September 15, 2014

Man gives wife his lasts breath

‘True love like no other,’ Man gives wife his last breath

An elderly couple, who had been together for more than 60 years, was found dead inside their home.

Investigators say Dave Molter died trying to give his wife, Corrine, CPR; giving his wife his last breath.

They  believe Molter, 84, died while trying to do CPR on his wife Corrine, 83.  His body was found next to her in their home.
Corrine had advanced Alzheimer’s and Dave waited on her hand and foot.

Brandy Williams, the caregiver for Dave and Corrine,  broke down, talking about losing a couple she called best friends.

“Just wonderful people. I’ve never met anybody like that in my life,” said Williams.

Williams,  the caregiver for Dave and Corrine Molter, said,  "Just being there and seeing it with my own eyes, it’s like true love like no other. It’s the kind you see in movies, not the kind you see in real life,” she said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:36 AM | Permalink
Categories: Death and Dying

September 4, 2014

Further down the slippery slope

In Belgium.  Doctor Kills Depressed Woman in Euthanasia, Doesn’t Tell Family Until Next Day

Oncologist Wim Distelmans killed Godelieva De Troyer, a Belgium citizen who was not terminally ill, because of “untreatable depression” in April 2012 after receiving consent from three other physicians who had no previous involvement with her care…..Distelmans has no psychiatric qualifications, and none of the doctors involved had any enduring doctor-patient relationship with De Troyer. … In addition, the commission the government established to investigate any failure to observe the euthanasia law has been led, since its creation, by Distelmans. Despite evidence of widespread abuse of the law, the commission has never referred a case to the prosecutor.

No one contacted Mortier before his mother’s death despite the fact that he says her depression was not only largely the result of a break-up with a man, but also due to her feelings of distance from her family.

Her son Tom Mortier is now challenging Belgium's euthanasia laws which also allow children to be killed.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights Wednesday on behalf of Tom Mortier,

“The government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Robert Clarke. “A person can claim that she should be able to do whatever she pleases, but that does not override the government’s responsibility to protect the weak and vulnerable. We are encouraging the European Court to uphold this principle, which is completely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:11 PM | Permalink
Categories: Euthanasia

August 29, 2014

Final moments on death row

A deacon recounts the final moments of a man on death row

After reading from 1 John, I asked Joe who his master was, fear or God’s love. He got the message. He was assured his death this day would not get the last word, love would. Then we talked about giving his life up as an offering, that what sometimes seems to be a curse holds the potential to be a great blessing, a blessing because of the cross. This day the blessing would be eternal life — supernatural life with God.

I asked him if he believed it was possible for God to make something good out of what was bad or seemed lost. I pointed to who he was many years ago and who he had become after encountering Christ. I assured him that God could use the darkness of this day, too, to end in good as well. He smiled and understood what I was saying.

I told him fear was beneath him at this point in his journey, he belonged to Christ.

I also stated that this day was his day to be Simon of Cyrene. This day was his day to help carry the cross, to help Jesus in his own way for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24).

I then described the irony of the day. This day which is meant to be a punishment will be filled with grace, if only you surrender your entire self to God, offering up all of the good and bad of your life to God, to lay every bit of it at the cross. I explained that it was a very useful day, a day that could bring peace unlike any other day in his life. A peace so powerful there would be no fear in the moment of truth. If he trusted perfect love and let it consume him, it would cast out all fear.

We spoke about when Jesus appeared in the upper room and the very first thing He said and offered was shalom — peace be with you. Jesus was saying you are one with God, you are one with Me. I have reconciled you to Myself.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:38 AM | Permalink

August 28, 2014

Doctors form honor guard for brave and generous boy

Behold, a remarkable tribute to a generous child

 Chinese Boy Donor Doctors-Honor

Child’s deathbed thoughts focused on helping others

The parents of 11-year-old Liang Yaoyi were stunned by his request.  As cancer ravaged his body, the fifth grader from the Chinese city of Shenzhen focused on how he could save others if he could not survive his own battle.

"There are many people doing great things in the world," he said from his sickbed according to the "They are great, and I want to be a great kid too."  He told his parents he wanted to donate his organs so others could live.

On Friday, the brave young boy who dreamed of becoming a doctor lost his battle with brain cancer. Immediately, doctors went to work removing his organs for transplant.  Hospital officials said his kidney and liver were transplanted into other patients who were suffering from life-threatening ailments.

As his body was wheeled for the surgery room, the medical team stopped and formed an honor guard, bowing to the gurney carrying Yoayi’s remains in honor of the brave boy.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:49 PM | Permalink
Categories: Organ donation

Obituaries of note

The London Telegraph consistently offers the best-written obituaries in the world.  Here are just a few from the past two weeks.

Jean Redpath - a  Scottish folk singer who shared an apartment with Bob Dylan and recorded the ballads of Robbie Burns

BKS Iyengar - an Indian yoga teacher who popularized the 3,000-year-old practice among disciples across the world after 'retuning’ the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Ciro de Quadros - a pioneering epidemiologist who eradicated smallpox in Ethiopia then wiped out polio in Latin America, undeterred by revolutionaries and Shining Path guerrillas

Richard Attenborough - a pillar of British cinema who achieved fame as an actor before becoming a director and winning Oscars for his epic and sweeping biography of Gandhi who was knighted in 1976.

