Living Life Dying Death

 

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The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.

                                                                                                                                                  Epicurus

 

 

 

 

relatively speaking

relatively speaking

looking at the informal ways we talk about death and dying in our everyday conversations

When was the last time you “died laughing“?  Please tell me below.

It’s interesting to check out the #diedlaughing twitter stream.

https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23diedlaughing

 In the relatively speaking blog series

I’ll be highlighting a deathly figure of speech  from my vast collection.

Here are some upcoming phrases:

i’m dying to know

to die for

kiss of death

drop dead gorgeous

i just died

i’ve died and gone to heaven

it’s a matter of life and death

over my dead body

before i die

i’ll sleep when i’m dead

death and taxes

dead giveaway

do or die

deadpan look

dead of night

death watch

back from the dead

innovate or die

dead in the water

deadly

starving to death

drop dead

dying of thirst

play dead

love them to death

death warmed over

die-hard fan

dead wringer

dead end

relatively speaking

Talking about death is talking about life. 
Let’s talk about it!

 

relatively speaking

relatively speaking

looking at the informal ways we talk about death and dying in our everyday conversations


talking about death

When was the last time you were “scared to death”?  Please tell me below.

It’s interesting to check out the #scaredtodeath twitter stream.

https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23scaredtodeath

 

 In the relatively speaking blog series

I’ll be highlighting a deathly figure of speech  from my vast collection.

Here are some upcoming phrases:

died laughing

i’m dying to know

to die for

kiss of death

drop dead gorgeous

i just died

i’ve died and gone to heaven

it’s a matter of life and death

over my dead body

before i die

i’ll sleep when i’m dead

death and taxes

dead giveaway

do or die

deadpan look

dead of night

death watch

back from the dead

innovate or die

dead in the water

deadly

starving to death

drop dead

dying of thirst

play dead

love them to death

death warmed over

die-hard fan

dead wringer

dead end

 

relatively speaking

Talking about death is talking about life. 
Let’s talk about it!


relatively speaking

What do you think is

to

die

for

 

 


relatively speaking


talking about death is talking about life


A project to promote healthy conversations about death and dying by bringing awareness to the common phrases about death that permeate our everyday language.

relatively speaking allows us to explore the boundaries of talking about death and dying with curiosity & fun.

cards & gallery exhibit in development

A Bittersweet Paradox: Talking about Death is Talking about Life

I am honored that Maria Shriver’s blog invited me to guest blog last week.  Her philosophy that “by sharing our worlds, we help one another make our lives matter” resonates with me.

 

Thanatology

 

I have received wonderful responses from the post which further confirms my belief that people are thinking about death & dying and ultimately they do want to talk about it, but just not sure where, when, or how.  During my Gatherings we talk about why our society doesn’t talk openly about death & dying.  Overall the responses are fascinating and varied in the way they are expressed, but yet a few common themes emerge: “Fear/anxiety/denial/vulnerability”, “We don’t want to seem morbid, depressed, or negative”, “We are afraid that if we talk about it, death will happen, we’ll be tempting fate”, and “Talking about death and dying is too emotional and personal”.  However, at the Gatherings when we discuss why we should talk openly about death & dying the list grows long, because there are so very many reasons: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, relational, societal, generational, and universal reasons!

In our culture, we spend a great deal of time defining “living well.” Let’s learn together what it means to “die well.” Let’s lean into the paradox, lean into the tension between wanting to talk about death and not wanting to talk about death.  Talking about death is talking about life.

 

 

 

Courageous Conversations

I am starting a new campaign, it’s called,

Courageous Conversations

 

Quite simply, it’s a grassroots effort to encourage people of all ages and stages of health to tell their doctors and health care professionals that they want to talk about and explore their personal thoughts and choices regarding death, dying, and end of life care options. This is not necessarily a one time conversation, but an ongoing relationship that allow doctors and other health care professionals to focus on their expertise of improving health while at the same time understand the patient’s openness to discuss difficult topics such as death, dying, pain, palliative, and hospice care.  Let’s lean into the tension between wanting to talk, a little afraid to talk, and not knowing when the right time to talk is.  The time is now.

There are reminder, business size cards being created for individuals to carry for courage!

The front:

 

Courageous


Conversations

 

The back:

Talking about End of Life

will improve my

Quality of Life.

 

www.livinglifedyingdeath.com

 

Please contact me to join in this campaign that encourages

Healthy Conversations about Death and Dying to Inspire Life and Living!

Personal Thanatology

Personal Thanatology


It’s a Matter of Life and Death

 

Create a Personal Thanatology.  I’ll listen and encourage as you discover your unique perspective of what is important to you in Living Well & Dying Well.  I believe that when we talk more openly about death and dying, we are able to support and care for ourselves and one another more deeply.  It’s a simple message about a complex topic ~ talking about death and dying will improve the world we live in.

