I believe we avoid the death and dying conversation because it truly reminds us that we are not living the life we desire. So, we must first answer the question, why are we choosing to numb out, not be present, and avoid hard conversations that would only improve our human experience? It’s a fair question, right?
I want to change how our community faces end of life. We often forget we are on a limited timeline. We get caught up in things that distract us from life’s important mo ments. And believe me, a dying person is quick to point out what truly matters because when time is limited or death is imminent, most hospice patients gravitate to the one thing we were born to do: to connect with each other, to connect with our loved ones and to connect with nature.
As Vice President of Outreach and Communications for Lower Cape Fear Hospice, one of my greatest accomplishments has been developing an advance care planning program known as Begin the Conversation.
Begin the Conversation, a stand-alone community education initiative and mixed media campaign, includes advance care planning materials, healthcare resources, and an interactive website devoted to encouraging people to have difficult discussions before a crisis occurs. Through Begin the Conversation, I want to change how people spend the last years, months, and days of their lives. Begin the Conversation has grown both locally and statewide, and has even sparked national interest.
Hope Abounds, Inc. A 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Women of Hope and A Kid’s Hope are both programs of Hope Abounds, Inc. that has dedicated itself to enhancing the life of a female, child or teen cancer patient and their families. Hope Abounds does this by providing support services, supporting educational opportunities, patient advocacy and financial assistance. These services are designed to help with the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of all that have been touched by cancer. By providing free of charge opportunities one can join with others to share their experiences, strengths and most importantly, their hope!
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
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