To Live With No Regrets

| September / October 2005

Death is a transition for the dying -- and for those left behind

I recently stopped by the house of our friends Jack Heckelman and Linda Bergh for an evening of singing and music. Like the others gathered there, I was part of an extended community the two had created over the years. Jack was up and sitting with the group, weaker than when we last saw him, taking oxygen but present and alert. Linda told us that her husband had reached a turning point that day. He'd moved from holding on to life to preparing himself for impending death. Jack died four days later.

When Jack was diagnosed with cancer last fall, Jack and Linda decided that they wanted to share their journey with family and friends. They looked upon his dying as a natural event in life and wanted to be open about it, rather than being in denial. So friends and family were linked by special gatherings to support Jack and Linda on the journey, and by a Web site where the process was shared with friends around the world.

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