Thanatology

than · a · tol · o · gy                    [than-uh-tol-uh-jee]

n. the study of death and dying

Personal Thanatology

Reflect · Share · Live

v.   the lifelong discovery process where you (1) reflect on and explore your personal experiences, thoughts, memories, beliefs, stories and questions about death and dying; (2) share your ideas and stories with family, friends and acquaintances; then (3) live life based in what you value and brings you meaning ~ live your Philosophy of Life.

My goal in introducing this concept is to encourage people of all ages to be more comfortable with conversations about death and dying. Never to diminish the sadness and suffering of death, dying, grief, and loss, but to also be open to the love, peace, and support that are possible.

Today, remember a death experience you have had in your lifetime, anywhere from a childhood experience to a current experience of death, dying, grief, or loss.   Can you tell someone your story, can you listen to theirs?  Please remember to be gentle with yourself.  Compassion and non-judgment towards self and others is an essential ingredient in creating a

Personal Thanatology


Reflect · Share · Live

 

 

 

love

love

 

Start and end every

conversation with words of

love and care.

 

The words of the

conversation may be

forgotten, but

love remains.

 

living life dying death  |  A Guide to Healthy conversations about Death and Dying to Inspire Life and Living

 

 

 

Sharing Wishbones

As I waited for my appointment today at my hair salon,  I read Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine.   On a page introducing home and gift items, I found an interesting gold wishbone. The contributor stated that the foot long wishbone is a wonderful conversation starter as it sits on her coffee table.

A woman sat down next to me and we started talking about the intriguing wishbone. Within a minute, she shared that she was a widow and that her husband had died suddenly.  She continued that a friend had asked her what she will miss about her husband and their life together. Her response: “sharing wishbones”.  I inferred that to them it symbolized their hopes, dreams, and wishes for their personal lives and their future together.  She stated that she now will start keeping wishbones, with the wish that someday she will have another to share them with.

It reminds me of a book that I enjoyed:   Consequential Strangers: Turning Everyday Encounters Into Life-Changing Moments.  The people we meet and speak to in our everyday world can make a meaningful difference in living life fully.  We just need to listen.

I think I’ll roast a chicken for tonight’s dinner for my husband and I.

 

Death by Chocolate

Last year I received some unsolicited marketing advice that I can’t get out of my head.   After learning about my book, my airplane seat mate, leaned over and said, “Lady, you’ve got a hell of a problem ahead,  you need to make death attractive, like a candy bar, it’s not going to be easy”.*

For me, it is fascinating to listen to stories, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that people have with death, dying, grief, and loss and learn how these experiences impact their lives.  I find most people do want to talk about their “death and dying” experiences and ideas when asked.  But it is paradoxical.  About eight out of ten people also share that they are afraid if they talk about death, it might happen. Often they comment on how it is uncharacteristic of them to be superstitious, but yet they can’t help thinking they might be “jinxing” their lives by talking about death.

Do you think eating this dessert will be tempting fate?

Should I bring samples of Death by Chocolate to my marketing appointments?

Death by Chocolate

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

 

8 oz (225 g) dark semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)
2/3 cup (140 g) butter
1 cup (210 g) sugar
4 eggs
4 heaped tablespoons (1 dl) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sour cream

Ingredients for frosting

 

2/3 cup (1.6 dl) heavy cream or whipping cream
9 oz (260 g) semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)

Method

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
  2. Line a circular 10 inch (25 cm) cake tin (3 inches tall) with grease proof or other non-stick paper and grease the tin. (Please note that the cake will rise to 3 inches and collapse somewhat when cooled. If your cake tin is less than 10 inches wide and 3 inches tall we recommend that you use two cake tins.)
  3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter over hot water.
  4. Beat the eggs with sugar, mix with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly fold in the melted butter and chocolate and the sour cream.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 to 50 minutes (if using 2 cake tins 20-30 minutes may be sufficient).
  7. Cool the cake completely. When it has obtained room temperature place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before removing the cake from the tin (the cake is sticky and difficult to cut when it is warm!) Remove the crusted surface on the top of the cake, and cut in half, horizontally.

Frosting

 

  1. Heat 2/3 cup (1.6 dl) of heavy cream or whipping cream in a sauce pan.
  2. Remove from heat, add 9 oz (260 g) of finely chopped dark semisweet chocolate, stir until smooth, and let it cool until in thickens.
  3. Use one 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake. Put the cake into the fridge for one hour or more to harden the frosting.
  4. This cake should have room temperature when served.

 

* About ten minutes later he told me about the death and funeral of his beloved Grandmother.