Dying Is Not the End of Life

If you can count on what’s next!

Dying is hard because of relationships.

Some saying dying is hard because of physical suffering. While I have not personally experienced physical suffering in dying, I have experienced the inner angst that comes from the inevitability of no longer being in relationship with someone whom you love deeply. (more…)

What Are Your Goals?

A New Year’s Resolution to Die For

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Why does a New Year’s resolution have to be all about “me”? Lose weight. Reduce debt. Close a big business deal. Develop your personal “SMART” goals. (more…)

Speaking the Same Language Is Impossible When It Comes to Dying

Do You Hear What I hear?

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I recently returned from a music camp where my wife Erica was a guest choral conductor.

It was in Quebec. French was the predominate language spoken by the participants. Erica speaks it fluently, but unfortunately, I only speak English. Because of that, I often felt left out of the conversations that were taking place. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, nor was it intentional. I just couldn’t follow the conversation. (more…)

Directing Your Own Story

Why Your Dying Is Your Business

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Dying is not a passive event – at least not until you are no longer able to mentally engage with with those around you.

Your life is like a storybook. It’s important to look back on your life and consider what’s been significant. What have been the highlights? The struggles? The surprises? It’s also important to look ahead and consider how your last chapter on earth might unfold in a direction that you prefer. As such, you need to take the author’s pen. (more…)

Boundaries to Die by

… Say What?

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When I met my second wife, who is a native Quebecer, I discovered that people don’t really stop at stop signs in Montreal. I had to re-learn how to stop when we’d go out there to visit her family. The “stop” is closer to a “yield” than a full stop there – this is due in part to the fact that there are so many stop signs! At first, I was unsure when to stop and when to go; who was at the stop sign first; and if it was my turn to proceed. I eventually learned and became confident. (more…)

Sugar and Salt

Why we should add both ingredients into our dying

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Sugar adds sweetness. Salt adds flavour.

While most people have come to understand that dying is about subtraction – something being taken away – I have come to believe that it has everything to do with addition. Even though we are preparing for our final chapter on earth, we should consider what we would like to leave to our family and friends once we’re gone – something that will continue to “taste good” even after we have died and made our way into our next story.

I watched a humming bird the other morning. It came and took sweet nectar from a flower. And then it flew away. That evening I tasted the wonderful flavours of a restaurant dish I was eating in Montreal. And then we left.

We have much to give to others in our dying. We are not certain how long we will stay. Your “sugar and salt” should be offered freely as gifts to be opened and shared with those who are most important to you.

A spoonful of sugar. A teaspoon of salt.

What might those ingredients look like for you?

Rick Bergh is a best-selling author. His latest book, Looking Ahead: How Your Dying Impacts Those Around You will be released in November.  In it, Rick Shares his 30 years of experience and his personal journey with his first wife Pam and their last three months together prior to her death at 47 years of age.

Connect with him at www.rickbergh.com or www.intentionalgrief.com

 

 

 

Flying Next to Me

Why I Want You Next to Me in My Dying Journey

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You can choose the seat number on your flight, but you can’t choose the passenger who ends up sitting next to you. Sometimes it’s a pleasant experience…and sometimes it’s not. (more…)

Telling the Story

Memories Bring Connection Forever

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All of life is a series of memories that are either positive or negative – very few are neutral. We remember most all of them, but usually choose to give special meaning to those memories that are positive and uplifting.

My friend, Gary, had a special animal companion that died last week. (more…)