I want you to know... You Are Not Alone

Living With Dying

When my mother died from cancer in December 2015, I was hoping it would be the sort of peaceful death we see in the movies – the patient opens her eyes, says something profound, then her head falls to the side and she is gone.  Unfortunately, my mom’s death was nothing like that.  I was completely unprepared for the struggle that she seemed to go through as her spirit left her body.

Living with Dying LogoOn top of that, I had a lot of questions and concerns about what our little family (Mom, her best friend Sue, and me) went through with care providers and the death care system prior to her death.  I became a little obsessed with topic in the weeks and months following her death.

Fortunately, I work in an industry where a little obsession can go a long way!

With a remarkable show of support from the newspaper I work for – The Caledonian-Record – I am dedicating a year to exploring the strengths and weaknesses of our current death-care system. The goal is to help other caregivers navigate the system so that when they get to the other side of the experience, their sense of self is still intact. The series began in May 2016 and will continue through May 2017, printing every other Tuesday. The full series can be found at www.caledonianrecord.com/living_with_dying.

Individual articles can be found at these links:


PrologueMother’s Day, Making A Difference


Week 1 – Making Peace With Death During Life


Week 2 – Musical Pharmaceuticals


Week 3 – Nurses Help People To Die


Week 4 – Advanced Directives


Week 5 – Hospice choirs


Week 6 – What We Need To Know As We Help Our Loved Ones To Die


Week 7 – Doctor/Patient Communication