It was just about two years ago when Steve Sall, 61, lost his fight with ALS and was buried according to his pre-planned wishes: in a “green burial” in the White Eagle Memorial preserve on Sacred Earth Foundation land in Southwest Washington. A hiker and mountaineer, Steve loved the outdoors and wanted to become a part of it. “I figure my best shot at immortality,” he spelled out for his wife, “is to stay engaged with the earth’s life cycle.”
Green burials are definitely…
I have been living away from my family for seventeen years as of this month. I had wanted to leave my home state of Illinois since I was thirteen and finally managed it (thanks to graduate school) in 1994 when I moved to New Mexico. I missed weddings and baptisms. While funerals were arranged based on when I could make it into town, it didn’t occur to me in my twenties, or in my thirties (as I exit them in just a few short months), that being so far away could be a detriment to…Continue
Q. A dear cousin of mine is dying of colon cancer and I’m going to visit him. I want to see him, but I’m also nervous about it. I don’t know what I should talk about. What do you suggest?
A. This situation has become more and more common—and complex—due to medical advances. One issue involves your definition of “dying.” It used to mean days/weeks/a few months to live. Today, the person may have a terminal illness that allows him to function in life (at…Continue
Q. My sister-in-law died last week after a brief illness, and my brother is shell shocked. I’ve heard about bereavement groups and think he might benefit from one. Exactly how do these groups work and how can you find one? I want to know what I’m talking about before I suggest the idea of a group to him.
A. Bereavement groups offer comfort and support to help people deal with the death of a loved one. Some focus specifically on the loss of a spouse or…
Q. I’ve just heard that an acquaintance of mine has advanced lung cancer and is receiving hospice care. Can you tell me exactly what hospice is and how it works?
A. As the population ages, the issue of quality end of life care grows more urgent than ever. Most of us have heard of hospice care (or may even have seen scenes of it in medical dramas on TV), yet we often don’t really understand what’s involved until someone we know needs it. Hospice’s goal is to improve…