A Mindful Life & Death
Our lives are formed by the minutes, hours and days that we spend, present to the mystery of the eternal moment. We craft our stories with purpose and intention. What will your story be? What is your legacy? How will you commit to living life now, every moment of every
Conversations About Life & Death
“Sometimes we must become our own holy places, roaming cathedrals and memory mausoleums.” – Edwidge Danticat from “The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story”
We don’t know how. We don’t know when. But death comes for us all. It is the roar underneath everything. To be human is to wrestle with this truth and with the great unanswered question: How do we live with death in our eye? To borrow from Dylan Thomas do we go gently or raging against the dying light? Do we depart with equanimity or with anger? With clenched fists or more commonly with denial?
While we are still alive, we are the ones who get to write the story. In this class, we get the opportunity to face the inevitable fact that we too will die, and prepare for our deaths, like composers planning and orchestrating our lives, like a grand crescendo. Ask us about our Death Cafe, offered on Long Island, NY
We open this space for conversations of life and death. What will be our lives, our stories? Here, you are invited to look at your life and death, as an artist would. To paint the canvas of your life, your own masterpiece. It is the one that you will leave behind in the museum of life, your work of art. This is not a time to compare or despair. There is still have time to create and clean up the mess and finish your work. Who is on your guest list, and invitations to dine, feast and celebrate your departure from this world? What needs great care and consideration? Our journey will be sacred, to the holy places and cathedrals where souls rejoice, pray with wonder in the memory mausoleums of time.
Live and Dying Resources
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HELP BOOKS and WEBSITES
ALS Association– a leading association in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease. Please go to “My Community” to find an affiliate closest to you. There are bilingual services and a large amount of up to date information of the disease.
ALS-Mac Angels Supporting Families with ALS “MAC Angels is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families living ALS. They provide services and programs to enhance the quality of life for patients, family members and caregivers who are impacted by ALS. MAC Angels support families in a variety of nonmedical ways. All of their assistance is free. Their goal is to complement the services and support offered by other organizations, not duplicate them. They meet with your family and explore together, how they can help.
American Cancer Society-this national organization has local offices across the country, as well as support services and counseling for every type of cancer. They have a hotline, offer multilingual communication and have clinical trial referrals. Please go to www.cancer.org and type in your zip code to find an affiliate near you.
Cancer Support Team provides free nursing care, counseling
Creative play: Helping children cope with cancer
KidsKonnect The mission of KidsKonnect is to provide friendship, understanding education, and support for kids and teens who have a parent with cancer or have lost a parent with cancer. Toll-Free Support Line: (800) 899-2866
Kids Group — For Children Who Have a Parent with Cancer Face to Face Connecticut A monthly gathering for children ages 5-12 whose parent has cancer. Specially designed craft activities help children feel safe to ask questions, express feelings, and share concerns while learning coping strategies. A concurrent group for parents is also offered.
Leukemia Lymphoma Society– a national organization dealing with all types of blood cancers. It offers a wide range of free educational and support programs for patients, their families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Bilingual services are available. Go to their site www.lls.org to locate a branch near you. 800-955-4572 (toll-free)
Lupis Foundation of America – www.lupus.org there are resources, advocacy centers a, directory of local chapters, and calendar of upcoming events.
Mesothelioma Guide–offers patients with mesothelioma easy to understand information about their diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis. Mesothelioma is a rare, but aggressive cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. This cancer causes tumors to grow on the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. The goal at Mesothelioma Guide is to increase mesothelioma awareness, provide the best information possible to patients and their families, and to support patients with this detrimental cancer.
Mesothelioma Center – Provides the most up to date information on asbestos-related illnesses, including the many types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Specialists Provides mesothelioma patients information on the top Cancer Centers and Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma treatment.
No Boobs About It – The mission is to provide services that facilitate new beginnings in survivorship. It has a wonderful list of resources and other patients share their stories as well.
National Alliance for Grieving Children The National Alliance for Grieving Children promotes awareness of the needs of children and teens grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who wants to support them.
National Brain Tumor Foundation–
National Kidney Foundation – www.kidney.org this organization will help you find a local affiliate as well as finding information on advocacy and transplants
Parenting at a Challenging Time In 1997, Dr. Rauch and the chief of child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Dr. Michael Jellinek, joined with the leadership of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Dr. Bruce Chabner, and then vice president Kate Walsh, to launch an initiative to address the needs of parents with cancer. Attention, time, and resources were committed to helping parents who were concerned about the emotional impact their illness might have on their children.
Parenting With Cancer A resource for parents with cancer and the family and friends who love them.
Sesame Workshop – The When Families Grieve program was developed to help children summon the strength to heal after the death of a parent. Through DVDs, family activities, and books included in the kits, Elmo and his friends encourage children to open up about their feelings to help relieve the sadness, anxiety, and confusion they often experience. An accompanying educates parents and caregivers on strategies for discussing death with children and reassuring them that, with love and time, things will get better. Resources are available in both English and Spanish.
SHARE – (Self-Help for Women with Breast and Ovarian Cancer)- provides free support and programs for women with breast or ovarian cancer, and their families and friends. Services offered in Spanish as well. 866-891-2392 (toll-free) www.sharecancer.org
Single Fathers Due to Cancer – The mission is to help single fathers due to cancer cope with the loss of their wife or partner, meet the demands of sole parenthood, and manage their children’s grief.
Susan G Komen for the Cure – information on resources, advocacy, and treatment can be found here. Each Komen affiliate has an emergency fund that can be accessed by your social worker.
Support Connection – provides emotional, social and educational support services to women, their families
Westchester Jewish Community Services – offers a wide variety of community and support services including home health and personal care. There are support group groups and a host of other programs. Located in White Plains, NY their number is 914-761-0600. www.wjcs.com
Established in 1996, Jewish Deaf Resource Center builds bridges between Jews who are
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and the individuals and organizations which serve the Jewish community throughout North America. www.jdrc.org
ConsumerAffairs wig resource guide https://www.consumeraffairs.com/wigs
Sleep and Cancer
Research on the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on sleep. Cancer patients are at high risk of suffering from undiagnosed sleep disorders that can harm their sleep duration and quality, which can have significant impacts on recovery. Read their findings here: