End-of-Life Puzzles are, in fact, Life Puzzles, as Religious practitioners have known from time immemorial. Through this series, Hillcrest Congregational Church explores matters timely and timeless, practical and theological, all at the edge of deep meaning. How do we live well? How do we die well? Come to ask questions, and find answers.
March 12 - Compassionate Choices—Can We Decide When and How to Die?
The question, “Can we decide when and how to die?”, touches on so many aspects of what makes us human. It is a religious, legal, philosophical, and physiological, question. It is an emotional question. It is—or at least might be—a rational question. We will explore all these and more with discussion leaders including Rev. John Brooke, founder of Clergy for Compassionate Choices.
March 19, 7 p.m. What Would “A Good Ending” Look Like for Me?
The evening begins with a brief TED Lecture by Judy Johnston, Prepare for a Good End of Life, followed by discussion about what she raises, what’s important, and how to get it. We will be joined by Ironda Long, Manager of the Neptune Society. The evening offers an opportunity to consider what a Good Ending looks like for you and what you can do about it: Will you write your obituary (or leave it to someone else)? Will you be buried (where), or cremated (and scattered or kept where)? Will you have an epitaph (What will it say)? Will you _______ (YOU fill in the blank)?
March 26, 7 p.m. A Helpful and Complicated Tool—Advanced Directives
A huge proportion of us prefer to die at home, swiftly or in our sleep. Not all will be so fortunate. Hospitals, physicians and the law often thwart our preferences. Our conversations are peppered with phrases like “pulling the plug” and “vegetative state.” Advanced and repeated conversations are our best defense against being at the mercy of others. Two highly respected physicians, John Knowles, M.D. and Gary Nye, M.D. will walk us through the most recent versions of Advanced Directives.
April 2, 7 p.m. How Long, O Lord?
Two typical puzzles among elders are, “How long can we stay in our home?” and “What shall I do with all my stuff?” These practical dilemmas also have spiritual dimensions. How do we make life-affirming decisions at the end of life? What are the surprises? Did we wait too long? Move too soon? Are you glad you did it? We will explore those questions and more. Scheduled presenters include a consultant familiar with Contra Costa residential facilities and a professional organizer.