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Spring is here! It’s the time of year when everything in nature is changing and promising new life and new hope reminding us that every day is worthy of celebration. 

As with the season, we have a lot of new things to share with you from End in Mind!
A Sign From Above

End in Mind co-founder and Board Chair, Cathy Wurzer writes about this new season bringing with it new hope and new possibilities in a recent blog post. She writes, "It is a lone and lovely call to focus my attention on what is. A reminder that this is a new season, with new hope and certainly new possibilities. I got the message."

Read on.
Deathbed Playlist

"Music is timeless. It doesn’t bend to the same rules of space and time as we, in physical form, must. Its indescribable ability to reach across years and decades, generations and lifetimes, leads me to believe it comes directly from the spirit realm itself."


End in Mind Board Member and Certified Death Doula, Christy Moe Marek, writes about using the power of music to connect with those who have passed.
 

Read more and contribute to End in Mind's Deathbed Playlist.

Get Involved

Join Cathy Wurzer and End in Mind at the upcoming Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care conference and evening event April 14-16 in Bloomington. This is the largest gathering of hospice and palliative care volunteers in the region. It’s a wonderful learning and networking opportunity for anyone involved in caring for those with serious illness or facing the end of life. Register here.

Time to get creative about having the end in mind! National Healthcare Decisions Day (#NHDD) is April 16th. This is a great opportunity to have a conversation with a family member, distribute copies of your health care directive, or have an event or display at your workplace.

Here are some ideas or download a health care directive from our friends at Honoring Choices.

We are looking for volunteers to help review books to grow our online resources. If you or someone you know is interested in helping out, email info@endinmindproject.org

Spring Reflection from our Executive Director
A preface from Cathy Wurzer:
 
My good friend, the late Bruce Kramer, appreciated the 40 days and nights of Lent and the opportunities it affords for deep reflection on our flawed humanness as Christians prepare for the celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ.

As ALS ravaged his body, Lent took on an even greater meaning for Bruce. Our Minnesota Public Radio conversations gave listeners an intimate view of a man living...growing really...into his impending death. Those conversations were the spark for the community conversation initiative called “End in Mind” which is led by my friend Linda Singh. Were Bruce still here, he’d love knowing that in this Lenten season, Linda, and many Minnesotans, are learning to live with the end in mind.

................................................................................................................................
 
It’s probably rare to find a staff meeting where the conversation turns to death and exploring how many hours and days each of us has left on earth. In my work, this isn’t out of the ordinary – let me explain. I am the Executive Director of a new non-profit called End in Mind.  Founded by MPR’s Cathy Wurzer, End in Mind is a statewide initiative whose purpose is to ignite transformative conversations in communities about intentional and purposeful living now and through the end of life. We talk about death a lot.
 
This particular Monday, I shared a statistic I had heard: with the average lifespan of 75 years, we can expect about 650,000 hours of living. Our staff dove head first to test various death calculators, gaming the system to find the one that showed the most optimistic projection. Kingscalculator.com gave me the best news, so I recommend giving that one a try.  Save the date, by the way – I am scheduled to die on October 27th, 2050 at the age of 85. The Monty Python skit in my head pops up where the Angel of Death comes to my door in a couple years and I show him the website and tell him, in a British accent, to return much later!
 
The calculator leaves me with 32 remaining years, or about 280,000 hours. That led me to consider how we rarely think of our time as finite, or at least I never do.  What if we were as frugal or intentional with our time as we try to be with our money? If I had just $280,000 in my bank account and needed to stretch that money out for 32 years, you better believe I would circle the block to find free parking versus paying for the meter. In thinking about time in this new way, how would I approach my day, my week, my year?
 
I thought how silly it was that I would spend some of my few precious hours left watching an episode of the Bachelor the previous evening. On later reflection, I abandoned that judgment. I watched that episode with my 20-year-old daughter and two of her wonderful friends from high school who were on break from college. We laughed at the absurdity of the show for three hours, bonding over every ridiculous line. So, to me, I spent those three hours wisely.
 
To borrow from the bible, I do know that “but of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, not the Son, but the Father alone.” To many, my death calculators may be foolish. But they can lead to a pretty rich exploration on intentional and purposeful living now and through the end of life, so give it a try!

Linda Singh, Executive Director
End in Mind Project
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End in Mind is funded in part by Allina Health and HealthPartners.
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