Jeanne Denney
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Planning on Dying - Tools for Taking on Mortality

I started the Planning on Dying project quite a few years ago now after a friend challenged me to prepare for my own dying. We were both amazed at the positive impact this project had on us. “Best meditation I have done in a long time.” William said. After that I brought the project to my local community offering a few local programs. Later I brought it to two classes of college students in a course on Death and Dying as one option for their final project. All but a few took it up. Most chose it thinking that filling out worksheets would be easier than doing a paper. Boy were they wrong! They got more than they bargained for.

We were all a bit stunned at what intensive class material in conjunction with this pragmatic project had on the young lives they were living and the sense it helped them make of life and death.The testimonials were powerfully positive, proving what I suspected all along: though it wasn’t easy, taking an active hand in guiding our bodily ending, is good tonic for the minds of all ages, even a kind of initiation. It not only allays death fears but reorients our life in important ways. It is a medicine almost unlike any I have seen.

I offer here a few worksheets and materials I developed for this project and some general guidance. Use these materials as you like. If you would like more support, I am available to mentor you through a planning process in an online forums or one on one support through the steps of preparation.

What is different about this approach is that it is not simply about technicalities of wills, or choosing cremation over burial. Many people provide help for the mechanics of dying. The Planning on Dying Project is about supporting the psychological challenges that arise when we take up the essential tasks and questions around the process of personal death. Think of this as something like Outward Bound for the psyche. Doing it well and with support we find meaning, courage and strength for life. It also ends in something that is likely to be of great help and service to you and your loved ones ensuring a better passage when the time comes.

I recommend taking these worksheets for planning up after you have good understanding of dying and bereavement processes in place. I find having an map of the energetics of death essential for me. However use them as you see fit. If you get stuck or need help with the arising questions, contact me. I will be happy to help you with supportive questions, information and materials for growing at just the edge that you are on through email, skype or in personal meetings.

 

Worksheet 1 (1 of 3)

Worksheet 2 (2 of 3)

Worksheet 3 (3 of 3)