In the midst of this current pandemic crisis that is touching all of our lives I would like to offer a resource that my colleague, Karen Bellone, and I have been working on for the past year. Karen is an end of life doula and we both feel that, due to our collective cultural horror towards mortality or any hint of it, we are massively shortchanging ourselves – robbing ourselves of living the life we do have to its fullest in fact. Instead our fears and anxieties around death drive behaviors on an individual and collective level that can ultimately lead to aggression and self-destruction on myriad levels – from addiction to climate change.
Shifting that requires coming to terms with not only our mortality but also the mortality of the ones we love. As always, information is power. In this case that means being informed on multiple fronts – from the very practical (advance directives, wills, passwords, etc) to the more ephemeral (near death experiences, exploration of spirituality at end of life, navigating the afterlife, etc). Our new website, and eventual book, aims to provide all of that.
Our bywords are explore,inform, inspire and provoke – what you want to know, what you need to know, what you really want to know and how your life might change if you knew. We were not necessarily anticipating the arrival of Covid-19 but now that it is here we are all in relationship with it whether we like it or not. The question then becomes how do we respond – after all that is our only true locus of control. I am seeing stories now regarding the impact of necessary isolation measures pointing towards people both giving birth and dying alone without their loved ones physically present. We are already looking at the reality of virtual funerals in order to continue flattening the curve. This is really hard and I believe it will get worse before it gets better.
We are working on a covid specific resource page as I write this and will make it live as soon as possible. In the meantime we hope to offer a gathering place that is helpful and that encourages community because, now more than ever before in living memory, we’re all in this together.
You can find Exit Strategy for Dying here (pls embed exitstrategyfordying.com) and consider signing up for our newsletter which will keep you up to date.