I have started reading Jane Hughes Gignoux’s beautiful little book “an INSISTENCE on Life: Releasing Fear of Death to Fully Live” (her capitalizations).
It is a collection of stories and insights from people the author has shepherded through their own end times, a book of hopefulness in the face of ultimate endings. Reading it has caused me to think more deeply about my own ending time, a reflection we all should undertake now and then.
My thought of the end is this: When I find myself capitulating to that final breath, I want to have a sense of hope that I have set off reverberations (memories, loves, stories, experiences, ideas, “stuff” done) that will continue to resound and make the world at least a tiny bit warmer, fulfilling and peaceful for the hearts and minds I have managed to touch in this, my last stretch of years. [Note: I'm closing in on 50, a very appropriate milestone for reflection and personal renewal.]
I think I have done some good in my role as a funeral director. But must say I feel the call of much more to be done, of growing needs in and around end-of-life and mortality care which extend far beyond my little corner of Southeastern Massachusetts.
I look forward to my 50-ish stretch. No doubt an unusual and uncertain time for funeral directors in general, yet also a fascinating and wonderful time for people like me who love to figure out what comes next.