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Dare to Stop Postponing JoyNovember 5, 2012
One gift of death is that we dare to stop postponing joy. This phrase came in my reflection time the morning of my book launch for Graceful Endings at ArtSpring, our local theater. I shared it with the audience of more than 90 souls. This idea holds permission for the dying and the grief-stricken to let go of what drains them and seek, finally, what truly sustains them. To say yes to their truest dreams, their bucket list, whatever calling brings soulful joy.
This is the first book of mine to be self-published under Virtues Project International through Amazon’s Create Space rather than with a publisher such as Penguin Books. Dan and I, supported by our Board of Directors, chose as our promotion model a service to hospices. This kick-off event was a successful fund-raiser for the local hospice and we sold out of books at the signing! There are other events scheduled throughout the year ahead with hospices in places as diverse as Nova Scotia and New Zealand. I am being prayerfully discerning about where and how often I feel called to go.
Yesterday, I did brief readings from the book on topics such as companioning the dying and the grieving, “His and Hers” – how men and women grieve differently, what to say when someone has learned that death is eminent, and “Help Strikes Again” – the 7 deadly sins of the well-meaning. I ended with one of John’s jokes and a prayer by Dag Hammerskold. “For what has been, thanks! For what shall be – yes!”
My talk, as well as the beautiful introduction by Barb Aust and songs by Elvira Clare, were videotaped and will appear soon via a media page now under construction on gracefulendings.net and You Tube.
I was deeply touched by the comments of friends, neighbors and folks who came from other communities as far as Alberta, who waited patiently in the book signing line. They shared what my presentation had meant to them. One comment was from Dr. Tom Gilligan, the therapist who helped me so profoundly in navigating my grief, both before and after my brother John died. He said, “Linda, when I’m dying, I want you to be with me.” There is no greater honour.
So, I am smiling this sun-lit autumn morning. I am happy, grateful, and confirmed in one of my truest joys – spreading the virtues strategies in yet another way, while benefiting Virtues Project International and our strategic partners -- hospices throughout the world.