In the realm of end-of-life education, two terms come up very often: death denial and fear of death. We talk about fear of death and death denial as kind-of the same thing and we use the terms interchangeably. But are they really? I’m wondering if the varying ways that people think about and respond to the coronavirus pandemic, shed some light on the differences between the two terms.
For the last four years our mantra has been, “whether you have days or decades to live, the best time to plan is now.” Suddenly, “now” is on people’s minds more than ever. If you’re not worried about yourself dying from Coronavirus, you may be worried about someone else you know, or vulnerable people in your community or around the world.
And even if death and illness are not on your mind, you are likely experiencing loss and grief for the trip you cancelled, the job you’re suddenly not working at, the outings and events you can no longer go to, or the loss of your previous ‘normal’ life. So what can you do?
Connect with who and what matter most.
Give you and yours the opportunity to:
1. Consider end-of-life planning as a holistic practice.
Willow’s FREE Reality of Our Mortality Planning Checklist has nine topics organized into 3 categories. It illustrates the importance of starting with the foundation—making sense of life and death, grieving and healing and writing lasting messages to those you love—before making choices and clearing the way.
2. Write lasting messages to people you love.
3. Talk about your final wishes.
Departure Directions is our term for your written guidelines—determined by your values, beliefs and priorities—for how you wish to be cared for and remembered after you die. 9 Things to Include in Your Departure Directions is a FREE template for communicating your final wishes. The beauty of thinking about how you want to be cared for after you die, is discovering what is important now.
4. Get inspired by what others have discovered from doing this work.
The FREE Manifesto for Living: 5 calls to action for living your best life, is the outcome of Willow’s 2019 Legacy, Love Letters and Heart Wills Mexico Retreat. The collective wisdom found here will inspire you to get into action and live your best life.
5. Work at your own pace for making sense of life and death.
At your own pace and in your own space, Willow helps you base all your planning on your values and priorities and lay the groundwork for all your end-of-life planning. 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death: An online program is focused around the 7 Tools workbook. The program pulls together our most effective self-reflection exercises from the workshops and coaching we’ve done for the past few years. It also includes:
- 11 videos with Reena and Michelle walking you through the workbook exercises and accompanying you with examples, stories and additional tips and resources,
- 10 additional tools that provide additional inspiration and clarity, and
- a community forum.
6. Get some help starting courageous conversations.
5 Steps for Successful End-of-Life Planning Conversations is an 8-page fillable tool to help you sent your intention, identify your concerns, create context and explain the importance of your conversation and, finally, reflect on the process.
What about you?
How are you coping with this new global reality?
What helps you focus on the finite precious nature of life?