July 2014

* happy endings


In the final years of our lives, we will likely experience cancers, fractures, neurological illness, and we'll experience the loss of bodily functions. We will lose our independence and bodily functions more and more.

All of us, if we're living cautiously enough, will experience a mortality awareness event.

Dying from cancer and dying from neurological illness are different.

The last days of life are about quiet reassurance.

1) Make a plan. Most people want to die at home. However, 80% of americans die in a hospital or a nursing home. Just saying we want to die at home is not enough. Wishing is not enough.

A plan involves straight forward questions. Where do you want to be when you are no longer independent. What do you want for medical intervention. And who is going to make sure your plan is followed.

2) Recruit advocates

3) Be hospital ready

4) Choose Caregivers. Do not settle. A good caregiver doesn't let you win at bingo just because you're dying.

5) Discuss last words. What do you want to hear, and from who?

(Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life)



"The drive for complete control is often ruinous and fruitless. Inter-dependence remains the law, independence a rare and often fatal exception. Better to place yourself in a position of mutual dependence, and to follow this critical law rather than look for its reversal. You will not have the unbearable pressure of being on top, and the master above you will in essence be your slave, for he will depend on you."
(Robert Greene)

"Vines push through bushes, entwine themselves around trees and poles and window ledges. To get rid of them would cost such toil and blood, it is easier to let them climb."
(Robert Greene)



"It's advisable to let your companions feel that you could do without their company. This will consolidate friendship. Nay, with most people there will be no harm in occasionally mixing a grain of disdain with your treatment of them; that will make them value your friendship all the more.

A subtle Italian proverb has it -

to disregard is to win regard.

If you really think highly of a person, we should conceal it from him like a crime. This is not a very gratifying thing to do, but it is right. Why, a dog will not bear being treated too kindly , let alone a man!"
(Arthur Schopenhauer)

"There are many of whom we should have known nothing if their distinguishd opponents had taken no notice of them. There is no revenge like oblivion, for it is the burial of the unworthy in the dust of their own nothingness."
(Baltasar Gracian)