, and to explore what’s right for you and your family, I can assist. I can offer non-medical, non-legal, non-judgemental support, knowledge and resources in a respectful way that empowers your choices and decision making.

Would you like to know more? Book in with me for a free chat below.

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