My gift to my family will be to have prepared them for my death. I've thought a lot about end-of-life and have decided to visualize the perfect ending of my life. If I were in complete control of my dying time I would be facing my mortality as an elder having lived a long and satisfying life. I will have the great fortune to be ending my life in a healthy way. I will know when my life is fading by observing my body, mind and spirit and will feel the time is coming. I will be one of the lucky few who get to actually die at home.
I will have already created my advance directive and written my own obituary. I will have shared with my family the things I'd like to experience in my last weeks in physical form. I will have had conversations about my dying with all who know me. I will visit with any friends who are still living, share memories and wish them well. I will have spent time with each of my loved ones, hearing their voices and letting them know it’s time for me to begin to let go. I will know the end is getting closer as my energy fades; sleep becomes longer each day and have no interest in food.
In my last days, I may discontinue eating and will let my family know not to worry about nourishment – my body does not need or want to digest food any more. I will encourage people to come to bedside, sing songs, play my favorite music, share life stories, hold my hand, rub my feet, comb my hair, wash my face, use lavender oil, keep fresh flowers around me and candles lit. I will begin to see the other side and may talk about or have conversations with dead ancestors. I know they will help me cross over. Eventually my eyes will hardly open anymore and my breathing will become slow but I can still hear voices. I will begin a death meditation and slowly let myself float out of my body and be welcomed by those on the other side. I will not need anyone at my side when I die, I am not afraid to die alone. I feel like it will be beautiful in the next phase and I hope to send special messages back because I am still nearby.
After I’m gone please wash and care for my body and let me lie in state for about a day or so. Call my Death-Care Midwife to help with care and my pre-planned memorial. I will be buried wrapped in my shroud in an earthen grave called green burial so that I may decompose and send my flesh back to the earth.