Accompanying the Dying, their Caregivers and Families
As a society, we are moving back toward recognizing that the end of life is a sacred time. This is often a missed opportunity in our culture today. Even when people know when death is coming, we are so phobic about it that it gets pushed away. There’s a potential to die and complete this life with lots of beauty and honor, and throughout history until the last 100 years or so, this has been the case.
With the advent of modern medicine, the dying process began to be treated like a disease, with doctors trying to hold it off as long as possible and seeing death as the enemy. The focus on quality of life can take a backseat to the quantity of life, which is often not appropriate and leads to unnecessary suffering.
We are starting to accept that since we’re all going to die, perhaps this aspect of our humanity should be embraced as a natural part of life. The hospice movement brought a major shift in awareness of death and dying a few decades ago, which continues today with end of life mentoring services. End of life mentoring provides respite for caregivers and family members—a go-to person for questions and concerns that may fall through the gaps with a medical professional. A mentor can be an adjunct to hospice care as they can be available for one-on-one time for anyone involved who might need it. A mentor is also a healthcare advocate—a go-between to help interpret what a medical professional is saying, a mentor can stand up for some to get better care.
Danielle Dvorak is a certified End of Life Mentor who is also a certified in sound healing, yoga, reiki and aromatherapy. Connect at 847-323-9188, [email protected] or EndOfLifeMentor.com. See ad, page 18.