As an adult and Death Doula, I have no qualms with using the words died or dead. Yet, I appreciate that death hits each person differently. In times of bereavement, the words we choose hold great significance in shaping our perception and experience of death. In the African-American community, we traditionally say, that someone passd on or is taken from us. Some others commonly use the phrase "sorry for your loss", or "we lost her/him". However, as Death Doulas, it is our responsibility to transform the dialogue surrounding death and encourage a more empowering perspective. By reimagining our language, we can help individuals and communities embrace dying with the concept of transition and foster a healthier grieving process. Let us delve into the significance of replacing "lost" with "transitioned" or passed on and how it can facilitate profound change.
Departing from negative connotations:
The term "lost" carries connotations of finality and hopelessness. It implies that the person we cherished has vanished indefinitely, leaving behind a void that seems impossible to fill. We often search for lost people. This perception can perpetuate feelings of emptiness and intensify the grieving process. However, by adopting the word transitioned or say they passed on, acknowledges death as a passage into a different state of existence. It suggests that our loved ones have embarked on a new journey, inviting the possibility of forging a unique connection and understanding. We need to promote the use of wording that emphasizes the move from the physical body, without the loss of spirit.
Embracing the notion of continuity:
By employing the term related to transitions, we can emphasize the continuity of our loved ones' existence in an alternate form or realm. It reminds us that although they are no longer present in physical form, their influence, memories, and essence endure. Recognizing this sense of continuity encourages us to engage in a deeper and enduring relationship with the memory of our loved ones.
Cultivating healing and acceptance:
Grief is a complex and deeply personal experience. The language we use has the power to either facilitate healing or hinder the process. When we say someone is "lost," we inadvertently perpetuate a sense of longing, absence, search and recovery. Conversely, using the words transitioned or passed on, enables us to construct a more accepting narrative. It encourages individuals to find solace in the knowledge that their loved ones are not suffering. This shift in perception can facilitate profound healing, offering comfort and fostering acceptance throughout the grieving process.
Encouraging open conversations about death:
Our language shapes our attitudes and perceptions surrounding death. By normalizing the transition or passing on, we can initiate conversations about death and dying that are often stigmatized or avoided in society. As Death Doulas, we hold the responsibility to ignite discussions that promote awareness, acceptance, and understanding. By selecting our words thoughtfully, we create an environment where individuals feel safe to explore their emotions, fears, and hopes related to death, thereby fostering a more empathetic and compassionate society.
As Death Doulas, we possess a unique opportunity to redefine how we approach conversations about death and mourning. By transitioning from "lost" to "transitioned,” or “passing" we empower ourselves and others to embrace the transformative nature of death and find solace in the continuity of love and connection. Let us be catalysts for change in this conversation, nurturing healing, acceptance, and a more compassionate approach to grief. By embracing transitions and passings, we honor the memory of our loved ones and navigate the path of grief with greater resilience and understanding.
The inevitability of death is a fact of life that many people prefer to avoid thinking about. However, embracing death preparedness can have a profound impact on one's ability to live fully in the present.
Death preparedness refers to the process of planning for one's eventual death, including making arrangements for end-of-life care, creating a will, and discussing funeral arrangements with loved ones. While this may seem like a morbid topic, taking care of these practical matters can actually alleviate stress and allow individuals to focus on living in the moment.
First and foremost, death preparedness can provide a sense of peace and control. Knowing that one's affairs are in order can relieve the anxiety and uncertainty that often accompany thoughts of death. By addressing these concerns head-on, individuals can feel more secure and present in their daily lives.
In addition, death preparedness can help individuals prioritize what is truly important to them. It can serve as a reminder to focus on building meaningful relationships, pursuing fulfilling experiences, and living in alignment with personal values. By clarifying one's priorities, death preparedness can guide individuals towards a more intentional and fulfilling life.
Furthermore, death preparedness can foster deeper connections with loved ones. By discussing end-of-life wishes with family and friends, individuals can strengthen bonds and ensure that their desires are known and respected. This can provide a sense of comfort and closeness that enhances the quality of life in the present.
Finally, death preparedness can prompt individuals to make the most of their time. Knowing that life is finite can inspire individuals to seize opportunities, take risks, and pursue their dreams. It can encourage individuals to live with a sense of urgency and purpose, making the most of every moment.
In conclusion, death preparedness may seem like a daunting topic, but it can actually enhance one's ability to live fully in the present. By providing a sense of peace and control, clarifying priorities, fostering connections with loved ones, and inspiring individuals to make the most of their time, death preparedness can be a powerful tool for living a fulfilling life.
Stress is the curse of living in modern times. Everyone suffers from stress. And the stress we suffer takes a heavy toll on our bodies, emotions and minds.
