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Speaking of Death

Posted on 02/15/2013

All-Things AgingThough death is not unique to aging, nor does it wait patiently, more and more of us will reach death at a much later point in our lives. Not just our lives, but even those of our pets. The death of my 18-year old dog friend this past week and a recent discussion with my mother about the benefits of hospice have set me thinking, much of it in the middle of the night (when as my mother-in-law says no good thoughts usually come) about the need to discuss planning for and deciding on the ending of life.

From a Ted Talk by physician Peter Saul, to Ellen Goodman’s Conversation Project focused on enabling end of life conversations, to Lilian Rubin’s ruminations on Salon about very late life and dying, to a recent local radio program on end of life care, there is a great deal of interest in furthering the conversation about how we die, about talking with friends and family about it in advance, and about making changes in our health and support systems to make the process somehow easier for everyone.

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