weekly blog--one for the ages
Well not yet anyway. Over the last few weeks, I’ve run across two terms worth noting: Death Doulas and Ethical Wills.
The work of a Death Doula is to help someone ease the passage from this world to the next. Sometimes it’s just sitting with a person in silence just to keep them company. Sometimes it’s helping with physical care, or assisting family members with errands and household chores.
The main job of a Death Doula is to listen, without judgment, to honor the experience of both the dying person and their loved ones, and to facilitate meaningful interactions between them. The people who train to become a Death Doula say they feel almost inexplicably called to the role, and profoundly touched by the experience.
An Ethical Will is a way to share your values, life’s lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, love and forgiveness with family and friends before passing on. It’s not a legal document, but has roots in Judeo-Christian tradition going back to the Bible (Genesis), where a dying Jacob gathered his sons to offer them his blessing and to request that they bury him in a cave in Canaan instead of Egypt.
Today, an ethical is written by men and women of every age, ethnicity, faith tradition, economic circumstance, and educational level. It is used as a tool for spiritual healing in religious communities and in health care with seniors, the ailing, the aged, and the dying. Estate and financial professionals use the ethical will as a foundation to help clients articulate their values, make charitable and personal financial decisions, and prepare a last will and testament.
One for the road…Participants in Medicare’s Care Choices pilot program can now receive home-hospice care while also pursuing curative treatments. To do so, they must have cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), or HIV, and be admitted to one of the nation’s 140 participating hospice programs. STAT