Dignifying Death group to meet again April 23


Interested people will be meeting for a second time on Tuesday, April 23, at 1 p.m., in the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library meeting room. 

There will be a wonderful, informative guest speaker, Connie Cook who is an advanced emergency medical technician with Pagosa Springs Medical Center. 

She said, “I have attended to many sick patients during my career that have resulted in positive outcomes, and I have also had the distinct honor of being there for a patients’ last moments of life doing my best to preserve their dignity and support their families and friends during emotional and difficult times.” 

She will use her incredible background to provide us with information and then will allow us to ask questions.

To briefly summarize what happened on March 20 at the library, the first gathering of some of the most amazing people in Pagosa who are exploring issues related to the practical side of death was wonderfully successful. There was a total of about 30 people. Many future outcomes are already in the works.

There were many topics that were touched on and discussed. People shared many thoughts and ideas. A group member said that there is a man in Pagosa who may be willing to donate land for a green burial site. 

An informal subcommittee immediately formed to research terms and gather relevant information, and possibly meet with the man. Both Mancos and Crestone have green burial sites and someone will contact both locations to get information. We are hoping that the man with the land will come to a future meeting.

Another man who recently lost his wife shared with the group the fulfilling experience of having her body picked up at the hospital, transported, used for medical science and then having her ashes returned in an urn with absolutely no cost to the family. This man will bring specific information on April 24 to share so that more people will be able to use such a program. More research is being done about other possible programs.

As far as the Colorado End-Of-Life Options Act that passed in 2016, there seems to be much confusion as to what has happened and what can happen in Archuleta County. We are working to get several medical practioners to factually speak to our group on this subject as soon as possible.

The last major topic of concern that was mentioned is the paperwork that needs to be filled out related to death, such as do-not-resuscitate, do-not-transport and advance directives. We do not know if a lawyer is the best resource, but we are working on finding a future speaker on “the paperwork of dying.”

If you have information that may be of value to our group, please feel welcome to come to our next meeting. There is so much potential in this gathering.

Please note that we are not a club or formal group at this time, but independent people who plan on meeting, finding speakers and asking questions until all our questions have been answered. If this interests you, feel welcome to join us.

We are not encouraging sales representatives of any kind to attend. Please be respectful of this topic regardless how valuable you feel your product might be or we may have to formally handle this situation.