Everyone is going to die.
This is not news, and yet there is so much fear surrounding it that we avoid talking about it to a point that it is unhealthy.
There is an entire body of very popular literature that creates creatures that live forever (vampires anyone?) without ever talking about the beauty and magic that is mortality. If you never die, where is the urgency to accomplish anything? Why get out of bed tomorrow? If there is no end then there is no point in celebrating the milestones. There is an end though, and we celebrate each year we live and each others achievements. We get out of bed to try and make tomorrow better because we are not given an infinite number of tomorrows. We push ourselves and our loved ones to succeed because time is of the essence.
We buy life insurance or get a will made in the event of 'something' so our families are taken care of and our loved ones have a piece of us after we are gone.
We all know in the back of our minds that time will keep marching on, the Earth will continue to spin and the sun will rise and set with or without us. While we know there will be an end we don't want to face it, and by avoiding it, it lingers and we fear what it will be.
If, instead, we planned what we wanted for our last days we could face down this fear and find peace with this inevitability. We all will die, but if we plan what it will look like, it can be beautiful.
Why would we plan something like this as a healthy person who is young enough to assume death won't come for many years? If something were to happen to us, an accident or an illness and we have suddenly reached our end of life prematurely, our families have a plan. They have a list of things that we want done to provide whatever comfort can be afforded in our last days. This is not just comfort for us but also them. They are doing something for us during a time that maybe the medical staff have said 'there is nothing more we can do except provide comfort.' After we are gone, they have the solace that they gave us what they could and the knowledge that it was what we wanted.
Planning what our last days look like gives us a sense of peace. The fear that we often don't have time to really examine is lifted from our minds and a plan is in place to make this time of grief into something that our families will remember as a time of beauty within the sadness. The gift of a vigil plan to your family in the event of a tragedy helps ease the healing for the loss.
Spending an hour or 90 minutes on the phone or in person with an End of Life Doula who can ask questions you have never considered can bring a sense of peace you didn't know you needed.
My name is Abby, my life has been touched many times by loss and grief. This life has led me to helping others navigate their own grief. I have become a INELDA trained End Of Life Doula and a hospice volunteer. I am not a professional counselor or psychologist and all advice given should be treated as advice from a friend.