I accompanied a very special friend during the last hours of her life when she
died of pancreatic cancer in 1985. It was a life changing experience for me
and for years I have wanted to use that experience to help others. Working as
a volunteer mentor with LifeCircle has finally made that possible.
Certain topics of conversation are difficult to broach. In Western culture dying and death are among the most distressing. Though discussing important issues with a loved one who is dying is not an easy task, it is essential for everyone involved. Jan, as a volunteer mentor at LifeCircle and a member of the Board of Directors, supports people through this very difficult and emotional time. As a mentor, she contacts the family regularly, offering information, understanding and guidance. Jan focuses on the process and realities of caring for a loved one who is dying to help the person dying, their carer, family and friends to make the most of their final weeks and days together. The broader goal of LifeCircle is to enable all of us to experience dying as a natural part of life; to help us understand the importance of living right up to the moment of death; and to facilitate the conversations we all need to have with our loved ones and our communities about how and where we wish to die.
Photographer: Diane Macdonald