Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The "D" word.

So, today's homework sounds simple enough. Choose someone and talk about IT. The "D" word.

Death. Dying.

In our society, the "D" word is just as taboo as the "F" word. I guess it is our hope that if we don't talk about it, it won't occur. My mom, for example, believes that if you discuss death you are inviting death. She's not talking. My sister was willing to listen to what I had to say - and even interjected a comment or 2 - but was clearly uncomfortable with the topic of conversation and wanted to move on.

I look at it this way: it's gonna happen. It's inevitable. No one knows when. Not everyone gets sick and is put on notice, or given time to get their house in order. Long before this course I started telling my family what my wishes were, simply because I wanted things done MY way. Anyone who knows me as the control freak I am wouldn't be surprised by this. The only thing I want less than dying, is for someone else making the decisions on my behalf based on their beliefs, their fears, their wishes.

Our language regarding death is indicative of our attitude and general feelings with the concept of dying. Our terminology and images of death only increase our fear:
~ the grim reaper
~ kick the bucket
~ last curtain call
~ your last enemy
~ meeting your maker

A pastor, facilitating a module on Spiritual Issues Around Death and Dying raises this question:
"Now if you and I are uncomfortable with the idea of death (and we are largely on the outside looking in) can you imagine what the prospect of imminent death must do to the ones you'll be called to care for? They're facing their own demise; the general weakening of their body reminds them everyday of their mortality. They aren't what they used to be, and can't do what they used to do so they are going through the various phases of grief."

Try as we might, death can not be ignored. It is an inescapable fact of life. Since it can't be ignored, isn't it time we learned about death? Opened up and discussed death?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Missing George.

I miss you baby girl.

I hate not being able to talk to you. Not saying goodnight. Not hearing how your day went. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. Constantly hoping you'll call home ... come home.

I'm not surprised you've taken a stand like this. I did too, when I was your age. I know it's hard for you to think of me having been your age but I was. And I had just as strong feelings and just as strong convictions as you.

That's why I wish you would give me even just an ounce of credit instead of always telling me I don't understand. But then again, I guess I didn't give my mom that same credit.

For as much as I agree that right now you can't live at home, it doesn't mean we can't have each other in our lives. A phone call. An email. Anything is better than nothing.

You are my daughter and I love you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

When you want to the least, is when you need to the most

I'll save you all the drivel and excuses of the last 6 months. It's an ugly story and since I can't go back I need to just move forward. Even my horoscope this morning started with, "there's no better time to recommit yourself ..."

So here I go.

Besides, the sun is shining. Spring is here. The temperature will reach the double digits today and by week's end we'll top 20 degrees Celsius.

And it's a short work week :)

A perfect day to smile. A perfect day to feel good. A perfect day for a 're commitment.' A perfect way to start a Monday, if you ask me.

I'm in the process of designing my business cards. I've delved into my beading and have much to do making jewellery and bookmarks. Feedback from everyone has been positive, so if I can make a few bucks doing something I love ... why not?

My other big announcement is I've started training as a palliative care caregiver. A ten week course offered by the Hospice Association of Ontario. Afterwards, I'll be able to provide hospice palliative care as a volunteer. A first step to what I hope becomes a career move into palliative care. If I had both the money and time, I would go back to school and do nursing.

But this is a start.

I love what I'm learning and hope to be able to make a difference to a family and their loved one as they make their final journey home.