10 Things You Can Do Today to Challenge Your Views on Dying – Notes to Myself

Today – chose one or all, of the below
  1. Write out your most pressing problems, worries, and concerns. Then watch “Perinatal Hospice Video” or check out the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation (warning – video contains highly sensitive scenes) When you are finished look at your list again. Has anything large grown smaller?
  2. Read The Wheel of Life, A Memoir of Death and Dying” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, or click on this link to reach her inspiring foundation.
  3. Spend time with a loved one, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or stranger who is facing end of life and really listen to their thoughts on living. It is rare to hear someone who is dying speak of regrets in terms of money, power, or position. It is most common to hear about relationships, healing, and love. Heal your heart.
  4. Take time to identify what brings joy and energy to your life. Are you up to date and current? Living to your potential? Taking time to smell, well … anything that makes you truly happy? Focus on what really matters.
  5. Write a eulogy for yourself that highlights the legacy you hope to leave. Are you on target? If this eulogy was read tomorrow would you be remembered as you wish? Is there some action needed, for you to come correct? Mend your life.
  6. Try something that you have always wanted to, or continually put off doing. What are you waiting for? The further outside your comfort zone, the scarier it will be. This is good – it’s called growth.
  7. Live each moment with gratitude. Regardless of less than optimal circumstances, what is one thing you are grateful for? And another? And one more? For inspiration take small children to silly movies and speak with active duty service men & women, or vets of any foreign war.
  8. Love who you are, flaws and all. There will always be things to improve upon, yet you are a miracle, unique, loved, loving, and wonderful, exactly as you are.
  9. Forgive yourself and others. Holding on to hurts and grudges against yourself or others will drain your energy and fill valuable space in your brain that could be put to better use. Is there something in your past you regret having done, that at the time you felt justified in doing, but knowing what you do now would never do again? There is as equally a good chance that someone who hurt you may also have grown to a place of higher moral ground. If you have trouble with this – seek professional help.
  10. Pay attention to the beauty that is all around you. Yes, there is sadness and ugliness everywhere. There is also an abundance of grandeur. Where are you choosing to focus? Have you listened to the birds today? Felt the air on your skin? Given thanks for your life? Seen something or someone who made you laugh?

Reviewing this list at first glance, it appears as an oversimplification. Looking deeper reminds me that is precisely why each item made it to this list. Sometimes the answer really is right in front of us.

It has been a very difficult week for mom. Pain and breathing difficulties threatened to overtake us on a number of occasions, severely limiting planned activities. We fought back with stronger pain meds (which created new and additional challenges) and greater flexibility, by late Sunday the tide began to turn for her. Of course, that is also the day that I ended up back in the emergency room when a previously friendly dog bit right through my lip. A minor detour in the larger scheme of things, which has once again reinforced how incredibly blessed (lucky) I really am.

I found it challenging to find the nuggets of goodness, but there were many when I really looked. (and big sloppy thanks to all of you who reminded me to open my eyes or made me laugh)  I am grateful for every minute we shared with family, friends, and four-leggeds. Exciting things are happening in each minute of every day. I am looking forward to sharing some photos of a few more memorable everyday opportunities for beauty and grace.

Next week, there is a wonderful guest post coming your way from the very inspiring, and wise author, ijwoods of Conscious Departures – Preparing for What Ultimately Lies Ahead. I hope you will take a few minutes this week to head over to his thoughtful and well written site and check it out. Until then, in the impassioned words of Dr. Kübler-Ross:

“Death is but a transition from this life to another existence where there is no more pain or anguish. Everything is bearable when there is love. My wish is that you try to give more people love. The only thing that lives forever is love.” ¹

¹“The Wheel of Life – A Memoir of Living and Dying” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, A Touchstone Book Published by Simon and Schuster, New York, New York ©1997


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"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 bakka2thesource a collaboration of musicians and artists.
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18 Responses to 10 Things You Can Do Today to Challenge Your Views on Dying – Notes to Myself

  1. lapetinaa says:

    This was written just for me; I can feel it. Thank you for your wisdom, Beth.

