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End of Life Story Excerpts

A Companion for the Journey through to Death

For a myriad of cultures midwives have served as healers for their communities. They were revered for their wisdom and healing power; they tended the sick, the dying and the birthing mothers within their community during a time when the standardized medical profession was at its beginnings of being favoured. Now, with an increase in the midwifery profession, a new movement has been[...]

Word from the Heavens

A pleasant surprise arrived at the homes of family and friends of the late Chet Fitch. The Oregon native passed away in October 2007 but managed to send hand-written cards to his loved ones.If for any reason the mail didn't arrive postal services would be in a kerfuffle over where to return the mail. For the return address was Heaven.Fitch was reported to have said that he wanted one[...]

Twelve Breaths: Lessons from the End of Life

Near the end of someone's life, many decisions need to be made by their family and friends as well as health care providers. Many of these choices are not easy: no one wants to authorize turning off a ventilator or pull the plug. Such decisions cause arguments, heartbreak and emotional trauma for those involved but personal stories are not often recounted due to not having a platform on[...]

Thanatology: Death Education

Derived from the Greek mythology of Thanatos, the daemon personification of death, thanatology is the academic study of dying, death and grief, and encompasses thoughts, feelings, attitudes, events and the psychological mechanisms of dealing with them.While the topic is wide-ranging, thanatology further includes sociology, biology, history, theology, psychology, economics, art and[...]

Dying Patient Leaves a Musical Legacy

Sheri Swick loved her three kids and four grandkids. She wanted to leave something for them to remember her by. She was in palliative care in a hospital in London, Ontario when Jill Kennedy-Tufts, the hospital's musical therapist, agreed to help Swick record a legacy. The hospital and Kennedy-Tufts have used this program to optimize the quality of life for palliative patients and their[...]
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