How did I get to this place in my life where I want to work with people who, by accepting the impermanence of life, accept that death is inevitable, and live their life to the last breath.
My life as with most people has been interceded with joy, pain, laughter, tears, sadness, loss. my work has exposed me to people that have overcome adversity and those who are still struggling. I delivered talks to young people and professionals during the height of the AIDS era, I talked to people living in denial and spoke about sex, drugs and rock and roll to students. I find some similarities in discussions about dying and death and I am amazed at the number of people who cannot have that basic discussion with family, instead they are left with making difficult decisions at a time when they should have time for reflection and grief. I have experienced death and the pain, grief and sadness that brings. I have been present where the dying has been done in hospital and the body whisked away, never to be seen again, all leaving the family in a state of disbelief and shock.
When mum died it was not unexpected. I had made the arrangements myself in advance, yet somehow in their busy schedule arrangements were not followed, we as a family were not treated with respect, my mothers body was not treated with respect and my father screamed as they wheeled her away in a plastic bag. I cannot begin to explain my range of emotions through this time, the anger, sadness, despair, grief, and more anger. We finally (after changing Funeral Directors) had the service we wanted for mum, (delivered by my brother and myself) we celebrated her life, and as it does after death, life continued.
Something changed for me after that experience and I thought ' we can do better than that', there has to be a better way; and so began my next phase of life in wanting to honour dying and death as the part of life that it is, not one to be denied; and most of all give people choices and dignity at the end of their life .
Death = the unspoken word.