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Thread: Is natural death the only way out? — On the topic of death

  1. #151 The Fight for the Right to Be Cremated by Water — by Emily Atkin 
    "In 2016, cremation became the most common method of body disposal in the U.S., overtaking entombment for the first time. This shift is often attributed to the high cost of traditional burial and the waning importance of religion. But experts also point to society’s changing views about how dead bodies should be disposed of. The spectrum of what’s morally acceptable is broadening, at the same time that the most common disposal methods are coming under scrutiny for their environmental impact. More than four million gallons of toxic embalming fluids and 20 million feet of wood are put in the ground in the U.S. every year, while a single cremation emits as much carbon dioxide as a 1,000-mile car trip. Thus, the rise in America of “green burials,” where bodies are wrapped in biodegradable material and not embalmed.

    Sieber is a part of this trend, but she doesn’t want a green burial. When she dies, she told me, she wants her body to be dunked in a high-pressure chamber filled with water and lye. That water will be heated to anywhere from 200 to 300 degrees, and in six to twelve hours her flesh, blood, and muscle will dissolve. When the water is drained, all that will remain in the tank are her bones and dental fillings. If her family desires, they can have her remains crushed into ash, to be displayed or buried or scattered.

    This process is known colloquially as water cremation and scientifically as alkaline hydrolysis, or aquamation."

    The Fight for the Right to Be Cremated by Water — by Emily Atkin

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  2. #152 Seven Keys to Support a Loved One to Have a Good Death — by Charles Garfield 
    "Some years ago, I helped tend to a friend of mine who was dying of cancer. Near the end of his life, he had reached a place of equanimity around dying.

    But instead of honoring his wishes for a peaceful death, his doctors ordered aggressive chemotherapy treatment, which did nothing to halt his cancer. The treatments caused him immense suffering, rendering him unable to sleep, eat, or converse with family and friends as he was dying.

    Unfortunately, deaths like my friend’s are not that rare. Though more than 70 percent of Americans surveyed say they want to die in their own home without unnecessary procedures to extend their lives, 50 percent of all deaths occur in facilities away from home. Of those, 40 percent occur in ICUs, where physicians are charged with doing everything they can to keep a person alive, regardless of the outcome.

    Sometimes, the quest to avoid death can seem extreme, like in the much-publicized cases of Terry Shiavo and Marlise Munoz, where unnecessary life-extending procedures created exorbitant medical bills and emotionally burdened their loved ones.

    But, if Shiavo and Munoz are examples of a bad death, is there any better way? Is a ‘good death’ just an oxymoron? Or can the experience of death be far more positive—an opportunity for growth and meaning?

    Listening to the Dying"

    Seven Keys to Support a Loved One to Have a Good Death
    — by Charles Garfield

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  3. #153  
    Welles, your last post is heart breaking. I still have to read the article, but the very idea of prolonging the life only producing more suffering- how unpleasant. I read your very first post which created this thread, it is nice you feel you are promised an afterlife. I can not say with certainty that I am promised such. I have a tremendous fear of death that I am still working on; I suppose I can start on this thread with your wealth of post. Thank you. At the very least, replacing your Fear of Death with a steadfast Peace is something worth attaining. It would seem silly, how can happyrain who believes so much in a God not believe he is promised afterlife? Perhaps it is a karmic thing... Or just a fear of the unknown. I've had experiences out of this body and believe we are more than our body... I think, I need to dissolve myself more in meditation before facing Death.

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  4. #154  

    My certainty of the continuation of my progressive ascension to find God (Source, Father/Mother, Spirit, Allah, Jehova, Jah, Divinity, etc.) began long ago with one simple thought. I decided before I went further in life I had to decide whether there was the continuation of life after death or not. I was probably 24 years old at the time. Through a great deal of study of spiritual texts but more importantly personal experiences I concluded that indeed that continuity was real. The Urantia Book provided my favorite road map of existence.

    With that decision I returned to the discipline of one simple value. The Golden Rule was my principle guide. Quite simply, when I imagined an action that would affect others my filter was, if I would have wished to be affected by someone else in the same manner? If the answer was no, I didn't do it. Of course I failed regularly and had to accept the inherent lessons to continue growing.

    Over time my sense of continuation of life after death went from nah to possible to probable to certainty. It was a progressive evolution rooted in my continuing search for the Divine.

