Each month, I send you an email with resources I’ve discovered that are helpful for people giving care to other people in times of hospital and grief. It's a mix of things to help you, for you to share, and for you to reflect about. If you have suggestions of resources, I'd love to hear about them.
And if you know someone who would find these resources helpful, please forward this to them so they can subscribe.
Sometime in the fall a friend was talking about doing a wedding. He'd gotten an online credential to be able to officiate. After the wedding, he mentioned on social media that someone had come up to him and said, "I want you to do my funeral." He said that he'd need to start learning about funerals. And I realized that I could help. So I wrote Giving a Life Meaning: How to Lead Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life.
Unfortunately, I have forgotten which friend needed this. Fortunately, it will be available for everyone else on February 28, 2020.
I wanted it to help people find confidence and competence. It's written to help anyone who has been invited to help, whether pastor or friend or colleague. There are outlines and examples and explanations. Because services for babies, whether miscarried, stillborn, or liveborn are so hard, there is an extended chapter about this.
The book is available for ebook presale now. The paperback will be available on the publication date.
If you know someone who is worried about doing one of the 6,500 funerals that happen every day, keep this book in mind. And if you know someone who should have a supply (like a funeral home), let them know about this.
Recent writing I've done
A working list for life after a difficult diagnosis is a list of areas to think about as a family or individual facing a terminal diagnosis.
What I'm reading (thanks to people like you)
What does suicide look like when the surviving brother is a player on a top college basketball team? Jeff Arnold wrote a profile.
Ken Fuson was a sports writer in Des Moines. He wrote his own obituary, which is a remarkable story of the challenges and redemption of his life. (Thanks to Jeff for the link).
Another obituary, thanks to Scott Howard.
Chris Brinneman talks about advance care planning.
Chaplain Kent Green talks about what it's like to receive care rather than offer it.
A church talks about having "the conversation": talking with loved ones about dying.
Rebecca Gates sent me a story about a Franciscan brother offering communion to people in their last days and hours. It's a reflection on offering life when people are dying.
Commentary: ‘She’s in a better place,’ and other things you shouldn’t say when someone dies
Tim Shapiro went to the closing of a church he served and talks about consolation.
In closing. . .
Thanks for your participation in this project. And thanks for the work you do helping people. I'm more aware than ever of the value of simple, thoughtful, deliberate conversations.
Again, if you know this is helpful for someone else, please forward this email to them with your endorsement. I'd love to be able to help more people doing what you are doing.
And, if you'd like to know more about supporting this project and 300wordsADay.com please read "sustaining".
See you next month!