Humanizing the End-of-Life For Yourself and Your Community
Citizen role models, advocates and educators take responsibility for their own mortality and caring for each other, living life to the fullest capacity across the wellness/illness continuum.
When it comes to facing death and dying, most people pull the proverbial covers over their head not realizing it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
Most of us live in denial of our mortality until it’s too late and the responsibility of navigating the end of one’s life falls to family, friends or strangers assigned to them through the health care system. This persistent denial of death and abdicating personal responsibility for wrapping up one’s life creates unnecessary emotional, psychological, physical and financial burdens.
We can do better. We must do better. The baby boomer generation, famous for challenging, transforming and revolutionizing systems and the status quo will not age, navigate illness and die like their World War II parents. They are less likely to turn their power over to authority and yet there is no road map for how to age and die well.
The dying are the real experts on living. Frequently, hospice patients say, “Why did I wait so long?” This question reflects a growing awareness that when we face our mortality we are rewarded with the fulness of our lives. This opportunity to live more fully, freely, and with less burden, also lessens the impact of our leaving upon others. This is healthy dying.
The Healthy Dying Project (HD Project), sponsored by Living Bridges, emerged as the next generation to the Solace Teachings end-of-life education program, which is now used in communities, learning environments and professional associations.
The HD Project is an immersion program into one’s life and elderhood with step-by-step preparation for responsible leave-taking, conscious legacy creation and acknowledgment of the impact we leave behind, understanding that we are relational beings connected within and through systems.
A pilot of the HD Project and the Solace Teachings will begin in Todos Santos, Baja Mexico, December 8-10, in a 3-day training program for ex pats who will experience the dual process of preparing for one’s own death and learning to care for each other in their dying. In 2018 the HD Project will launch in New Mexico addressing the large aging population and the gaps in care and services due to the state’s economic hardship.
For more information, please email Camille Adair.by