Feeling stressed out, worn out by fatigue or just simply having a miserable day, the best thing to do is relax.
Watching television may be a form of relaxation for some, but is not a recommended method by experts. When we watch TV we are bombarded with commercials, ads, sounds and images. So how do we achieve relaxation? If there are thousands of ways we can get stressed, one of them is not meeting deadlines, there are also many ways we can relax.
In recent studies, experts have determined that heart disease is linked to anger and irritability is linked to mental stress. Too much stress brings about ischemia that can lead to or cause a heart attack. Relaxation takes on added importance in light of this matter. Managing your anger and attitude is significant to heart health, and relaxation can help you manage stress.
One way of relaxation is meditation. Recent studies have also shown that this method might reduce artery blockage, which is a major cause for heart attack and stroke. Some people practice meditation by repeating uttering soothing sounds while meditating, this is to achieve total relaxation. The researchers found that practitioners of meditation significantly reduced the thickness of their arterial wall compared with those who didn't practice meditation.
Another study on another method of relaxation, acupuncture, seems to reduce high blood pressure by initiating several body functions for the brain to release chemical compounds known as endorphins. Endorphin helps to relax muscles, ease panic, decrease pain, and reduce anxiety.
Yoga is also another method for relaxation and may also have similar effects like acupuncture. In another study, participants were subjected to several minutes of mental stress. Then they were subjected to various relaxation techniques, such as listening to nature sounds or classical music. Only those who did Yoga significantly reduced the time it took for their blood pressures to go back to normal. Yoga is a form of progressive relaxation.
Breathing is one of the easiest methods to relax. Breathing influences alamost all aspects of us, it affects our mind, our moods and our body. Simply focus on your breathing, after some time you can feel its effects right away.
There are several breathing techniques that can help you reduce stress.
Another easy way to achieve relaxation is exercise. If you feel irritated a simple half-hour of exercise will often settle things down. Although exercise is a great way to lose weight, it does not show you how to manage stress appropriately. Exercise should also be used in conjunction with other exercise method.
One great way of relaxation is getting a massage. To gain full relaxation, you need to totally surrender to the handling and touch of a professional therapist.
There are several types of massages that also give different levels of relaxation.
Another method of relaxation is Biofeedback. The usual biofeedback-training program includes a 10-hour sessions that is often spaced one week apart.
Hypnosis is one controversial relaxation technique. It is a good alternative for people who think that they have no idea what it feels like to be relaxed. It is also a good alternative for people with stress related health problems.
Drugs are extreme alternatives to relaxation. They are sometimes not safe and are not effective like the other relaxation methods. This method is only used by trained medical professionals on their patients.
These relaxation techniques are just some of the ways you can achieve relaxation. Another reason why we need to relax, aside from lowering blood pressure in people and decreasing the chances of a stroke or a heart attack, is because stress produces hormones that suppress the immune system, relaxation gives the immune system time to recover and in doing so function more efficiently.
Relaxation lowers the activities within the brains' limbic system; this is the emotional center of our brain.
Furthermore, the brain has a periodic need for a more pronounced activity on the right-hemisphere. Relaxation is one way of achieving this.
Relaxation can really be of good use once a relaxation technique is regularly built into your lifestyle. Choose a technique that you believe you can do regularly.
Energy Healing 101: Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki
You have probably come across exotic-sounding terms such as “chakra”, “prana”, “aura”, and “tantra” in your course of reading books on spirituality, sex, and healing in the New Age literature section of the bookstore. But what’s the real scoop behind these exotic vocabularies?
Are All Energy Healings the Same?
Chakra or energy center is a term used in Pranic healing, an ancient Hindu system of energy healing. “Prana” means life energy. “Aura” is another terminology traced to Pranic healing. Aura is a non-physical body that consists of energy, which exists along with our physical body. The aura that covers our body is said to have seven layers pertaining to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of an individual as manifested by energy. Studying the color and thickness of auras give ideas on the state of health of individuals. Six colors are associated with aura and interpreted into six personalities. These colors are all present in an individual but one or two are more pronounced.
Green – ambitious achiever
Blue – spiritual peacemaker
White – unconventional chameleon
Red – activist
Orange – creative communicator
Violet - psychic
Although Tantra is popularly associated with the peculiar practice of sex and spirituality, it is another method of energy healing. It comes from the word “tan” which means to spread or expand. The concept of connectedness is a recurring theme in Tantric writings on sex and spirituality. As a method of healing, spirituality and sex figure prominently. It is presupposed that the union of man and woman can reach spiritual levels during orgasm, which removes the body and mind off collected impurities. These impurities being negative energies can in turn manifest as physical illnesses.
I can give you an easy "how to" answer for the title of this post. Ready? Be informed. Know the facts.
