I’m a gypsy, a healer, a wanderer and a dreamer, a lover and an empath, a musician and daughter, a friend and a jokester, a student and a teacher, an adventurer and a homebody, a perfect contradiction in an amazing life.
I have worn many different hats in the past 37 years, early on as a musician, then a computer programmer. In my 20’s I re-trained into nursing seeking a greater purpose in my life. I have spent most of my free time making amazing friends and traveling the world, my wanderlust is difficult to suppress. The time has come however, for a new adventure!
So now it continues, that seeming contradiction that takes me in a new direction with Changing the Face of Dying. I have an immense love for the work that I’ve done for the past 10 years as a registered nurse. However, as much as I am constantly amazed and inspired by my field and the colleagues with whom I work, I recognize there are situations where we must improve. Out of that repeated experience comes this work, my efforts to change the way we view the end-of-life and the choices and experiences that come with it.
I have spent years in the health care field, first as a patient, later on as a registered nurse in hospitals and emergency rooms across the country, and now as an advocate, an educator, a planner and a doula in the end-of-life process. It continually amazes me how things come full circle.
This work, this is my passion, never before has something caused my heart such fullness than working to improve the end-of-life for as many people as possible across this country. We sit on the precipice of a changing world, technological and medical advances through the last 50 years have changed the paradigm in which we live and people are beginning to respond. No longer do we live in a world of primarily short and tragic death, most of us now face long life spans and slow decline due to physical breakdown, chronic disease and illness. In light of these changes we must alter the way we view death, as a sudden traumatic event, and begin to view it as a topic of planning, education and choice, much like other events in our lives. For years we’ve planned for education, milestone birthdays, life-altering events such as childbirth, retirement etc. Where we have failed to plan for so many years is the one other certain event in our time-lines besides birth. Much like birth, there is no golden guarantee that all our finely laid plans can be executed to the tiniest detail, but without planning, without talking about our choices and desires for end-of-life, it is almost a certainty, that our wishes will go unfulfilled.