Option 1: Write your own Obituary
One of the most challenging yet productive exercises at the end of this course is to write your own obituary. This is not as scary as you might think, and it is an opportunity for us to see the impact we have on others and the potential we have to live life to its fullest.
Death notices appear in the newspaper daily and you will notice how they try to capture the essence of people’s lives and provide a summary of their existence. You will do the same in this exercise, with the assumption that you will live to an old age and have many possibilities ahead of you.
Option 2: Hospices in your Community
Santrock indicates that most people die in hospitals, but that increasingly people are turning to hospices as a context in which to die. Is this happening in your community? Find out by determining whether there are any hospices there. These may be located within hospitals or adjacent to them; or they may be found in nursing homes or nursing care centers.
Select one local hospice program and learn as much as you can about it. Arrange a visit if possible. Questions to ask are listed below. Summarize your findings in a brief paper in which you address the issues listed below.
- What is the nature of the group that runs the hospice?
- How does the hospice serve the needs of the dying person and the person’s family?
- Does the hospice do anything to teach the meaning of death to the person who is dying and people close to that person?
- What services does the hospice provide for the survivors?
- How does this relate to who can afford hospice care?
- Who uses the service?
- What type of hospice care would local groups provide if the governmental policy and financial constraints did not limit them?