It appears to me that how we cope with grief is directly related to how we look at our own mortality or death. Death is not something we like to focus on. But in reading so many books on death and dying by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and Stephen Levine, it has become evident to me that the more fully we live our lives, the easier it is to look at issues around death and dying and perhaps the ease when it is our time to make the transition.

In order to help you begin to process this issue, take time to write down what you would do if you only had five years to live; next one year, next six months, next one month and finally one day. Be as descriptive as possible. This exercise will assist you in coming in touch with what is really important in your life.

Reflect on how you have appreciated your life up until this very moment. Reminisce on the joy in your life as well as the peace. Have you stopped daily to smell the roses and nurture yourself? What will you miss most after you have died? What keeps you from living more fully in the present moment? Ponder on what you would consider to be a perfect death. Would you death be quick, easily and effortless in your sleep? Would you want it to be drawn out? Who would be present with you at your side in your final moments here on this plane?

The next step is to write your own eulogy. What would you like to have said about you at your funeral or memorial? How would you like to be remembered? How do you see others remembering you?

Finally begin writing a will. Something we all put off until sometimes it becomes too late. In writing your will you are accepting that death is inevitable. It is also an opportunity to evaluate what is important in your life and how you would like your personal possessions to be divided and to whom.

In processing through these exercises, you will find yourself opening more to living your own life more fully. It may shed more light on what choices you can make in changing the way you are living from this moment on.
Richest Blessings,

Copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell 05/28/2000

Author's Bio: 

Gail R. Mitchell is the creator of the Empowering Caregivers Site at She is the spokeswoman for the Caregivers Area at the Boomer's International site at She has consulted for other caregiving sites. Her articles have been published in the National caregiving
magazine "Today's Caregiver" here in the United States and in Canada's National caregiving magazine, "CANGO QRTLY." She also contributes to many other caregiving sites on the Internet along with hosting chats from her site, in AllHealth/IVillage on AOL and guest hosting at various sites online. Currently Gail is currently seeking funding for her major vision on a "Universal" Caregiving Project for the Internet.