Category Archives: medical ethics

Celebrate Your Life With A Video Biography

 

By Debbie Brodsky

Most people don’t want to think about death. Not their own, nor of their loved ones. It’s easier to avoid thinking about it.

I have been creating video biographies for families for over ten years. Of the many objections I’ve had for people not creating a video of their lives, the one that’s always baffled me the most is when people say, “It’s morbid.” They think that by creating a video about their life, that it’s a sign of things to come – that somehow creating a video about their lives is going to somehow cause their death. And no one wants to think about that.

I understand. It feels like by telling your life story, you must be somehow at the end of that story.

Yet we know intellectually that we all are going to die at some point. For those with a terminal illness, that time may come sooner than later. And for those who are left behind, being able to experience a loved one after their death – to hear their voice and see their face light up as they speak – is an enormous gift.

The irony is that when those who are reluctant finally do agree to share their story on camera, they end up enjoying the process immensely. Yes, it may bring up strong emotions, and yes, it’s sometimes hard. But they actually enjoy going on this journey with me – telling the stories of the milestones they have reached, the challenges they have overcome, and the family members they cherished when they were young. They love looking through old pictures, and remembering things they hadn’t thought about in years. More than anything, it brings a sense of peace and relief. They feel a weight lifted. This gift that they’re creating – this legacy for generations to come – is more than a gift to the future. It’s a gift to their present selves honoring their storied past.

If you or someone you know has a terminal illness, creating a video to celebrate their life is one of the best things you can do for them – and for you.

For assistance and resources for creating your video biography, please visit http://www.dmbpictures.com

Related articles:

http://www.dmbpictures.com/blog/2015/10/is-there-a-silver-lining-to-cancer/

http://www.dmbpictures.com/blog/2012/04/the-benefits-of-telling-your-story/

PS — I met Debbie when she conducted a seminar at HOPE CONNECTIONS in Bethesda, Maryland. If I could ‘roll back time’ I wish this is something I had done with my relatives. Just as there are no cell phones in Heaven, neither do they have video cameras. Before it’s  too late, why not start a Legacy project in your family? Make a list of the people you want to honor, call and schedule your first session. Hint: Don’t procrastinate on this one.

 

True Confessions: I AM a “NAGGER” *

Elizabeth Hurlow-Hannah is nothing less than ONE BIG NAG and I will be indebted to her for being such for the rest of my life.

The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth has been a very good and close friend of my wife and me for almost twenty years now. But in the last several years, she has been reminding me that I should put my will, health advance directive and other end-of-life papers in order.  When she became aware that I was procrastinating on getting this matter accomplished, she became a bit more forceful in reminding me how important this matter is. To get this dear friend off my back, my wife and I went to an elder-law attorney about a year ago and had the appropriate papers drawn up. We both indicated in our advance health directives that we wanted no extraordinary resuscitation measures to be taken in case of a health crisis, including feeding tubes. Continue reading

Learn How To…Talk To Your Doctor…and never hear the ugly words ‘Death Panels’ again!

Just in case you forgot how “Death Panels” became The LIE of the YEAR in 2009, click on this link, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/dec/15/look-back-politifacts-lie-year/   — skip down to the “PolitiFacts LIE of the year for 2009.

How many people died in the past six years, without the benefit of an “end of life” conversation with their physician(s)? Is this on Sarah Palin’s conscience? Continue reading

How The Mesothelioma Center Can Help Someone With A Terminal Diagnosis of Mesothelioma  

The value of a good support team can’t be understated when facing a terminal diagnosis. A network of supportive family, friends and health care professionals is the greatest asset someone can have when coping with a terminal disease like mesothelioma cancer.

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The five-year survival rate is less than 10 percent, and mesothelioma life expectancy is between 12 to 21 months. However, advancements in treatment are helping people live longer and more comfortably with the disease, and rare cases do go into remission, but the vast majority diagnosed with mesothelioma will succumb to the cancer within three years. Continue reading

I’ll Never Stop Volunteering! Need a body for medical research? Take mine!

Last year I explained that my God-given soul returns to Him, eternally, when I die, in my Blog post, My Life in Three Ice Cubes: …Whenever Death comes, as you can see, the third ice-cube (my corpse) will be a mere puddle, like the cocoon abandoned by the butterfly, or the shell discarded by a cicada.

I’ve heard other survivors declare that “Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving,” because late stage effects extend our suffering. I say organ or whole body donation is the only gift that can keep on giving. If I can’t use my body anymore, why shouldn’t someone else benefit from it? Continue reading