Here is what I mean. I am not saying that every funeral providers is unethical in there practice of planning and sells, but what I am saying is that knowledge is the best defense to acting on emotion or intimidation. There are local and federal rules that govern burial. Even if you do not pay for prearrangement, it is prudent to know the rules and laws ahead of the need to bury a love one or for preplanning.
For instance... are you aware that outer containers are not required by state laws and are only required by some private cemetery owners? Federal rules require providers to offer you a price list with the various price options for their services. It is federally illegal for a provider to claim that there is any process that will keep a body for decomposition. Burial providers can not refuse a burial container obtained for another source. I could go on and on with the many misconceptions or lies told or believed by consumers. Here are some sources and alternatives to make you a better informed buyer of that one thing we can not avoid...the disposition of your body, a family member or friend.
The FEDERAL TRADE COMISSION provides federal rules that govern burial providers and consumer's rights in regards to funerals.
For several decades, NATIVE CASKETS located in Colorado, has been offering natural wood crafted caskets, coffins and urns as a burial option.
CASKET BUILDER SUPPLY offers DIY wood coffin and casket kits well suited for home funeral arrangements with various add-on options.
With chapters across the country, The FUNERAL CONSUMERS ALLIANCE provides valuable federal information and local chapter links.
The HOME FUNERAL ALLIANCE provides valuable information for home funeral options.
"PREPARE for your care" is an online program that provides step by step plans for your care in the form of Advance Directives, if you are not able to speak for yourself. AD provides your family, friends and medical professionals with the information you would want them to know in the instance of any chronic or terminal illness care.
There are two very important Advance Directives that can be and should be completed in advance of, by anyone 18 years old and older. The first is the Living Well. When completed, witnessed and signed, this form will direct your medical care team of your wish for care should you be unable to competently speak for yourself and be facing chronic/terminal illness. A Living Will informs your doctor what care you want as well as the care you will not want at end of life. There are a number of things to address in a Living Well. For instance, if you will like all life supporting efforts or will rather have "comfort care". You can designate if you will prefer to die at home or in a care facility. Perhaps you want to chose whom or what is at your bedside or not there, at your final weeks, days or moments. All these circumstances can be address in your Living Well.
The second form is the Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney. This document allows you to stipulate a person/agent to legally advocate for you if you are unable to speak for your own medical decisions. This person, the proxy, represents your values and concerns. Being appointed and documented, this person doesn't have to wait until you are terminal. They may act on your behalf when you are unconscious and temporarily ill, yet your proxy will also be aware of your Living Will and work on your behalf to unsure that your wishes are carried out if a situation is life ending. This person also has access to your medical records, avoiding the constraints of HIPPA. In picking your proxy, it is best to chose a person or persons you trust, whom is willing and able to speak up for you. So have a conversation with at least 2 people and list them in order of authority in case your first selection is unable to fulfill the duties.
The third is Appointment of Agent for Body Disposition. This form, like the the above, appoints a person to act on your behave but in this case, it is after you are dead. So it is not related to healthcare or your Will. This person will be aware and appointed to follow your wishes related to the care of your body after you are deceased.
Below are several additional resources to completed these documents. Some you are able to complete online then print. Others will needed to be downloaded, printed and completed by hand. Follow these steps...
Lastly, consider the utmost importance of these completed documents. If you are unable to advocate for yourself during a medical emergency or end of life, there are no guarantees that medical professionals will act in your best interest and may even consider your lack of advanced planning as indifference to the care you receive.
How respectful or disrespectful are you to your body? If you are not restricted in diet or activity, consider, how you treat yourself while you still have the ability to do so.
Know that the respect one has for their body, has a direct effect on the brain and over all well being. So plan and prepare for how you will give your body the respect it deserves to thrive, with these steps.
6. Be responsible for your own self.
7. Recognize negative emotions or people and remove them from your life.
8. If the emotion cannot be easily removed, recognize it and label it as opposed to trying to ignoring it.
9. Verbally express your interpretation of your emotions and work to let it go, or use it as a source of growth and strength.
10. Lastly, take some special time for yourself and get pampered. If you need to, save up and go to a spa.
During a disaster, FEMA has provide certain assistance programs. As the Covid pandemic has been a national disaster, we are in such a time. The December 2020 Covid relief package included $2 billion to reimburse families for Covid related funerals/burials held during 2020. This payment would not include expenses pay by other programs. At the present time, FEMA has stalled the program while working to avoid fraud and obtain correct death data. The CDC and P can not verify cause of death from the data provided to the federal government and will need to rely on state data. Furthermore, if an individual died with Covid, the death certificate may state another related cause of death; fore instance pneumonia. This leave Covid as a secondary cause. The program is bound to be messy and deny some families due to state record keeping and documentation.
For more information...
UPDATE LINK.... Applications started April 12, 2021