BJ Miller is the director of the Zen Hospice Center in San Francisco says, “Most hospitals are designed for disease and not people”. He goes on to say that “comfort” is at the top of most people’s list when facing death, but he also goes on to talk about “crescendo” thoughts and appreciation of each second of life to the end.
As a nurse, I was trained to numb the senses to not feel pain. Sam got us involved with nutrition where we learned more about avoiding the pain with better physical health. Building physical health means eating nutrients so the cells can repair and replace each day, as well as getting the tools for their jobs to reach each part of the body.
I subsequently got a masters in Psychosocial Nursing to mentally avoid pain and help find tools for better thinking. Studies also show that happier people handle pain better.
Until I listened to BJ Miller’s talk about: What do I want for the end of Life? I never thought about planning more for the very last seconds. I feel the best place for me to start is to follow the words of Robert Waldinger, the 4th director of the Harvard Longevity Study, where they followed 724 men from Boston’s elite as well as the poorest for 75 years. The study continues with the surviving participants in their 90s and now includes wives and children.
The happiest in their late 80s and 90s were the ones who figured out how to be happy at age 50. They were in a healthy relationship or got out of an unhappy one. They reconnected with family and friends they had not seen or had a falling out.
So, I can think myself 50 again and help as many people as I can with action - helping others and purposeful activities are another key ingredient to happiness.
As I mentioned in a previous post, stressing myself to produce more healthy OXCYTOCIN. Oxytocin (Oxt; /ˌɒksɪˈtoʊsɪn/) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes.
Like Sam, I want to be surrounded by my loved ones to the very end at home.