Death and Life

One Small Action

One Small Action
Talking about death and the planning involved is tough. We get it. It involves a lot of deep, emotional thought and can seem overwhelming. Where do you even begin? How about right here, right now by taking just one small step to being prepared and taking action.

Talking to the Dead

Talking to the Dead
I’m comfortable with it now. When I first started talking to the dead, it felt incredibly awkward. Was this healthy? What if they start talking back? Was I losing my mind?

The Importance of Game Playing

The Importance of Game Playing
I’ve always been a huge fan of games. I have fond childhood memories of a game closet filled with options and the endless hours spent playing pinball with my brother, card games with my mom and dad and Mahjong with my grandmother. This past holiday break, I stirred up those pleasant memories...

On the 4th Anniversary of my Grandma's Death

On the 4th Anniversary of my Grandma's Death

Today, I remember my grandma before the dementia days. A strong German woman who subscribed to routine and hard work. We used to have family dinner at my grandparents every week while my brother and I were growing up. Sunday menu never varied; a baked ham, a bunch of hot dogs to supplement the ham that ran out, boiled potatoes, white Tupperware filled with beets, another Tupperware filled with carrots, and then being that they were bean farmers, a giant bowl of typically now lukewarm beans. Zucchini bread for desert although once in awhile some Neapolitan ice cream. Every week of my childhood this was the Sunday meal at grandmas house. The woman loved her routine.

Why are we avoiding talking about death?

Why are we avoiding talking about death?

I thought we were prepared.

Will. Check. Advance Health Care Directive. Check. Life Insurance. (Thankfully) Check.

Final wishes, thoughts on leaving a legacy, funeral/celebration plans, end-of-life requests...Nope. None of these had been covered.

Questions at End of Life

Questions at End of Life
“Tracy” was one of the most direct people I ever met. As she said from day one with hospice, she tolerated no bullshit. Tracy did not want a nurse who was going to be sweet and soft-spoken. She wanted her entire hospice team (nurse, social worker, chaplain, bath aids)  to “tell it like it is.”

My Dad's Cancer Diagnosis Changed Our Family

Dad and daughter, many years after initial cancer diagnosis
Upon leaving the hospital, I saw a different man emerge. This man cried. He wrote in a journal every day. He became sentimental. He asked questions about my life. 

Lisa & Lori Talk About Death

Lisa & Lori Talk About Death
Hospice is an unlikely place to meet a future business partner. But that’s exactly where The Death Deck creators Lisa Pahl and Lori LoCicero met.

Our cat is teaching our son about aging and dying.

Our cat is teaching our son about aging and dying.

T-Bone is helping us teach our son that we take care of the ones we love. That, as we get older, we can’t move as fast and we may need help. That, as she ages, T-Bone continues to contribute to our family through her love, her sweet little snores, the comforting presence she provides each of us on rough days. She’s slower and plumper, but also patient and gentle.