Best Life: Death doulas share life lessons from terminally ill patients

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:57 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average life expectancy in the United States is about 79 years. In that amount of time, many life lessons can be learned and passed along to future generations.

Life lessons are often learned long after we need them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned, especially the older we get.

“I’ve learned that through people that are like at their end-of-life transition, they’re being true to self and unapologetically them,” Ashley Johnson, a death doula, told Ivanhoe.

Death doulas opened up about what terminally ill patients told them. One common theme -- quit worrying so much. Spend time around positive people who lift your spirits up. When it comes to love, take your time. Love yourself first before you commit to another person. Follow your heart, but also use good judgment. Never stop learning. A great education is something that no one can take away from you. Stop comparing yourself to others. Have a little compassion for yourself and celebrate your own successes. Also, happiness is a choice. Learn to create your own happiness and don’t rely on others for it.

“What have I learned is that I have to live life in my moment. I have to live in the moment because I know tomorrow’s not promised,” exclaimed Johnson.

While it is undeniable that our elders grew up in a world that was very different from today’s technology-driven society, there are essential feelings and universal truths that remain regardless of one’s era or societal context. Listening to the advice of older people has promoted well-being and even survival for millennials, and elders offer an alternative to conventional wisdom. Listening to elders often makes us examine our own assumptions and make more conscious decisions.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jenna Ehrlich, Producer; Robert Walko, Videographer; Robert Walko, Editor.

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