Three-part Series on Aging & Dying

Wednesdays, Feb. 12, 19, 26

AHCC Members Linda Campanella (author/advocate), Jim Cox-Chapman (physician), and Gary Smith (pastor) present a three-part series and invite you to join the conversation on Living into Aging and Dying. We know what lies ahead for all of us. Let’s talk about it and plan for it.

February 12: What Confronting Death and Loss Teaches Us about Life and Living A conversation facilitated by Linda Campanella. All of us will die, but few of us want to talk about this, let alone prepare for it. How would you face the world if faced with the news that you or a loved one were going to die soon? With a sense of possibility and discovery? Is death an end or a beginning — or both? Why is it both possible and important for us, whether facing death ourselves or caring for someone terminally ill, to inject living into dying? What does it mean to “give someone a ‘good death’”? Explore these and other questions as we contemplate how and why end of life can be transformational and transcendent.

February 19 Focusing on What Matters Most A conversation and exercise facilitated by Dr. Jim Cox-Chapman There are two ways to face aging – by dwelling on “what is the matter with us” or focusing on “what matters to us.” As we face increasing limitations and even death, how do/can/should we have the conversation about what matters most with the people who matter most to us? What should we have in place? Topics of discussion will include “Blue Zones,” areas of the world where people live longer and healthier; how to engage your medical caregivers to help you meet YOUR goals for aging and dying; and how to start a conversation about your wishes with your loved ones.

February 26 Facing Tough Questions at the End of Life A conversation facilitated by the Rev. Gary Smith. What do years of pastoring suggest are the big questions or fears we might face as our own end nears? How do we make peace with ourselves? What happens after a loved one’s death? Is there a “right” way to grieve? What if we feel guilt or resentment instead of grief or gratitude? How do we make peace and find closure? NOTE: During this session “The Five Wishes” living will document will be distributed and discussed; an attorney will be present to answer questions. Pre-registration at the Member Engagement Table in Drew Hall. Participants are urged to attend all three sessions. We suggest you plan to bring a brown-bag lunch to each session.

Suggested Reading: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; Being Mortal by Atul Gawande; When All That’s Left of Me Is Love by Linda Campanella (discounted ($10) copies available for sale); On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker J. Palmer

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