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Planning for the end

Humanist Celebrant - planning for the end - peaceful sky

"Our first breath gives us life, but our last one honors a lifetime. Therefore, as my friends and family got more comfortable talking about my death, I opened up a dialogue about my send-off. Knowing what my Celebration of Life (we never refer to it as a funeral) will be like gives me joy as I approach the end. And I'm sure it's going to be a comfort for my family and friends to know they're honoring me after my death exactly as I wanted.  I urge you to have these conversations with your loved ones. They may be difficult and uncomfortable. But they will, in due time, give you joy and give them much needed comfort."

On November 1, 2018, Audrey P died peacefully in her own bed, holding hands with her mother and surrounded by close friends. She was serenaded by her favorite singer-songwriter strumming a guitar.



Useful information from The Dying Matters website:

Information available on:

  • Putting your affairs in order

  • Helping those close to someone who is dying

  • Starting end of life conversations with people affected by dementia


"It has become taboo to mention dying. This has been a gradual process, and since we have lost familiarity with the process, we are now losing the vocabulary that describes it. Illness has become a 'battle' and treatments and outcomes are described in terms of warfare. No matter that life was well lived, that an individual was contented with their achievements and experiences, at the end of their life they will be described as having 'lost the battle' rather than simply having died."

Kathryn Mannix, palliative care physician

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