A block of dedicated time is carved out each and every Sunday morning in my parents home. Sunday mornings are happily spent in anticipation of tackling the ultimate prize – the successful completion of yet another mind bending New York Times crossword puzzle.
NPR’s Diane Rehm’s personal story catapulted her to the forefront of the right-to-die debate when she shared her husband’s death with the public. Her husband John struggled with Parkinson’s disease and then struggled with his end-of-life choices. John wanted to die on his own terms but he lived in a state where there was no legal aid-in-dying option.
Corgenius and LastingMatters are companies founded after personal experiences with loss and grief inspired their founders to solve problems that most people tend to tip-toe around. With a deep understanding of, and compassion for, what really happens when someone dies, both companies tackle the challenges associated with planning and communicating before and after death.
In 1903, my great-grandfather, George D. B. Bonbright sold a stamp collection to help fund and open his investment firm in Rochester NY with six employees. George was a “life planner.” My grandfather was named a partner at Bonbright & Co. where he too was a meticulous planner. In 1958, my father began his 56 year career helping people plan. For over three decades, my husband Tom has served hundreds of families with planning their life’s transitions.
It's that time of year when we have carefully packed away the decorations, cleaned up our homes, and returned to our busy lives after celebrating various holidays with family and friends, near and far.
Once again, it is time to get ready for another New Year!
It's also that time of year when we reflect upon and assess the close of yet another year. We tie up loose ends and make plans for the coming months and the year ahead. We also count our blessings.
They recently arrived packaged lovingly in white tissue in a box with a note from his widow. They sit side by side on our mantle this holiday season next to two others that are perched there.
They sit as a stark and precious reminder of the man who once wore them.
They are Rohe’s red and green, furry, bright, holiday music- playing, ridiculous holiday hats.
Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Families will travel from near and far to be with their loved ones. The tune of "Over the River and Through the Woods" gently plays as we embark on this journey on highways, trains and airplanes each November.
Brittany Maynard died peacefully on Saturday November 1, 2104, surrounded by her family and loved ones. Brittany chose to end her own life. That was her plan.
Consider this fact of life: How much effort do we often put into planning for vacations, weddings and sometimes our retirement, but how often do we plan for the nitty-gritty practical details of planning a funeral or planning for death? The inevitable is inevitable isn’t it?
We may consider issues such as wills and estate planning or cremation or burial. But how often do we communicate and document our lives and what is to happen to all that information when we die?
In less than 6 months time, we will be celebrating National Health Care Decisions Day. Have you heard about National Healthcare Decisions Day?
It's the day selected for everyone to join in the conversation about end-of-life planning and utlimately planning for death. So mark your calendars for April 16, 2015!