A death affects more than just the finances in the families...the real costs to loved ones are physical, emotional and spiritual.
This report shows that the US has some gaps to fill, and we need to better the support the dying and their families, before, during and after death.
"We asked over 2,000 families from across the US about the death of a loved one, and how much it cost them in terms of money, time, health, and more".
The following information below is from the Empathy website:
Understanding the true burden of loss
13 months - to handle all affairs; 20 months if the estate goes through probate
$12,702 - average expense falling on families after a loved one dies
Four family members, on average, were involved in the process of dealing with loss
52% - said dealing with loss harmed their work performance
57% - experienced clinical physical or psychological symptoms of stress
Dying in America is expensive, and those costs fall heavy on those who are left behind.
Our first annual report investigates the scope of the burden faced by families handling the loss of a loved one, focusing on the practical tasks that take up time, energy, and money but are rarely addressed by bereavement support. Experts in the end-of-life field help us understand how we might use these statistics to better support those dealing with loss.
We partner with employers, life insurers, hospices, funeral homes, and others to change the way the world deals with loss.
Don't wait to have End-of-Life conversations. It's more effective to have these necessary conversations when one is healthy and not when one is in a medical crisis.
Lean into these open dialogues now, and be proactive in your End-of-Life journey.
"According to a 2017 study published in the peer-reviewed Innovation in Aging, waiting to have these discussions until a person experiences a health crisis may be “too little, too late.” This is because the discussions often occur following “triggering events,” when the patient and their family may be too distressed to make the right decisions about imminent care needs".
I love this article!
Avery Ross writes about the importance of having End-of-Life conversations with your loved ones, and she illustrates how they conversations and planning dramatically increase the serenity that comes when these life events occur.
The awareness that Avery's mother had to openly discuss death and to actively participate in her wishes and priorities are heart warming. Her mom "encouraged me to think about death in a positive light, rather than as a negative and frightening thing".
Avery states: "When you prepare your loved ones for what you want if you get sick and when you die, you are showing them just how much you love them. Start by having a conversation with your loved ones about your wishes and the legacy you want to leave. What matters most to you? How do you want to be remembered? Do your spiritual or religious beliefs inform your values? Is there someone you want involved in your healthcare decisions"?
Death Doulas are here to help in these conversations. Reach out to one now.
Now, the graphs and images of the last 15 minutes of that patient's life are revealing amazing details about what happens as we die. Evidence shows the brain has bursts of activity similar to memory flashbacks. So the idea of someone's life "flashing before their eyes" may have some truth to it.
Just one of the many different alternative options to the traditional burial.
"The unusual request means her cremated remains will be mixed into a perforated concrete dome, known as a reef ball. She will then become part of an artificial reef, having a second life on the seabed".
Sea burials have been customs for many different cultures:
The practice of returning to the ocean goes back millennia. There's evidence of sea burials in ancient Rome and Egypt.
In the South Pacific, bodies would be placed in canoes and then pushed out to sea.
The scattering of ashes in the ocean has been practiced in Asia, in addition to the tales of Viking heroes, where they would set the boats ablaze.
Now, reef balls are in line with the search for the eco-friendly burial options.
Most of us are confused when we hear the words hospice and palliative care.
When people hear the word "hospice" they usually think death is imminent. This is not true, especially if this service is sought sooner rather than later. Studies show hospice care is not started soon enough, because people tend to think hospice means giving up hope.
Is a special kind of care
It focuses on the quality of life
It is for people experiencing advanced, life-limited illness.
Should start when treatments no longer cure or control a disease.
Can be started when a person is expected to live 6 months or less.
**Please note one can leave hospice at any time, but the hope of hospice care is to bring quality of life, making the best of each day during last stages of advance illness.
"Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment".
Palliative care differs from hospice in many ways, but the most significant difference is that a person can continue to pursue curative treatments and does not have meet a life expectancy criteria.
Is a relatively newer known medical speciality.
Supports those living with serious illness.
Helps patient to gain relief from pain and other symptoms
Life expectancy is not an issue for palliative.
Can continue to receive curative treatments or home health services.
Its goal is to improve all around quality of life.
"And recent studies, including one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have shown that patients with a serious illness who received palliative care lived longer than those who did not receive this care".
Please let me help you to make the best possible decision for you or your loved one.
"From the popularity of Death Doulas to environmentally conscious burials", funeral trends are changing.
The funeral industry, like so many other industries, has seen a lot of changes in the last two years. The following article is highlighting the currents trends the industry is seeing and what their expectations are for the future.
Environmentally Conscious Burials (Green Burials)
Rising Cremation Rate (2021 57.7% cremation rate)
Holistic After-Death Care (Death Doulas, Death Midwives)
With so many varying funeral options, reach out and I can help you research the best plan for you and your loved ones.
Covid has changed everything, especially death.
As of this date, the US has recorded 947,000 deaths.
For each of these deaths, they say 9 other people are affected.
This means over 8,523,000 lives have been directly affected by a Covid death.
This is an unbelievable number. Please take time to take this in......over 8 million people have been directly affected by a Covid death, just here in the United States.
We have all read/heard about how Covid changed death experiences, highlighting how hundreds of thousands most likely died in isolation, away from home, family and loved ones.
These are tragic numbers, but it's also very important to be aware that the way people die, for the past several decades, have also been isolated experiences, even before the pandemic.
"Death and dying have moved from a family and community setting to primarily the domain of health systems. Futile or potentially inappropriate treatment can continue into the last hours of life. The roles of families and communities have receded as death have become unfamiliar and skills, traditions and knowledge are lost"...
As disturbing as these facts are, it's important to know that there has been a death-positive movement that has been taking place for over the last 10 years.
Death Doulas are part of this movement, and our goal is to work with the individuals and families to create the most heart-centered, patient driven End-of-Life (EOL) experiences as possible.
Please learn more about how you and your loved ones can experiences a more heart-centered approach to EOL.
"Momento Mori is a Latin phrase meaning "remember you must die and death is inevitable".
This term arose from the minds of the great thinkers. The ancient practice of reflecting on our mortality goes back to Socrates. Obviously these scholars understood how reflecting on death can invigorate life, create meaning and recalibrate life's priorities by always being reminded to keep the temporary nature of existence in their minds, so they may appreciate life more.
Therefore, death is the secret paradox of life as End-of-life contemplation can potentially wake us up to profoundly breath more meaning into our lives.
"We all want to live and not think of death, but when you think of death, you end up (trying to) living better"!
Death awareness and death education can create a deep desire to understand human life and the impermanence of it.
Over the past two years, since the beginning of the pandemic, life has changed dramatically for most of us, but obviously the most affected are those whose loved ones either died of Covid or died during the past 2-plus years of Covid.
All industries, including the funeral industry, have had to change and adapt to the new normal of life. According to this article, the funeral industry has seen some trends and innovations that have occurred when it comes to honoring and celebrating a loved ones life.
Here are some of the trends:
On-line planning and purchasing
Actively participating in a loved one's cremation, funeral or burial
Online grief support/grief counseling
Pre-planning to ease the burden of loved ones
Creative alternatives to burials
Celebration of remembrance
Personalized funerals with attention to detail
A Necessary Conversation can you and your loved create a life celebration that honors and shares the true essence of the person.