Throughout my life I have absorbed wisdom, ideas, inspiration and hope from the world around me. Life is one experience after another; good or bad, welcomed or resisted, change occurs. Today during a breakfast meeting with a very good friend I was enlightened with today’s blog topic by a certain phrase he stated. After listening to me rattle on about the completion of my Key to Your Soul CD project and Elephant in the Room discussion guide he said. “Congratulations on your two shrink wrapped accomplishments.” I laughed and said something about my head getting shrink wrapped in reference to the invested risk, time, work, and cost of the projects. Later I realized the value in his statement in relationship to some views on death.
Even with the health care exposure in my life time (as patient, first aid class attendee, life guard, CNA, LPN, RN and 10 year experience with Hospice), it is still obvious to me that there are some people in this world who cannot, or will not, feel comfortable with discussions about death. Fear, I believe is the ultimate factor for most. For others it is more the fact that, as with birth, death is a private journey in which they are accurately aware but just not comfortable discussing it. No matter what the rationale, there are certain facts we know about our feelings, hopes, dreams, and wishes that would better serve us if others were to know them as well. Yet for the vast majority of us, our ideas about death are “shrink wrapped” inside us and we put trust in some vague hope that somehow we will have a “good” death. Good, as in peaceful, painless, regret free, quick, and while we sleep.
One of the major influences on my early education in the healthcare field was a class I took through Rio Salado College in Maricopa County, Arizona. The class text book was Albert Ellis’s A Guide to Rational Living. “Let’s face it,” Ellis writes “reality often stinks.” This particular statement produced an immediate sense of the tragic comedy of this life. We are given senses and a mind to explore and search the vast universal realms of heart and soul equipped with a vessel that weakens and deteriorates just at the time when our life experiences culminate into the realization of self and purpose. Now that’s funny! Yet it is sad all the same. For those of us fortunate enough to survive the experimental years of youth, wrath of war torn global politics, and accidental or intentional trauma, sickness or disease, we are left with aging bodies and dimming minds. Bless the industry of suspended youth that has cropped up in light of this insurmountable fact.
Caring Choices would like to encourage everyone to examine themselves in the mirror, and if necessary, break the shrink wrap around your hearts and minds. Discuss the love and hope for the future with your family, friends, and caregivers. Allow them the opportunity to serve you with the goal of hope for that peaceful, pain and regret-free moment when all intimacies are true and no fear, shame, or agony is invited.
© 2015 Caring Choices