I have been thinking a lot about the various cycles of "living" lately. The last being: Death. As I begin my training to volunteer for Hospice...part of the requirement of being a volunteer is to attend 2 weeks of classes focused on (you guess it) Death.
We have known death in various ways in this household...from personal losses up close ....to losses close to our heart but far from us in distance of time and space.
Thanks to social media and the will of others to share and connect (no matter how I tend to critique the negative aspects and effects of social media on the human mind, ego, authentic relationships, and yadda yadda ), I am thankful for that social conduit open window and binary....connections when lessons can be learned about human behavior, self, and "togetherness". I was thinking that social media could be used for a public record of death wishes... along with all other personal things made public. ...if people aren't talking about their eventual own death and wishes with others in person, because it is depressing... and due to the fact that many people die without having properly discussed these things with loved ones, possibly there needs to be a social norm change to make death more of a conversation on the regular. Of course, I am thinking this because I am purposely interjecting myself into an intensive death course as a choice and am not being thrust/dragged into the death cycle out of circumstances beyond my control, at this very moment... which makes it a little bit...easier.
My interest in hospice became evident when my father died this past year and was in hospice and through pictures I was able to see how hospice was helpful to him, his wife and children who were with him. Though I am clearly distant to many in my bloodline and loved ones, due to choices that were made long ago by those around me and also my own choices based on the support systems I had/did not have, goals, and where I choose to put my focus to preserve and direct my energy.... in such a space where I get to experience the human condition as such....distant to most.... I am finding myself intensely drawn to the death cycle without a lot of emotional baggage on how scary death is...or need to avoid feeling bad. I am curious and want to know how I fit into this part of life besides experiencing my own impending death...but how can I aid others in the death march?
Due to the season, where autumn in the NorthEast is the seen as the season of many things ripening and then dying...we see the cycle once again of the great falling away, and with Day of the Dead... All Saints Day coming soon after Halloween...where many believe the veil between the living and the dead is at its' thinnest for the the entire year...our porch is decorated with skeletons...we will soon be pulling out the altar dedicated to passed way loved ones which we will add new photos of loved ones who passed this year, light candles and offer seeds and sweets ...Death is on display. ...And clearly on my mind.
How would I like to go out? I would apperciate the dignity that comes with graceful goodbye. I would like to go with internal organs donated if any are of use. I don't want to be on any form of life support where I would be laying around waiting for someone to have to eventually make some hard decision struggling with any of that emotional stuff... I do not want a list of the inner circle who are allowed to be near me and the out circle of those who are forbidden from being a part of the process. I would not like any chemicals pumped into my body for preservation. I want to be buried in a green cemetery. Albany has one! Kateri Meadow and St. Michael's Meadow Natural Burial Preserves. I would like to be burried here or some place similar with the emphasis on not preserving the body, but on giving back to the land.
Diving deep into my thoughts on death as they exist so far.