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  5. #155 What a Death Doula Can Teach us About Living — by Tanaaz 
    "We are all going to die one day. We are all going to pass on and transcend this earthly realm, it’s just that some people are more aware of this than others.

    If you or a loved one has been given a terminal diagnosis or is facing death, there is someone you can turn to, someone is who is trained to help not only on an emotional and physical level, but also on a spiritual level- a Death Doula.

    Just like a midwife or doula helps to birth a baby into this world, a Death Doula helps to transition a soul out of this world.

    The work of a Death Doula stems from an ancient shamanic practice that involves helping not only the mind and body prepare for death, but also the soul."

    The idea of a Death Doula is new to me but it certainly makes sense.

    What a Death Doula Can Teach us About Living — by Tanaaz

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  6. #156  
    Ty for sharing Welles
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  7. #157 Elizabeth Gilbert Explains Grief in the Best Possible Way. — by Elyane Youssef 
    "What Elizabeth Gilbert is currently going through is familiar to all of us. At some point, we’ve all gone through grief. It usually stems from the loss of a loved one, or anything that we have once cherished and from which we unexpectedly detach.

    Dealing with grief is challenging, and as Gilbert puts it, “it’s unpredictable.” Oftentimes, years after losing the person we love, we might find ourselves grieving for a few minutes, hours, or days. The truth is that we can’t escape grief. Gilbert continues by saying that when grief visits her, it’s like being visited by a tsunami and she barely has time to recognize that it’s happening now, in this present moment."

    Elizabeth Gilbert Explains Grief in the Best Possible Way. — by Elyane Youssef

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  8. #158 8 Things I Learned from Watching My Mum Die — by Karen Schlaegel 
    Karen tells us her story about her mother dying and then distills enlightening lessons she learned in the process. Here's the whole of the first of 8 and the title of the second...
    1. You are alone.

    Dying is personal. Watching somebody die is personal. Your whole life is personal.

    There is simply no manual or set of guidelines to refer to. Not to how we live, not to how we die, and not to how we grieve.

    Sometimes we might confuse our personal life lessons with universal laws. A number of people were giving me advice (I didn’t ask for). Advice about having to be there for her final breath (in the end my mum decided to slip away with no one else in the room). Advice about the importance of the funeral or on the appropriate length and ways of grieving.

    Some of the forcefulness behind the messages were overwhelming at the time and had me doubting my own feelings and decisions. While I fully appreciate they meant well, I had to remind myself that only I can decide for myself what to do and how to do it. There is no right or wrong. What feels right to someone, might feel very wrong to you.

    Listen to your inner voice! Tune in, and your heart will tell you what to do. We all have an inner compass; it’s just a matter of learning to access and trust it. Equally, when the tables are turned, be conscious of how you talk to people. Offer support and share your experiences by all means but give room for the other person to go their own way.

    2. You are not alone.
    8 Things I Learned from Watching My Mum Die — by Karen Schlaegel

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  9. #159 Death Is Funny…Well, Sort Of — by Barry Alden Clark 
    This is a story of the family trek to bury Barry's father. I don't want to excerpt anything. It is a remarkably healthy look at the event, full of pathos and hilarity. I loved this bit of writing.

    Death Is Funny…Well, Sort Of — by Barry Alden Clark

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  10. #160 How to Talk to Your Kids About Death — by Heather Grimes 
    Oh dear, I thought to myself, what have I done? Not only that, I wondered how I, a seasoned mindfulness practitioner, could be so flummoxed by questions about death—the exploration of which is an important part of my practice?

    It didn’t matter. I realized I was no more prepared to answer Opal’s questions than many parents of young children, meditators or not. Several other mothers I spoke to with kids around Opal’s age were as confused as I was. One mom told me that her son hasn’t asked about death yet, but she has no idea what she’ll say when he does. Another woman said her daughter is under the impression that “death is something that happens when you are very old, and we’ve just kind of let that assumption ride for now.”

    When Opal started asking me about death, I didn’t want to lie to her or overlook the fresh wound of her concern. But I didn’t want to cause her nightmares either.

    As it turns out, these moms and I are not alone in our confusion about how to talk to our children about death.
    Heather gives us a wonderful story that was the motivation to learn how to discuss death with children and then provides some enlightened suggestions.

    How to Talk to Your Kids About Death — by Heather Grimes

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