Father Jean-Marie Charles-Roux - a priest who prayed for the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire

Lady Berlin -  a French amateur golfer who fled the Nazi occupation in her Bentley coupé and later won the heart of the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin

Lauren Bacall -  the actress whose partnership with Humphrey Bogart brought a new allure and electricity to the big screen

Robin Williams -a comedian and actor whose live-wire delivery could express both depth of character and pathos

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:19 PM | Permalink
Categories: Last Words, Obits, Eulogies and Epitaphs

August 22, 2014

"Is this a good day or a bad day?"

How to talk to the dying D.G, Myers

“How are you?” is not, then, the best thing to say to a cancer patient. Lisa Bonchek Adams, who lives with metastatic breast cancer and chronicles her experience in a moving and informative blog, suggests, “Is this a good day or a bad day?” The question is apt, because even though bikur holim (visiting the sick) is a mitsvah according to the Jews, a visit on a bad day may not be an act of kindness.
Don’t tell a cancer patient about someone you know who also suffered cancer—no matter what the outcome. What is your purpose in telling the story? Will the account of someone else’s “survival” flood the dying patient with hope? Will someone else’s narrated pain and death stiffen him with courage?
Most of all, don’t babble to cancer patients about alternative medicine. Don’t pester them about nutrition and vitamin supplements, don’t theorize that the cure for cancer is being suppressed to boost corporate profits, don’t speculate about what caused their cancer, don’t announce that you’ve heard, vaguely and fourth-hand, of amazing breakthroughs in treatment down in Mexico. (Every one of these has been vouchsafed to me.)
The way to talk to the dying, that is, is to return them from death to the immediate experience of life. Neither hope nor dread belong to the moment; they encourage the patient to stare outside of time; but when the moment is lived to the full, the unexpected may reveal itself: even joy.

I am not saying their friends should distract the dying from what is hap­pening to them, but rather should try, with all resources available, to remind the dying that their death is not all that is happening to them.

Every Saturday afternoon, now that I can no longer attend shul, my three closest friends in town gather in my living room and bring the Sabbath rest to me, debating halakhah and the future of the Jews, tossing around ideas and interpretations. For a few hours, I need no better reminder of what life contains.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:53 PM | Permalink
Categories: Death and Dying

August 21, 2014

Delaware gives executors access to digital assets

About time. Delaware becomes first state to give executors broad digital assets access   Meet the "Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act."

Delaware has become the first state in the US to enact a law that ensures families’ rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death.

Earlier this year, the Uniform Law Commission, a non-profit group that lobbies to enact model legislations across all jurisdictions in the United States, adopted its Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA). Delaware is the first state to take the UFADAA and turn it into a bona fide law.

“This problem is an example of something we see all the time in our high-tech age—our laws simply haven’t kept up with advancements in technology,” said Daryl Scott, in a statement last week. Scott is a member of the Delaware House of Representatives and the lead author of the bill. “By signing this bill into law, we’re helping to protect the rights and interests of the average person in the face of a rapidly evolving digital world."

Jim Halpert, an attorney with DLA Piper, and the director of the State Privacy and Security Coalition, an umbrella group that represents Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other firms, said that he opposes the new Delaware law.

"This law takes no account of minimizing intrusions into the privacy of third parties who communicated with the deceased," he said. "This would include highly confidential communications to decedents from third parties who are still alive—patients of deceased doctors, psychiatrists, and clergy, for example—who would be very surprised that an executor is reviewing the communications. The law may well create a lot of confusion and false expectations because, as the law itself acknowledges, federal law may prohibit disclosing contents of communications."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:01 PM | Permalink
Categories: Estate Planning and End of Life planning

The Last Rites

Angels, Anointing and Peace at the Last Fr. Dwight Longnecker

The rite is so simple and so ordinary…no signs and wonders it seemed…no amazing miracles…or so it seemed…just the Lord’s presence and the Church’s sacrament.
At the anointing itself there was a sense of quiet wonder and gratitude.

Then in each case I went on to recite the precious prayers for passing….”Go forth upon your journey Christian soul. Go in the name of God the Father who created you. Go in the name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you. Go in the name of the Holy Spirit…Go forth….”  Then a prayer that the Holy Guardian angels might take her and lead her into paradise.  Then it was over.
The last rites are one of the times when we see the power of the sacraments and I have never seen the prayers and anointing not bring peace when they have been asks for. The person really does go forth on their journey in peace. They are given their passport and they may go in peace.  I experienced it again twice in the last three days.
I remember reading somewhere that Evelyn Waugh was questioned about the deathbed scene of Lord Marchmain in Brideshead Re-Visited. If you are unfamiliar with the scene, old Lord Marchmain comes home to die. He’s been a lapsed Catholic and rebellious against the church. Then on his death bed the priest comes and anoints him. When he leads through the confession he asks old Marchmain for a sign that he has heard and his will is engaged. Out of his unconsciousness Marchmain feebly makes the sign of the cross.

Waugh was challenged. “That scene was simply too unrealistic.” his critic complained.

Waugh replied, “That was the only thing in the book which was based in a very real experience. Everything else was fictional, but that scene was accurate. I saw such a thing happen.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:55 AM | Permalink
Categories: Death and Dying
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Quotes of Note

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death - Leonardo da Vinci

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.-James Dean.

I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind.- May Sarton

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Next Exit
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Death and Dying
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