I have been preparing my end of life paperwork, and felt to share my choices with my family and friends to help them build an understanding of what I believe to be true regarding life, death and end of life care. Through this sharing they can confidently honour and respect my wishes when it is my time to pass over.
I have chosen a way of living in this life, which is constantly deepening, in my connection with my heart, with humanity and with God. It is a purposeful way of living, dedicated to service and healing in everything that I do. This religious path, The Way of the Livingness, is a path of constant learning and evolution, and will continue throughout this life into the next life.
I believe in reincarnation and the cyclical nature of life. Therefore for me, death is not an ending but a beautiful and treasured time of transition, as is birth. A time to surrender, to let go and move on to the next cycle!
In times of illness and disease, I am given stop moments where I am asked to surrender, nurture and adjust my way of living to embrace more love, joy, harmony, truth and simplicity in my everyday day life. I am given an opportunity to let go of more hurts and my attachments to this world, continually supporting me to open up and deepen my love of life and humanity.
I feel that illness and disease is the body’s response to the choices I have made in my life that have not been truly loving. To me it is a way of clearing the ill-energy of those choices out of my body and helps me to come to a deeper awareness regarding my life, so that I do not repeat those ill-choices and I deepen in love and care for myself.
If this were to happen at the end of my life, I would see it as my soul giving me a deep cleanse in the form of illness or disease before I pass over. I feel open to embrace this process and the release of this final package of past choices which I have been holding onto. I consider this a deep healing and preparation for my next life.
I feel that one day I will outgrow this body and its capabilities, that there will come a time where I am limited by this body’s expression and it will be time to let it go. When that time comes, I will embrace and celebrate the release of my soul from this body and this world, to be reborn into a body, which will reflect the level of love and light, I am ready to live and evolve into.
I feel our body and soul need to be given the leading role in deciding when and whether we stay or go, not our mind and what we think we ‘should’ be doing, when the time comes to choose.
I feel that medicine is there to support us while we make changes to the way we live, so that we can truly heal the patterns and behaviours, which caused our bodies to become out of balance and dis-eased in the first place. I sometimes feel the emphasis on keeping us alive no matter what, is a limited and fearful view based on a one lifetime only perspective that fails to appreciate the cyclical nature of all life.
If I am in a position where I am no longer deemed able to make medical decisions for myself due to dementia or cognitive impairment of some sort, I do not want medicine used just to keep me alive, only to keep me comfortable.
I have stated in my Advanced Care Directive that I would find it unbearable to live bedbound, unable to communicate, unable to feed myself, attend to my own personal care needs or unable to make decisions for myself. I feel my self-determination would be lost, my life would become purposeless and no longer evolutionary and it would be time to for me to let go.
I have therefore chosen in my Advanced Care Directive to stop any medications in these circumstances, which I may have been prescribed, that will extend my life and to only take medications which will support me to live comfortably in palliation until my death. Palliation may take a few years in some situations and that is okay.
This choice is one I will make at some time in my closing years even if I am cognitively aware, so through my Advanced Care Directive I am ensuring that my choices are honoured in all circumstances.
I have found through my work as a nurse and aged care worker that as a society we do not understand or honour the dying process very well.
I have nursed people who are suffering and contracted away from life in their final years; I’ve seen people anxious, afraid and unable to let go; people wanting to die and family not allowing them to; I’ve seen doctors who want to save them, feeling that death is a failure. Their end of life ends up in the hands of others and I often wonder if the decisions that are made are the same as the decisions they would make if they were able to.
I wonder if the person who is sick and dying is truly being considered in the decisions, or whether the people around them are hanging on because of their own fears and agendas?
I have come to realise through my experiences of caring for others at this time, that the simplest way for me to ensure that I will die with my wishes being fully honoured and respected is to prepare for my passing now, well before the end of this life is eminent. In saying that, I do not have a diagnosis nor do I intend to die soon, my Advanced Care Directive is a plan of care I am making for myself in the event that I am no longer able to make medical decisions for some reason in the future.
A chance for me to take responsibility for my life right up until the end and not leave it to others to make the sometimes difficult decisions for me.
Preparing my family and friends is an important part of this process, so they are not shocked by my decisions. I would love for them to be able to embrace and support me at this time, and share my joyful passing.
Gretel W., Australia
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