The Minnesota Threshold Network was a presence at the Minnesota Hospice and Palliative Care conference, April 19-21 in Bloomington. MTN shared an exhibitor table with the Funeral Consumers’ Alliance of Minnesota, with Anne Murphy and Heather Halen volunteer staffing for MTN and Jody Bystrum for FCA. Anne, Heater, and Jody spoke with many nurses, social workers, and volunteers and encouraged them to get to know utilize our organizations as a resource. Anne reports that it was a very receptive crowd, and many of them commented that they are noticing that people are wanting to find ways to honor and celebrate life in new ways.
Our thanks to Anne and Heather for staffing the table, to FCA for the table-sharing arrangement, and to everyone who stopped by to talk about this important work.
When someone dies after an extended illness, caregivers must cope not only with the death of a loved one but with the loss of the role and life focus they may have had for weeks, months, or years.
Lois Swope will share the story of being a caregiver to her daughter Karly, who lived for 27 years with Rett Syndrome, a rare disorder that required around-the-clock care. Despite physical limitations, including her inability to speak, Karly communicated intellect, talents, and wisdom. This mother and daughter, whose lives were woven together, were separated by Karly’s death in 2012. Lois and her husband Gregg continue their heart-journey by sharing Karly’s story. For Karly’s blog, which she typed on a keyboard (see photo above) during the final 4 years of her life, visit https://spiritdances.Wordpress.com The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 14, 2015, from 7-9 p.m. at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis. MTN meetings are free and open to all.
Anyone who was unable to attend the February 10 showing of This Dewdrop World, an award-winning documentary connecting planetary with personal loss, can see the full 38-minute movie at http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi4026574361/ or http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/50188/This-Dewdrop-World
March 10, 2015, 7-9 p.m., at the home of Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan, 21 East Rustic Lodge Ave, Minneapolis
A helpful new tool, the Personal Self-Assessment Scale (PSAS), will be available at the meeting. This simple one-page chart can 1) clarify your wishes, 2) guide your choice of a health care agent (not necessarily your spouse or child), and 3) provide an easy opening for The Conversation with loved ones. It also can help you be more prepared and competent when someone you love is dying.
Although we can fill out an advanced directive by ourselves, MTN members find that working in community allows us to hear other points of view and find more clarity for our own questions.
For short videos of people making end-of-life decisions and having thoughtful conversations with their loved ones, visit Honoring Choices Minnesota.