Talking about Death . . .

It is a touchy subject. Period.

I think I’m okay with talking about death because I’ve nearly died a few times. It is not scary to me because all of the times I’ve been sick enough to pass, it hasn’t been scary.

The first time I was sick enough (that people thought I might pass), I was only aware I was very ill from their reactions and I was 18 years old. People bursting into tears when they saw me in the hospital. I should have known something was up from the tubes and IVs and from being in Cardiac ICU. Duh! And even then the reactions did not scare me. My instinct was to try to make them laugh. LOL! (I guess even now).

So, I decided to share my perspective in a report. I allowed Health Quality Ontario to use my photo and quote for a report on Palliative Care at the End of Life.

A part of me believes that sharing my opinion is helpful not matter how difficult the topic. I have had a few negative reactions from friends though. Friends are negative until I share my belief that life and death are very closely related. I believe in being comfortable with death we can be comfortable and even closer with LIFE.

I have been drawn to some amazing new experiences related to death. Opportunities to contemplate how we think about death in Western culture. Talking to my Dad and discussing how death is conceptualized in the Caribbean. I was fortunate enough to get to attend a seminar lead by Stephen Jenkinson, called Die Wise. It was an emotional but transformative experience. I would suggest googling him. I’ve had lots of new things to think about, in relation to death.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.34.29 AM

Photo Credit: Seema Marwaha

So here is the link to the report. Very informative. Powerful.

http://www.hqontario.ca/Portals/0/documents/system-performance/palliative-care-report-en.pdf

Here is my quote. It’s from the interview I did last winter with Faces of Health Care blog. Here is the link to that.

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Photo Credit: Seema Marawha

What I share is difficult. It is. I will not apologize for sharing from my heart though.

I hope my opinion is understood from a place of bravery. I felt really brave to contemplate my own death. My life is testament to me being a fighter . . . I am not a quitter. I am a person who believes in limits in how far I want to go – into pain, suffering, etc.

Bigger picture . . . to live this close to death, I am ultimately choosing to embrace LIFE. Now more than ever, I am enthralled with living and doing and experiencing. Life and death turn out to be so related? Who knew?

I understand that can be confusing to some.

That’s okay. I am fine running the risk of being confusing and of being misunderstood in order to live and to speak my truth.

xo

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2 Responses to Talking about Death . . .

  1. SS says:

    I love this post. I completely understand how hard it is to talk about death. As I go through my own health issues, I realize that it’s almost easier not to tell people because most people can’t handle the truth. I also selfishly do not want to take on the burden of their own pain. I know I have told you before but you have been the inspiration for fighting through my past and now my current life obstacles. And just so you know, I NEVER EVER look at you with sadness but only with pride. I am proud do be your friend and proud to have had you in my life since I was 17 years old. Keep doing the great work that you are doing with all these Canadian health associations. I am sure you are inspiring millions

    • kns544 says:

      It’s so nice to be able to share my perspective on here where people can take it or leave it. And comment in a non-confrontational way. It’s different and harder to talk about this in person. It is difficult.

      Thanks for the compliments and kind words. I feel the EXACT same way about you. You inspire me so much – I can’t put it into words.

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