Death Midwifery and Home Funerals: Death is too Medicalized

Death Midwifery and Home Funerals
By Cassandra Yonder
This piece is an excerpt from the upcoming book: Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, written, compiled, and edited by Victoria Brewster, MSW and Julie Saeger Nierenberg, MA Ed with an anticipated release date of Spring 2015.

A social movement has arisen in response to the cultural alienation we feel from death and dying. As the sick and dying members of our families and communities are institutionalized, death itself is “medicalized,” and post-death care is undertaken by strangers outside our homes. Indeed, we have come to recognize ourselves as a death-denying society.

Just as the slow food movement brings communities back in touch with the production and distribution of their own food in a small, local, familiar market, and birth midwifery empowers women to reclaim the labour and delivery of their own babies, death midwifery reminds us how to be present for those who are at the end of life and how to care for our own dead.

One might even say that death midwifery is to palliative care as the slow food movement is to large-scale agriculture and as birth midwifery is to obstetrics….

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#Death, #Dying, #EndOfLife, #Midwifery, #SocialWork

Understanding the “Why?” in Suicide

There are thankfully, fewer and fewer subjects that are still taboo. Suicide is one of those dark subjects that seems to be okay to think and talk about openly as long as it’s not you personally that’s had to deal with one in the immediate family. Is this what you believe? Or do you think that this was ho ……

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#Death, #Suicide

Playing with words to play with lives

Words come with baggage; some more than others; “sinful” more than most; and “illegal” is fast catching up, at least in its application to asylum seekers in Australia.

This, anyway, is where my thoughts wandered as I watched “Philomena” at the cinema recently.

There’s a scene near the end of the movie in which the venomous shipwreck of a nun, Sister Hildegarde, tells Philomena (Judi Dench) that she deserved everything she got – her son sold for adoption, years of servitude in a Magdalene laundry, fruitless search over decades, and being kept in ignorance of his death and burial in the convent grounds….

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#Church, #Death, #Group, #Groupassinful, #Label, #Magdalene, #MentalHealth, #Poverty

Technological Advances to Grieving and Closure

Losing people we love is never easy. Since the advent of video cameras, families have used televisions to display streams of memories during wakes and memorial services. Often accompanied by picture boards, mourners had a way to remember times, places, and experiences of their loved one. Complicated by distance, illness, or finances, some mourners never get the chance to say goodbye in this way. Grieving the loss of a loved one can be complicated. While technology is not new to the field of grief, we are now exploring more digital options connected to technology allowing for client centered grieving options. …

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#Death, #Grieving, #Technology

Book Review and Interview: Julie Saeger Nierenberg and her self-published book: ‘Daddy, this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad’

I always marvel at the connections one can make thru social media. I have had the benefit of making many positive connections on LinkedIn and because of my involvement there, connected with Julie Nierenberg. We both have similar interests re: death, dying and end-of-life issues and we both write. While I have not written a book yet and my focus is blogging and articles, eventually a book may come. Julie has already taken that leap and on such a personal topic.

Within the first 2 pages my eyes were tearing up…Julie writes from the soul. It is obvious she had a close relationship with her father. I also have a close relationship with my father; perhaps that is why this book resonated with me. Julie writes to her father, describes their friendship/father-daughter relationship while at the same time she shares his diagnosis of cancer, and the 3-year process and journey with his deterioration in his health until his death….

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#Death, #Dying, #EndOfLife, #SocialWork

End-of-Life Care & Discussions

This is an article worth reading in The Windsor Star on End-of-Life Care. This area is only going to continue to grow as more and more enter the 65+demographic. What is holding health professionals and helping professionals back from bringing this issue to the forefront?…

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#Death, #Dying, #EndOfLife, #SocialWork

The United States Gets an ‘F’ for Health and Mortality Rates

A recently published study completed by the National Institute of Health and the National Research Counsel points to the United States as having poorer health and shorter life spans than the majority of the 16 peer countries surveyed.  While the full report isn’t available for review…


Fear Of Death Causes Death: The Self Fulfilling Prophecy

By Matthew Cohen
SJS Staff Writer
Details have emerged from the unthinkable tragedy in Newtown. There have been reports that Adam Lanza’s guns were taken from his mother. It has also been reported that Ms. Lanza began to buy guns following a divorce for fear of being alone in a large…


It’s The End Of World As We Know It And I Feel Like Panicking

By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW                                                                                 SJS Staff Writer
Ah the 2012 holiday season.  A time to laugh, remember our loved ones, exchange some gifts. …