By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
We are continuing our discussion, as planned, from the summer meetings in July and August. The topic is the sad but necessary subject called death. It will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library’s large meeting room.
If you have not attended any of our previous meetings, you are welcome to join us for this session. We believe that as we took control of our lives to live to the fullest, so we want to make sure that we also have as much control as possible at the end. Hearing what other people are doing is very helpful.
I feel that I have lived a very responsible life with a well-thought-out career and planned retirement in Pagosa. My responsibility in this life will end someday, but it does not have to be the day that I die. With planning, I can have some control over the end of my life, my remains and whatever else I will leave.
But we need to make those plans ahead of time, first of all having to face that it will, in fact, happen to me. Then we have to take the responsibility to write things down and make sure people know what our wishes are.
The ultimate goal of talking about death at this meeting is that each person at a future time will have a more valuable discussion with their family. We will also have advanced directives available so that final wishes can be formally left in writing.
There are many things that we may continue discussing from this summer, such as procedures followed in Archuleta County. We may talk about Proposition 106, called the End of Life Options Act, which was passed by Colorado voters in 2016. We were the sixth state to pass such a law. In 2017, 69 Colorado residents and, in 2018, 125 Colorado residents made use of the options provided by this Act. The Internet is the best place to find more information on these options. The procedures are well organized and seem to be simple, straight forward and comprehensive. Join us if you have questions.
People in the group have been preparing information to present. The summer issue of YES Magazine had death as its featured topic. Several articles would be great to discuss. Ideas from the excellent book called “Dying Well” may come up. We can decide if we would like to have additional speakers. We will try to address any needs that people present.
The Pagosa Earth Community is doing this program to benefit all and to honor the memory of Dr. Karen Goodwin, who was a founding member of the Earth Community. People were asked to do something to make the world a better place in her memory. We hope this is a fitting tribute to a wonderful, talented and conscientious friend.
This may seem like an unpleasant, morbid topic, but it is empowering to face reality. Death can have a positive impact on living. Since it is inevitable, we might as well make it positive and have as much control as possible.
The Pagosa Earth Community is open to everyone. We deal with important issues, such as death, not being addressed by others. If you know about a problem that needs to be looked at, please present it.
We hope you will decide to come to our programs and become an active member. In December and January, our emphasis will be on living and writing about and documenting our lives for ourselves, our families and the future.
By Joan Mieritz