How I Help
Are you ready to die? Most people really aren’t.
But there’s a difference between loving life and wanting to live, and not being ready to die.
You can love life with your whole heart and still be ready when death comes knocking. Or, at least as ready as any of us can possibly be.
How? The formula is remarkably simple: if you take care of a few essentials, live your life all-in, and have few-to-no regrets, you’ll be as ready as a person can be. You can wake up in the morning grateful for the day, and with the knowledge that if today is the day, you’re ready to go.
What peace would you feel if you felt ready to live and die?
The good news is that the essentials are genuinely few. You can do a few things, think a few thoughts, have a few conversations, and make a few plans, all of which will substantially allow you more aliveness in the lifetime you have in front of you.
You deserve to live and die well. This is where I help.
Below are the general areas in which I’m currently working.
If you find something you’d like to explore for yourself, alone or with your family members, please reach out to start a conversation with me. I’d love to hear from you.
If you need something that you don’t see here, I’d love to discuss that, too, as I might be able to help, or make one heck of a referral to someone who can. I work locally in Baltimore, as well as virtually via phone and Zoom with folks in the US.
When you’re ready to talk, feel free to make an appointment—free of charge—and we’ll explore how I might best support you.
Aging is something many of us believe happens to us. It’s true, in the sense that we cannot prevent it from happening. But if we believe that it happens to us and we have no say in how it happens, we couldn’t be more mistaken.
The time from mid-life on is one we absolutely can design. We can choose to see it as a sad, miserable time, or one of vibrance and amazement. We can choose to bemoan our wrinkles (or try everything to avoid them), or see them as part of the magical stories of the lives we’re living. We can choose to fundamentally get busy living, or get busy dying.
I can tell you, for sure, that I’m all for getting busy living. And what I know is that the more we focus on our aliveness, the more aliveness we’ll have. Your life…your destiny.
I believe that growing older is an opportunity for vast personal and, often, professional growth, a time to give back to the community and those who matter to you as an elder, and the best time, ever, to live as fully and joyfully as possible. I explore aging consciously and intentionally with those who crave the aliveness, and who see this era of their lives as miraculous, or who want to see it that way. Imagine the rest of your life—then let’s create what you imagine.
Elder-orphans are those who face growing older without any familial (blood relative) support—whether that’s due to not actually having any living family, or due to estrangements.
The recognition that we’ll have no family as we age can bring up so much fear, most of which comes from assuming that our friends are, of course, going to be cared for by family members—while we’ll be old and frail and totally alone. But you know what happens when you assume, right?
Aging without family doesn’t have to aging alone—or dying alone. There are many options, and many paths you can follow that might be every bit as satisfying (or more so!) than if you were reliant on family. Exploring those can hugely reduce the fear of being alone. And less fear means more aliveness!
It’s not a secret that we’re all going to get older, and eventually die. And most of us aren’t afraid of dying. What we’re afraid of is declining in abilities and aliveness as we age, “how” we’ll die, and maybe “when.” I can’t really help with the “when,” but barring an accidental death, I can absolutely help you with the “how.” And I can help you plan for winding down—because aging doesn’t necessarily mean “declining.” How do you imagine it being, at its very best? If you imagined that you died right now, and were miraculously given a second chance to live the rest of your life, what would you do and who would you be? That’s what I want for you.
Planning is the path to aliveness through aging, and the walk up to your dying day. We cannot be like kids playing Hide and Seek, believing that Aging and Death won’t find us if we hide from them. Aging has been happening your whole life long and you haven’t managed to avoid it yet, right? And Death…it will be yours to face one day.
So planning for it all, shining a light on what’s scary, or sad, and saying out loud what you want to experience, consciously growing into who you’re meant to be in these phases of your life, is the smart path. And, I promise, it’s not half as scary or sad as you think (or, at least, it won’t be by the time we finish our work together!)
Some of the most difficult conversations we’ll ever have involve talking with those we love about our aging, death, and dying. Often, an even harder conversation to have is the one we need to have with ourselves, first.
Having someone whose heart isn’t tangled up in your relationships with yourself and with those you love is of great benefit in helping you explore what you need to explore, and/or to facilitate the conversation you’ll need to have with those you love, and it allows you to focus on what matters to you most.
Conversations help us make sure everyone knows and understands what you want for your life, and death. They help stave off confusion, angst/fear, and conflict, help clarify your wishes and needs, and establish your autonomy and sovereignty over your life and death. These conversations are a gift to everyone.
I am a compassionate ear and helpful guide who can listen, ask good questions (and give some good answers!), facilitate, and hold a safe space for these kinds of conversations with yourself, and/or with those you love.
It’s said that you’re not truly dead as long as someone alive speaks your name. Legacy is all about how people remember you.
And whether you’ve lived a “big” life, full of awards and distinctions, or you’ve lived a quiet, “smaller” life, people will remember you—the only question is how?
I’d love to help you create your legacy, which is best created in every moment and every interaction you have with another. How do you wish to be remembered?
Going hand-in-hand with legacy creation, one of the most wonderful death rituals—the obituary—is a way to graciously pay tribute to a person’s life in writing. Today, it’s most often replaced (in fact) by the much shorter death or funeral notice, leaving much unsaid, and, unfortunately, unshared.
To help with that, I offer pre-need and after-death obituaries.
Pre-need obituaries are heart-crafted in collaboration with the person whose obit is being written. If you’re considering this, it’s a wonderful way to make sure the story you want to have told about you is the story that’s told.
After-death obituaries are heart-crafted in collaboration with family members (and sometimes with friends). If you’re considering this, it’s a wonderful way to honor someone you love, and a way to share that person with generations of your family to come.
Regardless of when the obituary is written, my goal is to sum up (to the extent it’s possible) a life well lived and provide the story in a format that you can easily and beautifully share with others; it’s one of the most beautiful ways to keep a person’s memory alive.