Departure Conversations

So far, life has a 100% mortality rate.  We are not getting out of this alive!  You and I, and everyone we know, will face the inevitable moment of losing loved ones, and facing our own death.

And yet, we live in a culture that would rather NOT look at this reality.  Would rather NOT pay attention to this fact.  Would rather NOT think about those end-of-life issues… at least until we are forced to.

Over more than the past year, there has been a daily toll of death and loss.  It has been in our face in an inescapable way for many long months.

But I wonder if this has changed the conversations in any important ways about our own (and our loved one’s) death and dying.

Willy Donaldson, Author of Estimated Time of Departure.Willy Donaldson realized that he had to have some tough conversations with his parents.  In spite of his own resistance, and that of his parents, Willy had those conversations, to find out what wishes his parents had about that inescapable time.  It was not just a conversation about the details, but the reasons behind their wishes.  What Willy wanted was to make sure his parents’ wishes were known and understood, not just by the family, but by his parents.

It turned out that those uncomfortable conversations were a gift.  They were moments of understanding and connection.

Those conversations were also a comfort for everyone.  So that that last human moment was understood and out in the open.

This topic became so important that Willy, a business professor, started sharing his story.  That led to a book about those important conversations.  And it led to our interview about those important conversations.  Listen in on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, as Willy and I discuss those end-of-life conversations and why they are so important.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Estimated Time of Departure Website
Moving Through Grief
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?
Order, Disorder, Reorder

 

Life After Loss

Sarah Nannen on life after loss.  Dealing with Grief.Long ago, way back in one of my college classes on death and dying, the professor told us that our death rituals — the funeral, visitation, etc. — were our ways of “reweaving the cloth of our community” after a loss.

Grief has a process.  It is our internal response to loss, that is about how we move through and beyond that loss.

Yet in our culture, we tend to have an impatience with grief and the grieving.  With the best of intentions, we sometimes push people to move through their grief.  And we push ourselves to move through our grief.

We want those grieving to find happiness again.  And as we grieve, we want to stop hurting.

Which often only serves to disrupt grief, prolonging or curtailing the healing that needs to come after a loss.  In our attempts to “speed it along,” we slow it down or cut it off.

My guest on this episode, Sarah Nannen, knows this first-hand.  With 4 young children, Sarah was widowed when her active-duty husband died in a training accident.

In the aftermath, Sarah had to follow her own instincts to find space for her grief… and then she found herself once again among the living.

Since then, Sarah has been helping others do the same.  She wrote a book, Grief Unvealed, and helps others to find empowerment as they process their own grief.

Who is this episode for?  If you are alive… you!  Because every single one of us will be (or have been) confronted by loss.  Every single one of us will (or has) pass through grief.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Sarah Nannen’s Website (and free Peace Meditation)
Moving Through Grief
Order, Disorder, Reorder
Grieve Losses, Celebrate Gains
Does Everything Happen for a Reason?