Tess Lorraine: Awakening to Life and Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My guest this past week thinks about death a lot these days – not because of some gruesome curiosity about the macabre – but more because she has witnessed many family and close friends die and understands the tremendous value in looking at death as a transformative tool for living fully, aging consciously, dying peacefully and leaving a lasting legacy for others. 

We all  probably think about our own deaths to some degree.  Some of us may get a glimpse of it and shut the topic down.  Others of us may have our Advanced Directives, trusts, and wills written out with our detailed and concrete ideas about how we want to die, who we want with us, what interventions we may or may not want to consider, etc. etc. etc.

But what happens when we or a loved one are ultimately faced with a terminal illness and all of our previously well thought out (or not) ideas fall by the wayside?   How do we navigate  a whole new world view?  And how do we negotiate this change with our family, friends, caregivers  and ourselves?   

My guest today, Tess Lorraine, has such a story to tell.  Through the  diagnosis, treatment, dying and death of a dear friend, Tess saw how when actually faced with a terminal illness, everything this woman previously thought she believed was brought into question, challenged and a new paradigm for illness, dying and death evolved. 

There is no one better than Tess Lorraine to unpack this story to glean the lessons for living  and the transformational gifts that opening to  death offers us all. I invite you to listen to this very wise woman’s story.

About Tess……

Tess Lorraine facilitates “Speaking of Death…” Cafe venues to talk about matters of life and death.  She networks with senior centers, retirement communities and professional to start the conversations, building community infrastructures of support for our final stages. She provides workshops and retreats to help people and caretakers create the foundations for quality of life into a positive dying legacy. Her website is http://www.awakeningtolifeanddeath.com/

 

 

Tess Lorraine: Death: A New Paradigm for Living

In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome. 

But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepts and even embraces the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?

What if we looked to death as a great teacher informing us about living fully and reminding us about who we are, the gifts we have and the potential for a legacy that goes beyond our finite years?

My guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime, Tess Lorraine offers us a new lens and worldview that transforms conventional thinking about aging, dying and the end of life with a template for the rich possibilities that this life stage can offer.

Deeply personal, Tess’s story is a universal tale.  It is what can happen within a family system as each family member comes face to face with their own attitudes, values, and belief systems as they individually and collectively care for and attend to all the needs of a dying loved one.

It is a story of how despite having end of life directives, one’s intended wishes can be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misdirected by those who love us the most.

All of us have or will eventually face the death of a loved one and certainly all of us are facing our own mortality.  Do we really know what our loved ones’ end of life wishes are?  Do we really know what we want? And have we clearly articulated our wishes both legally and informally?

Tess Lorraine’s story is a mirror for us all to look at our own lives, deaths and legacies.  There is practical information in her story about death and dying. But, perhaps more importantly, she invites us to look into the portal of death as an avenue to become our most authentic selves in life and as we are dying so that we can ensure we give those we love and ourselves the life and death we really want.

Tess Lorraine designs seminars and retreats on “Awakening to Life and Death- an in-depth approach to exploring our choices at end of life”

She facilitates Death Cafes.  https://www.facebook.com/deathcafesonoma/

You can contact her at tesslorraine@mac.com for more information.

By Roberta Teller