The Living & Dying Consciously Project

2525 Arapahoe Avenue E4-811

Boulder, CO 80302

 

info@livinganddyingconsciouslyproject.org

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The Living & Dying Consciously Project

2525 Arapahoe Avenue E4-811

Boulder, CO 80302

 

info@livinganddyingconsciously.org

© 2019  The Living & Dying Consciously Project

January 21, 2020

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.."

~ Khalil Gibran 

 

Acceptance of our mortal condition is not easy. We live in a culture in which we think, we hope, we search for remedies and cures for all illnesses.

Our medical system is geared for analysis, diagnosis and solution. Medical practitioners work hard to find a way to avoid death. Too often death becomes a medical emergency, approached with urgency and chaos.

It takes courage to face death head on.

Death is a river we must all cross one day. Although we may circumnavigate it, avoiding...

December 20, 2019

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much."

~ Helen Keller

 

Building an end-of-life care community is a challenge for most of us.

Since my husband and I do not have children to lean on in times of difficulty, we have to expand our search for those who can help. We worried that by asking for help we could become a burden upon our younger friends.

To our surprise, all those we asked enthusiastically said yes.

Of course our requests necessitated lots of conversation about our values, life choices and wishes for care. We were required to speak up clearly be...

November 1, 2019

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”


– Lao Tzu


Every year in early October I retreat from my normal activities for 3 days. I do this to honor my mother who was born on October 4 and died on October 6. During my retreat I disconnect from the outside world. I make curry pumpkin soup from scratch. Chopping, simmering, straining, tasting shapes the rhythm of my day. In the early years my retreat time was spent grieving.

Now, seventeen years later, I feel my mother’s love nurture me as I nurture myself.

In the...

September 24, 2019

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”


– George McDonald


On September 21, the fall equinox, I spent time in the company of friends in ceremony. Good friends and family are important in my life. We relish the time we get to spend together laughing, eating and telling stories.

These are the folks I rely on to help me when I am sick and care for me when I am dying. My husband and I do not have children to lean on in times of difficulty. We must plan, figure out who is best suited for the various jobs, and ask for help.

Preparing for death as a rite o...

August 28, 2019

“How did it get so late so soon?

It's night before it's afternoon.

December is here before it's June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon??"  

~ Dr. Seuss 


I welcome the “dog days” of summer as Sirius shines brightly in the night sky. For me, this is a time of rest after a busy summer of teaching. The hot days encourage me to take it easy and reflect on where I have been and where I am going. I push the pause button on my life to take time for myself.

Time is such an interesting concept.

We humans depend on time to measure our lives, regul...

July 23, 2019

“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"  

~ Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 


I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco last month to see Hamilton the musical. What an experience! I still have the music swirling in my thoughts throughout the day. The play is based on the life of Alexander Hamilton who was killed in a duel at the age of 47. His wife Eliza Hamilton spent the rest of her life trying to tell his story.

The musical reminded me that we rarely have the opportunity to shape the narrative of our lives after we are gone. 

When I ask folks what they want fo...

June 20, 2019

“Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in, the sun shine in…” 

~ Aquarius, Hair  


I am house sitting for friends this month. Their house is perched on the summit of a hill overlooking Boulder Valley. The view is spectacular. More wondrous is the number of birds that flit by, offering a tune or a flash of color.

This morning, I was entertained by a host of adventurers going about their day. Robins chirped at the top of spruce trees. A Rufous-sided Towhee scrambled through a bush offering a flick of his tail feathers as he sang a sweet song. A Red-tailed Haw...

May 1, 2019

"Everything you need to know is within you.
Listen. Feel. Trust the body's wisdom."  

~ Dan Millman


I visited the “Best New Business in Boulder” last week. It was a delightful place. The entry was filled with locally crafted ceramic vessels, ornamental glass and soft weavings. Their services include body care with rose petals, essential oils and body wraps.

This is a place I want to revisit in the future.

This isn’t an art gallery or a spa. It is The Natural Funeral, a local, independent holistic funeral home and end-of-life resource center. The experienced staff prom...

April 2, 2019

As April showers bring May flowers so too does a terminal diagnosis bring surprising gifts. 

When time is limited we have the urge to reconnect with long lost friends. Seeking forgiveness or asking for forgiveness becomes a necessity, not a luxury. We choose to go on a bucket list adventure. I find my clients who know they are dying are frank in their speech and honest in their assessment of the situation. 

Confronting death brings us to attention. It is a time to be fully alive.

Today, when I was walking my dog Jude, I passed two blooming plum trees. I was filled wit...

March 21, 2019

“Wake at dawn with winged heart

and give thanks for another day of loving.”

– Kahlil Gibran

In my neighborhood, birds are building nests and butterflies are migrating northward. Crocuses are popping up even though snow lingers in the foothills.

It is Spring and time for new beginnings.

I am determined to update my Advance Health Care Directives this Spring.

Last week I visited with my personal attorney. She handed me a sheet of choices regarding artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life. She asked about my choice of a Medical Health Care Agent. While these ar...

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