Filed under death

Oliver Sacks’ Perspective on the End of His Life

The direction of every life can change in a moment. We learn this as we age and also as we support elder parents. In his February 19, 2015, New York Times’ opinion piece, My Own Life, Dr. Oliver Sacks illustrates how fast things can change. If you missed his article, it’s a stirring description of what it’s like to … Continue reading

Longer Old Age but Lower Quality Near the End?

A few days ago I added a must read link to Michael Wolff’s New York Magazine article, A Life Worth Ending. It’s an eye-opening piece, detailing long drawn-out decline of his mother. Check it out — it really is a must read. For our parents there are no easy end-of-life answers. Those of us with … Continue reading

Goodbye, Jessie: A Remembrance

My friend Jessie died about a month ago. Though I had not chatted with her for over three years, I  counted her as a much-loved friend and colleague. I met Jessie in August 1984 when she dropped into my second grade classroom to introduce herself. I was new at the school, and she was a … Continue reading

The Over-Medicalization of Aging

At what point, as we age, do we become accepting of aches and pains –aging that is — and stop thinking about rushing to a physician all of the time? How do we decide whether or not to fix a problem if it has more to do with the later years of our life than … Continue reading

Eleanor Clift Writes About Hospice

Journalist Eleanor Clift has written a superb article in the August 2011 publication Health Affairs about the hospice experience of her husband, journalist Tony Brazaitis, in the months before he died of cancer. It’s freely available and filled with astute observations and information — a good read for anyone, but especially for families who may have to … Continue reading

Hospice Helps When a Parent With Dementia is Dying

Sometimes acquaintances describe how a hospice program entered the lives of an aging parent during the last week or even in the last few days of life. My husband and I are aware of just how much hospice offered to our family during the four months before his mother died. However, we have spoken with people — who … Continue reading

Remembrances: Keeping Memories Alive

How can we remember a loved one and all of the cherished memories? In other blog posts I’ve described how my family went about writing remembrances and obituaries, and I’ve seen a number of wonderful media presentations sharing pictures, video, and spoken tributes. One good friend hosted a hymn-sing remembrance, an evening of friends singing and … Continue reading

End-of-Life Conversations

Over at the Inside Aging Parent blog, Carol recently posted Conversations About End of Life with a link to a BlogTalk radio program interviewing author Kelsey Collins (check out Collin’s videos presentations). I have just listened to the program so I recommend checking out Carol’s post and the radio interview. In her book Exit Strategy:  Leaving this Life with … Continue reading