Post image for Have You Heard About the Powerful and Amazing ‘No One Dies Alone’ Program?

It was a rainy night in Eugene, Oregon and Sandra Clarke, a bedside nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center was busy making her initial rounds. One of Sandra’s seven patients that evening was a man she describes as frail, pale, old and tremulous.  In a voice barely audible the man asked, “Will you stay with […]

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Post image for Fear of Dying Alone: People Dread a Lonely Death

In 2014, in the middle of a hot New York City summer, George Bell, a 73-year-old man died alone in his Queens, New York apartment. About a week later, one of his neighbors noticed an odor and alerted the authorities, otherwise his body may have lingered there for much longer.  George Bell’s death and its […]

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People have emailed me wanting to know more about my mother, Helen Katherine Finnie Ogle, who died last week after living with Alzheimer’s for eight years.  Here is a little about her childhood. In 1920, she was born in northwestern Iowa, the last of five siblings and the first to be born in a hospital.  […]

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The End of the Journey

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 26, 2013

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My mom reached the end of her time on earth at 3 pm today. Rest In Peace: Helen Katherine Finnie Ogle. Born December 31, 1920 – Died November 26, 2013

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One week ago. I wake with a start.  It’s dark and quiet.  Too quiet.  I leap out of bed and cross the hall to where my mother is sleeping.  Is this the end?  Is she still alive?  I gingerly reach out to touch her arm.  It is cool to the touch.  Her mouth is open. […]

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Post image for Planning for Your Own Funeral

Today, when I was looking for a document among my mom’s files, I came across a small piece of note paper. In my mom’s scratchy handwriting, she had written: “When I die, contact the VFW. I’ve been a member for 62 years and have a $1,000 life insurance policy.”  The note is is signed, Mom […]

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My father died 14 years ago today.  I had a hunch Mummy might pick this day to make her exit, but it appears today will not be the day.  She is not ready.  There are people coming to see her. My sister called this morning — the one who lives in California.  She’s flying in […]

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Post image for Dying From Alzheimer’s Disease

When my sister and I brought my mom home to my house last week, she was still able to walk with the aid of a walker, say a few words, eat and experience some basic interactions.  Even though we know she is dying from Alzheimer’s, my sister and I were still able to see Mummy, […]

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