    • I look forward to hearing how which of the 10 things had an impact or gave you food for thought. Hope you will feel comfortable sharing.

      • Number 10 is a favorite of mine. I see beauty everywhere and like to admire what I see. I find that when my PTSD issues are simmering I tend to notice nature more. I have to try number 3.

      • Hi Steven, thank you so much for taking the time to join what I am hoping will become more of a dialogue. Noticing nature more – what a wonderful opportunity. It is a bit like the PTSD is trying to get your attention and remind you that there is beauty in the world. When that happens are you able to find comfort in it?

        If you want to try number 3, but don’t have an opportunity to do so, you could also grab a copy of the pamphlet “Gone from My Sight – The Dying Experience” by Barbara Karnes. At least that would give you a good sense of what I am referring to.

        I look forward to hearing about your new insights and discoveries going forward. Blessings to you. Beth

  2. Sylvie says:

    Thank you Beth – haven’t thought about some of your ideas lately….some food for thought for sure. How’s your lip? you dog lover you.

    • Thanks Silverino. Did you watch the perinatal hospice video. It is very very powerful!!!!! Let me know what you think. Lip is sore but healing well. Tetanus shot tomorrow.

  3. Sylvie says:

    Hey, I love your new pic btw….sporty B.

  4. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth, Another good one. This is like my own personal field guide towards a fruitful life. Good timing as well, especially for folks in our age group. I look forward to the day I can scratch all 10 off the list.

    • Thanks Robert. I hope you check out the perinatal hospice video, it is hard to watch but very beautiful and it really does make all my troubles seem so small by comparison. Let us know how you make out scratching things off the list. Maybe some will be easier than others??? I look forward to hearing about your progress with this and all the things you are working on. blessings to you. z

  5. ijwoods says:

    Beth, after watching that prenatal video I couldn’t function for a while I was so blown away. This may be a dumb question but is it that the child does not live very long in these circumstances?

    • Hi Ira,

      In some cases a child has to be birthed or the parents decide not to terminate a pregnancy even though the infant is not alive (as in the case of a woman I know who had a baby born without a brain) In others, like some cases of Trisomy 13 the child lives for as few as 10 minutes. Sometimes they will live for as many as 10 days but it is known from day 1, that when multiple systems (kidneys, lungs, cleft palate, heart are not viable) they would maybe be able to address one such as cleft palate but not all, the baby will not survive. From my understanding in all cases the family is still encouraged, as the Warner’s were, to do all the things that are necessary to become a family. I ball my eyes out each time I see this, but it is sooooo beautiful I have to watch it many times to really take in the power of it. I am not certain that Erin, the infant in this video was alive at all, or if so only lived a few moments, most of the video appears to be after end of life.

      It touches my heart that you were blown away, how could you not be?

      For me this video puts things in perspective and is the inspiration for wanting to document in detail, my mother’s transition from this life.That led me to the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. (they only work with infants or small children) I am still looking for a documentary photographer that will work with adults.

  6. globalunison says:

    This is beautifully and wisely written Beth, it is like a challenge to DEATH and telling it that we care a damn, FEAR AIN’T SOLUTION TO ANYTHING!
    Loved it,

    • Thanks Naima. I had a feeling about you. I too long to speak from the language that all hearts understand. I have goosebumps. Hope you have a glorious and blessed day.Beth

      • globalunison says:

        Same for you Beth. You already made my day by your comment on my blog. It was beautiful. Thank you so much once again. I am eagerly waiting to hear more from you regarding the experiences with your mother and how did it feel as for pursuing the passion for writing,

  7. onlinefunland says:

    Reblogged this on onlinefunland.

  8. boomiebol says:

    This is a great list and post…no 9 for me…forgiving myself. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the follow

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