End-of-Life Education & Care

Click here to contact Sharon

 

Sharon is an end of life guide, doula for the dying, and Threshold Celebrant.  In addition to offering Reiki services to hospice patients, family and staff, Sharon is trained in bereavement support, Advance Directive education, and Family Directed Death Care. She attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University for ecumenical coursework in Ministry to the Ill and Dying. Sharon is a hospice volunteer, member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and is on the Advisory Committee of Threshold Support Circle.

 

Advance Directive Education:

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – The Buddha

Western culture lends itself to the belief that if we plan for tomorrow, tomorrow will come and we will be alive and well to meet it. Although the concepts of time and the future are useful for organizing our lives to some degree, we must be cautious not to allow our busy planning to lead to the belief that death is only a distant and abstract idea that can be addressed “later.”  Author Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, wrote that “It is inconceivable for our unconscious to imagine an actual ending of our own life here on earth…”

However, the voices of our ancestors and those who have walked the Earth before us can attest to the fragility and impermanence of human existence. We truly never know the date and manner of our death and to assume that it is in the distant future denies us and our families the opportunity to prepare for and explore this transformative and sacred process.

Choosing today to embrace the inevitability of our transition from human existence offers us deep freedom.  Through acknowledging and embracing our mortality, death is no longer seen as a daunting and dark shadow waiting to destroy our lives at some random point in the future.  Instead, we give ourselves time to contemplate our living and dying.  This process not only promotes a peaceful relationship with death as a natural step in our life cycle, but provides the space and knowledge to choose, where possible, how our final days will be spent and how we will be honored by our beloveds.

Advanced Directive education is one of many first steps in the direction towards taking ownership of our death.  Sharon meets with clients and their loved ones to review and explore the options available to each of us to design an ending that is reflective of our values and honors the difficult stages that ultimately accompany death.  Items explored include legal and medical definitions for end-of-life care options, review of Maryland Medical Orders of Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST), and review of The Five Wishes healthcare decisions for end-of-life.  To set up your consultation, please click here or contact Sharon at 443-851-3812.

 

End-of-Life Care Guide:

Once we learn that our death is imminent, whether after a life-changing diagnosis, at the end of a long fought battle with an illness, or even after a sudden and devastating accident or turn of events, many of us come face to face with our own or our loved one’s mortality for the first time.  This is usually a very difficult and destabilizing time in our lives.  Preparation prior to diagnosis and death are key to relieving so much of the stress that arises at the end of life.

Additionally, having much needed support available to us during this time – either for ourselves or our families – can ease the nature of the transition for everyone involved.  As a certified End-of-Life Care Guide, Sharon has been trained to provide logistical, physical, and spiritual support to people and families at the end-of-life.  Her support services include energy bodywork for the patient to bring relief from pain, anxiety and fear;  prayer, song and breath work; honoring the sacred through ritual; physical support and guidance including body care for the actively dying; end-of-life review techniques; and support for navigating the role as caregiver.

It has only been over the last two centuries that families have relinquished the right and process of caring for their dying during and after death. For millenia, our ancestors have cared for each other where many of us feel the safest and most comfortable – at home.  Death was not an emergency that had to be met with sterile and cold isolation.  Dying at home also allows us to reclaim our intrinsic and natural relationship with death as a threshold we all must cross.  Further, lovingly and legally caring for our beloveds after they have died provides profound healing and closure for family members.  Sharon works as a consultant to families at the time of their loved one’s death to provide the necessary tools, logistical guidance, and support to navigate the often convoluted administrative process of death certificates, transportation, cremation or burial.

For more information on End-of-Life Care services, please contact Sharon

 

End-of-Life Care Resources:

Threshold Support Circle  – Providing a forum and resources for residents of Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Pennsylvania, to explore end-of-life issues and after-death care.  We believe that life can be lived more fully when we befriend and come to terms with the reality of death as part of the natural cycle of life. We offer opportunities to discuss options, ask questions, learn new skills, and share stories of personal experience.

National Home Funeral Alliance – The NHFA empowers families to care for their own dead by providing educational opportunities and connections to resources that promote environmentally sound and culturally nurturing death practices. This is the place to find information about home funerals, including directories for where to find a speaker, a home funeral education program, a home-funeral-friendly funeral director, celebrants and clergy, and groups who will help families when needed. Our goal is to educate the public to their choices and provide clear information.

Green Burial Council – Green, or natural burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat. Green burial necessitates the use of non-toxic and biodegradable materials, such as caskets, shrouds, and urns.

Cremation and Funeral Alternatives (CAFA) – Baltimore area’s comprehensive alternative to traditional funeral homes. We offer cremations and burials, viewings, memorial services, church funerals and graveside services, personalized memorials and caring personal support–all for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less. We offer dignified direct cremation for only $935.00

Artful Ashes – Ashes memorialized in glass art

Gilchrist Hospice Care – A non-profit organization and the largest hospice in Maryland, providing the highest quality hospice and support services, whether home-based or inpatient, to thousands of individuals and families residing throughout Central Maryland each year. Services include medical and nursing care, social work support, home health and volunteer assistance, as well as spiritual and grief counseling.

Maryland Medical Orders of Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) – Advanced Directive for Maryland

The Five Wishes – Helping make healthcare decisions for end-of-life easier.

 

IMG_0565

Washington National Forest

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.