Swedish death cleaning refers to getting rid of everything people will dispose of after you die but doing it while you are still alive so they don’t have to worry about it. The benefit to you is having a decluttered, efficient home to live in.
Read about it in Margreta Magnusson’s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your On Life More Pleasant.”
For more information, click on the following link: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-swedish-death-cleaning-should-you-be-doing-it-ncna816511
Evan Imber-Black has written a book titled The Secret Life of Families: Making Decisions About Secrets: When Keeping Secrets Can Harm You, When Keeping Secrets Can Heal You-And How to Know the Difference. Amazon reviews it as follows:
Secrets come in all shapes and sizes. And for families as well as individuals, they are built on a complex web of shifting motives and emotions. But today, when personal revelations are posted on the Internet or sensationalized on afternoon talk shows, we risk losing touch with how important secrets are–how they are used and abused, their power to harm and heal.
In this important work, Evan Imber-Black explores the nature of secrets, helping us understand:
The distinction between healthy privacy and toxic secrecy
What to tell–and not to tell–young children
How to safely confront a family “zone of silence”
Why adolescents need to have some secrets–and where to draw the line
The effect of “official” secrets, like sealed adoption records and medical testing
What to consider before revealing an important secret
And much more
Filled with moving first-person stories, The Secret Life of Families provides perspective on some of today’s most sensitive personal and social issues. Giving voice to our deepest fears and to our power to overcome them, this is a book that will be talked about for years to come.
This Atlantic Monthly article briefly reviews 9 books that reflect on death. To see the review, click on the following link:
Love’s Way, a new book by Carolyn Parr and Sig Cohen, is the single best resource for aging peacefully that I know of. These two experienced mediators have written a practical and comprehensive guide for anyone conscious of moving from midlife autonomy to increasing interdependence with family or friends. As the subtitle suggests, it’s about “living peacefully with your family as your parents age.”
Carolyn, a local judge and long-time member of Festival Church, draws from her experience in Church of the Saviour as well as her legal practice. Her mediation partner, Sig Cohen, is a retired Foreign Service officer with a keen eye for family dynamics. By alternating chapters, they cover a broad range of issues, from emotional roadblocks and sibling rivalry to economic and legal matters. The personal stories make it accessible and engaging.
Here is the list of topics featured on the back cover:
- How to address family issues such as unhealed sibling rivalries, parental favoritism, greed and secrecy
- How to navigate all the necessary legal documents such as wills and powers of attorney
- How to promote forgiveness in your family and in your own heart
- How to speak truth in love to parents, siblings, and children
- How to let go and heal any family rifts.
Love’s Way can be purchased at The Potter’s House, from Hendrickson Publishers, or ordered from other commercial websites.
-Marjory Zoet Bankson, Seekers Church
To read a review of Gail Collins’ No Stopping Us Now, a social history of Americans’ attitudes toward older women, click on the following link: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/18/770647369/past-their-prime-at-20-book-chronicles-attitudes-toward-female-aging-in-america
In his new book, Arthur Kleinman, a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist, describes the ten years he spent caring for his wife, who had early-onset Alzheimer’s. and navigating an often unfeeling health-care system on her behalf. Despite the social isolation and stress he suffered, he also found fulfillment and beauty in the experience and wrote this book to comfort and educate family caregivers and clinicians.
To learn more about the book and read an excerpt, click on the following link: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/573438/the-soul-of-care-by-arthur-kleinman/
To connect to the Washington Post article, “Congregations attempt to meet the religious needs of people with dementia,” click on the following link: https://beta.washingtonpost.com/religion/congregations-attempt-to-meet-the-religious-needs-of-a-growing-number-of-faithful-with-dementia/2019/09/13/ac087a90-d63d-11e9-9343-40db57cf6abd_story.html
The article describes Spirit Alive, a weekly multisensory worship service for people with mid- to late-stage dementia and several other worship services that serve this population. The article notes that research has found that sustaining a connection with worship and congregational life is a key contributor to quality of life for people with dementia. It mentions the group Faith United Against Alzheimer’s, which offers resources for hosting monthly Memory Cafes for people with Alzheimer’s. For more information on these resources, click on the following link: https://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/networks/faith
In her New Yorker article, Sarah Manguso reviews women’s writings on menopause and bemoans the fact there is so little discussion of this important life event. To read the New Yorker article, click on the following link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/06/24/where-are-all-the-books-about-menopause
In this article in Yes!, an online magazine, Sydney Worth reviews the book Seven Things People Forget To Do Before They Die. This book was written for a Canadian audience but can also be useful to Americans. Amazon describes the book as follows: Death is a part of life. We used to understand this, and in the past, loved ones generally died at home with family around them. But in just a few generations, death has become a medical event, and we have lost the ability to make this last part of life more personal and meaningful. Today people want to regain control over health-care decisions for themselves and their loved ones. Talking About Death Won’t Kill You is the essential handbook to help Canadians navigate personal and medical decisions for the best quality of life for the end of our lives. Noted palliative-care educator and researcher Kathy Kortes-Miller shows readers how to identify and reframe limiting beliefs about dying with humor and compassion.
The first on the list of things people forget to do is:
1. Use the D-words.
Death, dying, and dead. Clear language rather than euphemisms such as “passed away” or “transitioned” can help loved ones recognize end of life as a normal event and provide better support.
To read about all seven things that people forget to do, click on the following link: https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/death/die-do-before-bucket-list-20190827
In a June 2018 Christian Century, article, “Coming of old age in an aging world,” Shirley Showalter recommends three recent novels by older authors that focus on themes common in aging populations while also containing elements found in other contemporary genres: confession, a journey or quest, dreams and flashbacks to the past, sexual passion, ethical questions around time and money, and relationships to children and grandchildren.
The books are:
- The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble
- The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
- Often I am Happy bu Jens Grondahl