When did you last think about death?
For most people, it is hard to talk about death. But, around one-third of us think about death or dying at least once a week. So...let's talk about it! Normalize it. Let death out of the closet!
Rebecca Rech Cutler, Unity Spiritual Center's faith community nurse, had arranged a 5-week series relating to our mortality, death, dying, and living fully, titled The Departure Lounge, which was scheduled to begin on April 15. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the series has been postponed.
Rebecca, is a member of an all-volunteer team that presents THE REALITIES OF ADVANCED MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS, which supports good healthcare decision-making before an accident or illness occurs. The Realities' presentations, offered throughout Whatcom County and surrounding counties, and follow up Advance Care Planning (ACP) workshops have been canceled for the foreseeable future. However, Rebecca and her team want to help you in the interim because the need for ACP is even more urgent.
Attending a presentation in person is optimum, but these are different times! A long-time local nephrologist, Dr. Bill Lombard, is one of Rebecca's volunteer team mates. HIs Realities' presentation can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/r5k6q37
If you need clarification on an aspect of a medical intervention after viewing Dr. Lombard's presentation before you tackle completing your Advance Directive, email the Realities' coordinator, Micki Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get answers for you from Rebecca or Dr. Lombard. Please no NOT ask for personal medical advice.
Our certified volunteer Advance Care Planning facilitators will help, too, if you have questions about the Honoring Choices PNW advance directive document. Contact Micki at email@example.com
Currently the Washington State Hospital and Washington State Medical Associations recommend the Honoring Choice PNW document.
Access it here: https://www.honoringchoicespnw.org/ Go to upper right corner to download document. The AD can be filled in online if you choose (for legibility!) and printed.
Now is an ideal time, while you're self-isolating, to take stock and face the reality of your mortality.
April 16 marks National Healthcare Decisions Day. NHDD exists to inspire, education and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. Check it out. nhdd.org
Please reach out (virtually where required) to your family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers and let them know that you are ready to "Have the Conversation." It is a shared responsibility. When you complete your Advance Directive (and file with your healthcare providers and our local hospital), you have not only taken a great burden off of yourself and your loved ones, you guide your doctors and nurses by making your wishes known, while you can still communicate yourself.
This 7-minute video titled, "Have the Conversation," features three people, three experiences, three perspectives on the importance to discuss your healthcare wishes with your family, friends and your healthcare providers. By taking responsibility to face your mortality and accept death as a part of life, and completing your Advance Directive, you've created a beautiful gift.. "a love letter to those you adore."
THE CONVERSATION PROJECT provides a treasure trove of information on how to get started:
As we muddle through this pandemic, its fate rests on us, how responsible we are for others. Big-hearted "habits of grace" can be little things. Tell someone right now how much they mean to you. Love, beauty, helping hands, and self-sacrifice will prevail.
Help us spark important conversations about death and advance care planning by sharing this series!
Email this series to a friend by clicking here.
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Download the printable series brochure by clicking here.
For more information about The Departure Lounge contact:
Learn more about Advance Care Planning at healthministriesnetwork.net/acp.