With Elmira, NY cremations, people have died. But what were the years, or months, or weeks, or days, or hours before their deaths like? Were they active, vibrant, independent, and living life to the fullest or were they confined to assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, perhaps with limited or no mobility, staring at four walls every day? This was at least on the days when they weren’t at the doctor’s office get new (and probably more medication) or hospitalized on a regular basis for health issues and illnesses.
Even if we knew these people well, as family members or friends, we may have distanced ourselves from death itself, and, particularly, their deaths, because we’re told by science, technology, and medicine that it’s life that’s important and that’s what we should focus on.
So we may not have visited them often if we weren’t in caregiving role because dying and death can be depressing. If we were in a caregiving role, we were the ones constantly taking them to doctor’s appointments and to the emergency room when a more serious issue arose, and then staying with them throughout each hospital stay that was designed to keep them alive.
This focus on living at all costs has impact the way most of us deal with dying and death. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. And we certainly don’t want to be around it, whether it’s someone else or ourselves going through it.
Even the nature of funeral and memorial services reflects this focus on life, as the traditional mourning and acknowledging the death and loss of people is increasing giving way to contemporary celebrations of life, where death and dying are not discussed, but only happy memories from deceased people’s lives.
But what is the cost of this change to a focus on life?
One cost is that although people may be gaining quantity of life, it’s at the expense of quality of life. One can’t contemplate this without thinking about 90-year-old Norma Bauerschmidt’s decision to forgo cancer treatment – which would have prolonged her life, but would have taken the quality away – and, instead, use the time she had left to travel with her son and daughter-in-law across the United States – which gave her a quality life, until she died a year later. She experienced a lot of firsts during those 12 months and she became a social media celebrity with her own Facebook page named Driving Ms. Norma.
Another cost of changing to a focus on life is that we aren’t prepared, don’t know how to handle, and are terrified of death. It seems like an anomaly when it happens, when, instead, it is the biological cycle of nature. We begin dying the day we’re born, and although we usually don’t hit full stride until we get a life-threatening illness like congestive heart failure, a terminal illness like cancer, or just the wearing out of the body after living for many decades, it’s a process that is with us from the beginning.
It’s time to get closer to death. It will make our living years more meaningful because we’ll realize they’re finite. We can say, “No” to excessive overtime, we can say, “Yes,” to vacations and family time, and we can make the time we have remaining more meaningful by serving others.
If you’d like more information about Elmira, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.