End-of-life, final breath, final chapter, winter season of our lives-- these are some expressions we relate to death.
"Ultimately each of us must come to terms with our mortality according to our timing…" (Karen Wyatt, MD). That's is why "Death is not an enemy…It is our gateway to meaningful and vigorous life." (Rea Ginsberg)
As it is as natural to die as to be born, have you ever found the comfort to talk about your own and your loved ones' demise? If not, allow authors Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster to navigate you into that through Journey's End Part 1: Heartfelt Stories of Death and Dying. It is a book that plainly addresses death, dying, and end-of-life issues and perspectives. It also provides an answer to the question 'What constitutes a good death?' based on the contemplation of those who've approached death themselves or assisted dying people.
The book grew from its coauthors’ hope to contribute to a cultural shift in how we prepare and support others in the final chapter of life. As a biomedical researcher and long-time educator, Julie believes that “open and lively discussions based on research findings, trends in health and wellness, and new modalities of treatment and professional education will create new and more satisfying cultural paradigms within which we may live all the days of our lives with dignity and quality of care.”
“I imagine a time when people are comfortable to speak and write about death with confidence and ease, despite the inherent qualities of the unknown that surround it. I envision a time when everyone who needs help and support with grief will seek and find it, knowing they reach from a place of strength when they do so, not from weakness.” (excerpt from the book)
One of Julie's favorite quotes is Karen Wyatt's: "…When we embrace our physical impermanence, we discover the truth that dying, in many different forms, is one of the change agents for life and makes transformation and growth possible." It constitutes her notion that talking about death and dying is the first step to reaching an understanding with the significant parties who will support or be involved in any level of end-of-life care and decision-making. Knowing prepares us for the process of doing what's best and dealing with the aftermath, especially grief.
Julie Saeger Nierenberg is a freelance writer and editor, lifelong educator, and visual artist. A proud parent and "grand-partner" who grew up in Northeastern Oklahoma and now lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Recently, she completed her training and certification in end-of-life planning using the 'Before I Go Solutions' method. She is in the process of launching her education and pre-planning business, End-of-Life Matters, to provide online coaching for individuals, couples, and small groups.
Julie dedicates her professional life to the journeys of self-discovery that we may all enjoy while learning about, choosing, documenting, and sharing our wishes for our ideal end of life. Embrace your own journey by reading the experience and insight-filled book Journey's End Part 1: Heartfelt Stories of Death and Dying and other written works: Daddy, This Is It. Being-with My Dying Dad (2013), and It Is What It Is: Learning to Live with My Brain Tumor (2018).
Check out her books and life events on her social media links below: