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Chanel Iman on Expecting a Baby Girl: ‘I’m Dying to Put Her in a Cheerleading Outfit!’

Model Chanel Iman may be husband and New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s number one fan now, but in just a few months, the NFL star is going to have another lady sitting on the sidelines cheering him on at football games.

The newly married couple who are expecting their first child together, a baby girl, are counting down the days until she arrives and can join Iman at all of Shepard’s Giants games and practices.

“I just had a baby shower and one of Sterling’s cousins made a cheerleading outfit ,” Iman told PeopleStyle. “I’m dying to put it on our little girl when she’s here and take her to the games when she’s a little bit older.”

But until then, Iman will make sure to support her husband once the season stars this fall by wearing one of New Era’s NFL Training 9TWENTY NY Giants Caps now that she’s teamed up with the brand for its new NFL Training Camp Collection.

Looking for more style content? Click here to subscribe to the PeopleStyle Newsletter for amazing shopping discounts, can’t-live-without beauty products and more.

“New Era is just one of those brands that is perfect for my everyday style. I’ve been wearing it since I was a teenager,” Iman said. “Whether I’m traveling or going to my husband’s football games to support him or going to gym, I wear all of the fitted caps. I have a lot of bad hair days as well, so it helps making my outfit that much cuter!”

We caught up with the star to talk all things style, motherhood and more in honor of her new partnership — see everything the supermodel shared with us below!

So now that you’re married to an NFL star, how much Giants gear do you have? 

A lot. I’m the type of person, where I will wear something more than once, but it feels the best when it’s brand new and different. I kind of mix and match my New Era caps, with my denim ripped jeans and maybe a crop top. I like to wear his jersey as well with a hat or just the jersey with some cool sneakers. I like to mix it up a bit with my casual everyday wear with the sports apparel.

What do you love most about the New Era caps?

It’s perfect for hot summer days, especially when I go to Sterling’s practices. I try to make it to all of them. It’s lightweight and it has that new cooling technology. I also travel a lot from L.A. to N.Y. in the summertime when it’s super humid and it’s just the perfect summer hat.

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Do you have a little baby jersey made for your daughter yet?

No, we don’t have the jersey yet, but I’m dying to get one made!

What has been your approach to maternity dressing?

I’m wearing things that stretch, like flowy maxi dresses. Just anything that’s not so tight. I have one pair of maternity jeans that I love. I keep it really simple. In my first trimester I was wearing more sweatpants and some of Sterling’s oversize hoodies. But now that it’s summertime, I’m trying to look a little more stylish.

Now that you know you’re having a girl, is there anything in your closet you’re saving for her?

There’s lots of stuff, but I try not to keep too much because I hate clutter. I know there are so many pieces that designers have made for me in my closet that I can’t wait to give my daughter, like all my purses. She’s gonna love everything when she’s older and can appreciate quality brands. We are saving my wedding dress that Zuhair Murad made for me, for the reception and ceremony. I was listening to Beyoncé’s new album and she was talking about stuff she was saving for her daughter, too.

Where are you storing your wedding gown now?

Right now, it’s at my mom’s house. She took it to the cleaners and I think they wrapped it in some kind of garment bag.

How do you think the modeling industry has changed in the social media age?

There has definitely been a shift since I first started. What I love about the whole social change is that it’s a great way for your fans to connect with you. It’s been wonderful to connect with my fans even in a time when I probably wouldn’t be working. So they can still keep up to date with what I’m doing everyday and my lifestyle.

— with reporting by Brittany Talarico

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The Look: New York City Parks in the Summer: Romance, Games and a Performance for a Dying Tree

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What to Watch: Are Separate Men’s Fashion Shows a Dying Breed?

The men’s fashion calendar is in a state of flux.
The rise of the co-ed show, where major designers are opting to show their men’s wear during the traditional February and September women’s dates, is seriously impinging on the men’s market.
Probably the hardest hit this past season was Milan Men’s Fashion Week, following the decisions by Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Missoni and Etro to go co-ed.
London was also impacted. The big names — including Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford and Moschino — all decided to show in different cities or formats, while a number of smaller calendar stalwarts were absent, too, including Sibling, which went into voluntary liquidation earlier this year; Agi & Sam, which is restrategizing, and Casely-Hayford, which is switching its focus to retail.
One bright spot on the European circuit was Pitti Uomo, the international trade show in Florence. The most recent edition in June found a calendar chock-full of shows and presentations that included J.W. Anderson and Off-White events along with special guests such as Hugo Boss, Christian Louboutin, Federico Curradi and Alanui.
Paris seemed to hold its own the best, with a bevy of new names added to the spring calendar to join the big guns: Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten,

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Who’s Dying in the Vampire Diaries Series Finale?

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Can a dying patient be a healthy person?

By Richard Gunderman, Indiana University and James W Lynch, University of Florida

The news was bad. Mimi, a woman in her early 80s, had been undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Her husband was being treated for bladder cancer. Recently, she developed chest pain, and a biopsy showed that she had developed a secondary tumor of the pleura, the space around one of her lungs. Her oncology team’s mission was to share this bad news.

Mimi’s case was far from unique. Each year in the U.S., over 1.6 million patients receive hospice care, a number that has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. What made Mimi’s case remarkable was not the grimness of her prognosis but her reaction to it.

When the members of the team walked into Mimi’s hospital room, she was lying in bed holding hands with her husband, who was perched beside her on his motorized wheelchair. The attending oncologist gulped, took a deep breath, and began to break the news as gently as he could. Expecting to meet a flood of tears, he finished by expressing how sorry he was.

To the team’s surprise, however, no tears flowed. Instead Mimi looked over at her husband with a broad smile and said, “Do you know what day this is?” Somewhat perplexed, the oncologist had to admit that he did not. “Today is very is special,” said Mimi, “because it was 60 years ago this very day that my Jim and I were married.”

The team members reacted to Mimi with astonishment. How could an elderly woman with an ailing husband who had just been told that she had a second, lethal cancer respond with a smile? Compounding the team’s amazement, she then went on to share how grateful she felt for the life she and her husband had shared.

Mimi thanked the attending oncologist and the members of the team for their care, remarking how difficult it must be to deliver bad news to very sick patients. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Mimi was expressing sympathy for the people caring for her, exhibiting a remarkable generosity of spirit in the face of a grim disease.

The members of the team walked out of Mimi’s room shaking their heads in amazement. Once they reached the hallway, the attending physician turned and addressed the group: “Mimi isn’t the only person in that room with cancer, but she is surely the sickest. And yet,” he continued, to nods all around, “she is also the healthiest of any of us.”

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.”
– John Donne

Disease need not define us

Mimi’s reaction highlights a distinction between disease and illness, the importance of which is becoming increasingly apparent. Simply put, a body has a disease, but only a person can have an illness. Different people can respond very differently to the same diagnosis, and those differences sometimes correspond to demographic categories, such as male or female. Mimi is a beautiful example of the ability to respond with joy and gratitude in the face of even life’s seemingly darkest moments.

Consider another very different patient the cancer team met with shortly after Mimi. Ron, a man in his 40s who had been cured of lymphoma, arrived in the oncology clinic expecting the attending oncologist to sign a form stating that he could not work and therefore qualified for disability payments. So far as the attending knew, there was no reason Ron couldn’t hold a job.

Ron’s experience of disease was very different from Mimi’s, a phenomenon familiar to cancer physicians. Despite a dire prognosis, Mimi was full of gratitude. Ron, by contrast, though cured of his disease and apparently completely healthy, looked at his life with resentment, even anger. He felt deeply wronged by his bout with cancer and operated with a sense that others should do what they could to help make it up to him.

Mimi was dying but content with her life. Ron was healthy but filled with bitterness. Both patients had the same diagnosis – cancer – but the two human beings differed dramatically, and so too did their illness experiences. Mimi felt blessed by 60 years of a good marriage, while Ron saw in his cancer just one more example of how unfair life had been to him.

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so…”
– John Donne

The real meaning of health

When the members of the cancer team agreed that Mimi was the healthiest person in the room, they were thinking of health in terms of wholeness or integrity. In fact, the word health shares the same source as the word whole, implying completeness or fullness. Ron felt repeatedly slighted, but Mimi looked at life from a perspective of abundance.

A full life is not necessarily marked by material wealth, power over others, or fame. Many people who live richly do so modestly and quietly, never amassing fortunes, commanding legions, or seeing their picture in the newspaper. What enriches their lives is not success in the conventional sense but the knowledge that they have done their best to remain focused on what really matters.

Mimi easily called to mind many moments when she and those she cared about shared their company and their love. Any sense of regret or sorrow over what might have been quickly gave way to a sense of gratitude for what really was, still is, and will be. Her outlook on life was shaped by a deep conviction that it had a meaning that would transcend her own death.

Couple enjoying the snow. Via Shutterstock.

When someone has built up a life ledger full of meaningful experiences, the prospect of serious illness and death often do not seem so threatening. For Mimi, who had lived most of her days with a keen awareness that they would not go on forever, death’s meaning had been transformed from “Life is pointless” to “Make every day count.”

Mimi regarded the prospect of dying as a lens through which to view the meaning of life. She saw her illness as another adventure through which she and Jim would pass. Death would separate them, but it would also draw them closer together, enabling them to see more clearly than ever how much their love meant to them.

From Mimi’s point of view, death is not a contaminant, fatally introduced to life at its final stage. Instead death is a fire that burns away all that is not essential, purifying a person’s vision of what is most real and most worth caring about. Though not happy to be ill, Mimi was in a profound sense grateful for death. Her sentiments echo those of the poet John Donne:

“One short sleep past and we wake eternally:
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

The Conversation
Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University and James W Lynch, Professor of Medicine, University of Florida

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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What the Dying Want You to Know About Life

It was a rainy December day when I knocked on Melissa and Bradley’s* door for the first time. I was pregnant, cold, wet and without an umbrella; it rarely rains here. Melissa answered the door, quiet, sullen, with dark bags under her eyes, and probably (definitely) anemic. She devoted all of her time to taking care of Bradley, at her expense. Since his ALS diagnosis, Bradley had become steadily weaker, less capable. Refusing a voice-assistive device, he had been reduced to grunts and nods, a barely effective means of communication. He had been robbed of ability to stand, walk or to use his limbs at all.

Melissa embraced me in the doorway, the desperate grip of someone who had lost hope. She had never seen me. No matter.

Hospice does that to people. It makes strangers family.

Melissa took my saturated sweater, saying, “I don’t see your wings, but I know they are there. You are surely an angel.” She invited me in, offered me a cookie and showed me a seat.

That day stands out, maybe because Bradley and Melissa are so much like me and my husband. Maybe because I saw my own sullen face in hers. Maybe because of the profound fear that I felt; the fear of losing someone you love so deeply, so deeply that the world couldn’t possibly continue to move around the sun without them.

When you tell people you’re a hospice nurse, the default comment is always, “Oh I could never do that. I would cry all the time.” In truth, those who work in hospice do cry, not every day, but certainly enough. Still, despite the tears shed, there is a real privilege in being at the bedside of the dying. I’ve traded my stethoscope in (at least temporarily) for a laptop. But my hospice experiences are indelibly etched, and what I learned from the dying is important.

And worth sharing.

Don’t sweat the small stuff (it’s all small stuff). At the end of your life, everything that’s not vitally important — oh, let’s say, whether or not your pants are too tight — suddenly seems really unimportant. Ask yourself if what worries you will still worry you in 10 or 20 or 50 years. Answer honestly.

Don’t ignore pains, aches or symptoms of disease. Especially those involving the breast, testicles, bowels or skin. This isn’t particularly deep or moving. But it’s important. These things sneak up on you. Many people wish they had faced their fear, seen the doctor earlier and gotten treatment earlier.

Money is an illusion. You think you need so much. In the end, you don’t really need any of it. Prioritize people and experiences over possession.

The key to a long life? There isn’t one. But a 105-year-old woman told me she lived to be that old because she, “didn’t take no shit from no one.” The same woman told me that the one piece of advice she’d give any woman is this: “A woman can do any damn thing a man can do. You don’t need no man for nothing.” From the mouths of the incredibly old. Sage wisdom.

Your body is just a vessel for your soul. Quit looking in the mirror. Quit obsessing over your wrinkles, your ass, your dress size. Quit worrying about your hair, makeup, saggy breasts, varicose veins, stretch marks or that mole on your chin (unless it might be cancerous). Quit thinking about any of that shit. It all fades anyway, one way or another.

Repair what’s broken. Above all else, at the end of their life, the one regret that every person shares is broken relationships. Whether it’s with your parents, your children or your siblings, if it can be repaired, repair it. Don’t do it to your detriment, but if it can be done, do it. At the end, love is everything.

In hospice there are a lot of tears, and a lot to learn.

*names and some details have been changed to protect patient privacy

This story by Joni Edelman first appeared at, an alternative news+culture women’s website.

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Special News Bulletin- -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Dying to Do Letterman: My Conversation With Steve Mazan

In comedy, timing is everything, especially if you’ve been given only five years to live and you’ve made it your career goal to perform on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

The occasion of Letterman’s final broadcast is an opportune time to recount one of the most triumphant moments during Dave’s 33-year tenure, the “Late Show” debut of comedian Steve Mazan, who beat the professional (not to mention the health) odds to make come true his dream of performing on his hero’s stage.

Mazan’s five-year odyssey is chronicled in the documentary, “Dying to Do Letterman,” which was also the name of his social media and grassroots campaign to bring himself to the attention of Letterman’s staff. It is available for free on Hulu.

The 45 year-old comedian, spoke with me about life, Letterman, and not letting “someday” pass you by.

Mazan, a native of the west suburban Chicago city of Hanover Park, was 12 years-old when the original “Late Night with David Letterman” debuted on NBC following “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson. For three decades, the allotted six-minute slot on “The Tonight Show” was the one most desired and sought-after by comedians.

But Mazan felt more of a kinship with Letterman. “He was so different,” he said. “He had a younger sensibility (than Carson). My parents hated him, and I think that made me like him even more. Any time I could, I stayed up late to watch him, and I continued all through college and in my time in the Navy. He was the guy who inspired me to get into comedy (professionally).”

Mazan began performing stand-up in 1999 in San Francisco. His early years were not about getting on “The Late Show.” They were about getting good. Mazan’s Midwestern work ethic told him that a Letterman appearance would surely follow,

“Work hard and good things will happen,” he said. “That has always worked well for me. I just assumed that if I went out there and kept my nose to the grindstone, the Letterman people would hear about me and invite me to audition.”

Every artist is a work in progress. “Dying to Do Letterman” captures Mazan’s maturation as a performer, but also, hilariously, some of the hellish early gigs he did, such as between-inning sets during a minor league baseball game. “That was a promotional tie-in with a local comedy club,” Mazan laughed. “The team thought it would be fun to try a comedy night. I’ve always been up for anything, but it was awful. The players were heckling me.”

During these years, Mazan put his Letterman dream on the back burner as he worked to establish himself. That changed in 2005 following a set at the famed Improv comedy club. Driving home, Mazan experienced sharp pains in his side. By the time he got home, he could barely stand. His initial thought was, least case scenario, food poisoning, and worst case, appendicitis. Doctors delivered the devastating punchline: He had tumors all over his liver. There was no treatment or cure. They gave him five years to live.

Mazan always believed that he would get on “The Late Show” someday. Suddenly, his somedays were limited. “I now had to make someday happen and chase the dream rather than wait for it to come to me,” he said.

While this sounds like something out of “King of Comedy,” Mazan was not tempted to pull a Rupert Pupkin and kidnap Letterman. Instead, he sought out comedians who had done Letterman for advice, including Ray Romano, Kevin Nealon and Jim Gaffigan, who, in the documentary, tells Mazan, that there would come a time when he thought he’d be ready to be on ‘The Late Show,’ but it’s not up to him. “When I thought I was ready,” Gaffigan says, “it was still five years until they said I was ready.”
Mazan might not have had five years. “It’ll never happen,” Nealon jokes(?) to the cameramen following Mazan’s visit.

But it did. Here is the appearance:

Mazan’s time with Letterman himself was short and sweet, he said. “After I told my last joke and he went to break, he said, ‘Great job, really funny’ and shook my hand. I asked for one of the cue cards (of my act) and he handed it to me.”

Mazan is gratified that his “Late Show” routine is cancer-free. In his regular act, he said, material about his condition might comprise five minutes at the end of an hour-long set. “I never want the audience to feel sorry for me,” he said. “I would be wondering if they were laughing because they thought I was funny or because they felt bad for me.”

The “Late Show” staff vetted him as they would any comedian, Mazan said proudly. The documentary captures the setbacks along the way, such as an early assessment that he was not “Late Show”-good.

“It was hard to get that,” Mazan said, “but at the same time, it reinvigorated me to prove to them that this wasn’t a ‘Make-a-Wish’ thing, that I’m a good enough comic to be on their show.”

Mazan reports that he currently feels great. It has been a decade since he first got the original five-year diagnosis. “The bad news is that there is no treatment or cure,” he said. “The good news is that because of that, I don’t have ongoing radiation or chemo, and the tumors have remained relatively small. I’ve been very lucky and feel as good as I ever have.”

Nor has he rested on his “Late Show” laurel. He has written a book version of “Dying to Do Letterman” for the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” publishers. He was a writer on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

But after appearing on “The Late Show,” and with Letterman retiring, what is his next big goal? How do you avoid a letdown? Being a part of the documentary, which has won awards at film festivals, he said, helped him avoid feeling a letdown, he said. “You do want to fill that void so you feel like you’re chasing something bigger. I would love to do “Conan,” (a kindred Letterman spirit). There’s always another level you want to get to career-wise, a new door to break down, a new club to get into. There is always something.”

A version of this story originally appeared on Millionaire

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence

Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence

For some, life’s introduction to death and grief comes early, and when it does it can take many forms. Not only does Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence tackle them all, it does so with David Balk’s remarkable sensitivity to and deep knowledge of the pressures and opportunities adolescents face in their transition from childhood to adulthood. In seamless, jargon-free language, Balk brings readers up to date with what we know about adolescent development, because over time such changes form the backstory we need to comprehend the impact of death and bereavement in an adolescent’s life. The book’s later chapters break down the recent findings in the study of life-threatening illness and bereavement during adolescence. And, crucially, these chapters also examine interventions that assist adolescents coping with these difficulties. Clinicians will come away from this book with both a grounded understanding of adolescent development and the adolescent experience of death, and they’ll also gain specific tools for helping adolescents cope with death and grief on their own terms. For any clinician committed to supporting adolescents facing some of life’s most difficult experiences, this integrated, up-to-date, and deeply insightful text is simply the book to have. David E. Balk is professor in the department of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he directs the graduate program in thanatology. He is the author of Adolescent Development: Early Through Late Adolescence, Helping the Bereaved College Student, and several other books on death and bereavement. He is also co-editor of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Thanatology (Routledge, 2013).

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Dying in text and picture – online obituaries

Dying in text and picture – online obituaries

Obituaries in newspapers and magazines are solemn, quiet affairs. But the new media offer a different kind of way of honoring a deceased loved one. You can publish articles, countless picture, interactive guest-books and other gimmicks. But a very popular means of mourning are slideshow obituaries.A few notes concerning terminology are necessary at this point. The term obituary is traditionally used for text-only formats (sometimes including a single picture) that appear in newspapers. The slideshow obituaries of our corpus are structurally as well as content-wise very different from these. Nonetheless, we use have the term as a starting point for our paper and will use it throughout our text. One can argue that a comparison between slideshow obituaries and traditional ones is impossible because of the high discrepancies in structure and content. But our reason for omitting such a comparison is based on the fact that an analysis of this kind would have to rely primarily on linguistic aspects. The numerous pictures in slideshow obituaries would be dealt with very briefly and which does not do justice to the prominent role they play in this particular kind of text. But the ‘more’ of a slideshow obituary is not only the pictures. Other visuals play an important role, the layout, the hosting website. You have the freedom to use different fonts and font sizes. You can create everything from scratch or fall back on websites that provide design templates. You can add music or a voice message. The content is usually much less limited than that of a traditional obituary. This myriad of design possibilities leads to our hypothesis: we propose that, in slideshow obituaries, the different modalities – especially word and image – cannot be separated from one another. They fulfill inherently different functions and each contributes vital information to the overall product. Following this introduction, there will be a section on online obituaries. It will introduce the concept and g

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The Living We Do While We’re Dying

I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I’m dying.

You are, too, you know.

That’s not drama — that’s fact.

From the moment we arrived here, we began the process of dying. And because I’m a person, I’ve become quite competent at pushing that truth away. I have plenty of time to make an impact. My kids love me, and everyone says that’s the thing they’ll remember most. Don’t worry — ‘It’ won’t happen to you.

You can see how trite those thoughts are, can’t you? How flat the clichés fall? I’ve become increasingly wary of my default being I’ll do it eventually. When is eventually? Why is tragedy so often the impetus that moves us to action, instead of recognition of our desire to live more fully?

At 1:00 this morning, I couldn’t sleep. I was heaving with tears, and being near my children was the only thing I could think to do to ease my sadness. I crawled into bed with my daughter. I put my head to her feet, crawled under her warm, purple blanket. As we settled seamlessly into each other, the pillow under my head became damp, tears collecting, hot and fast.

Because here’s what I know: I am a good mother. I know this is true. My kids love me like all children love their mothers, no matter what. Which is precisely the thing that had me in tears: My kids will love me even if I don’t earn it.

And I don’t always earn it. Sometimes, I talk to my kids in ways that I talk to no one else on Earth. I yell. I scold. I breathe deep out-breaths of annoyance, frustration and please-just-hurry-up. I often show more focus and determination in my marriage — on speaking kindly and with love and purpose to my husband — than I do in showing my children those same courtesies.

The sadness, it was born right there, in the shame of that truth.

It’s up to me and my husband to make sure our children know that they are treasured. Not that they are survived each day, or “put up with.” It is our job as their parents to buoy their spirits with a sense of certain worth and deep, noble love.

The kind of love they’ll never be able to shake.

My tears came from the knowing that I don’t give them that kind of love as often as I want. From the knowing that, as people living human-on-Earth experiences, I am dying and they are dying and what do I want these dying days of this gorgeous, possible life to feel like?

I want less “no.” I want more laughter. I want less rushing and I want more intention. I want to work together. I want to hear the things they think about. I want to know who my children are, as much as we can know such things.

I want less, “You won’t get ketchup with your dinner if…” and “There will be a consequence in 1… 2…” I want to trust that they’ll make the right decisions and want to do the right thing if I believe that they will, all the way.

I want robust love, burning love, oozing-dripping-glistening love. I want to see it leaking out of them. Because what are we here, living for, if not to give the kind of sure, vast love that won’t die when we do?

My husband’s arm was tight around me, his body warm against mine, when I crawled away from him and into my daughter’s bed. I didn’t have enough room. I was awkwardly covered by blanket.

I put my hand on her ankle and fell asleep almost instantly.

Pretending that this will go on forever, or that somehow, magically, enough of the mistakes will be righted in the end?

I want them righted in life.

I want them righted right now. Because right now is all there is.

And that is not some New Age jargon.

That is the truth.

I can’t give my love and focus, my determination and clarity to my husband and my work and assume that my kids will be fine. Because while they will be fine — of course they’ll be fine — I don’t want them to be fine.

I want them to thrive.

I want them to thrive like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

I want really see what love can do.

I want to know that the best work I’ve ever done, I did in the hearts and the minds and the bodies of the two people that came from mine.

If I can’t get it right there, the rest is more inconsequential than I’d like to admit.

The living I do while I’m dying? I want to make it sparkle.

I want to make it last.

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5 Things The Dying Want Us To Know

Veteran journalist and author of Opening Heaven’s Door: Investigating Stories of Life, Death, and What Comes After explains what she discovered after researching how people cross over.

By Patricia Pearson

1. The 72-hour mark is when it begins.

After losing my sister and father within nine weeks, I spent five years investigating what happens when we die. While interviewing dozens of people who work with terminally ill patients, or have had deathbed experiences or have come back from death, I learned that the dying often seem to know that they’re going, and when. Within 72 hours of death, they begin to speak in metaphors of journey. They request their shoes, or their plane tickets or demand to go home when they are home. When my sister lay dying of breast cancer, she said, as if frustrated, “I don’t know how to leave,” and spoke of “hapless flight attendants.”

“Does my wife understand about the passport and ticket?,” asked a man succumbing to the ravages of pancreatic cancer of a Virginia-based hospice nurse named Maggie Callanan (Callanan, along with fellow nurse Patrica Kelley, would go on to coin the official phrase, “nearing death awareness,” and co-author Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying). After having helped hundreds of patients transition to death, Callanan believes this vision of a journey ahead is no accident. The dying are not picturing an end. They are seeing death as a trip — possibly to somewhere else.

2. Dead family members and friends can come back to us.

This sounds like a side effect of the powerful pain killers they are taking. But is it? In one major cross-national study (by psychologists Karlis Osis, PhD, and Erlendur Haraldsson, PhD, of the University of Iceland) comparing deathbed experiences in the U.S. and India, the majority of patients who were still conscious within an hour of death saw deceased loved ones beckoning, regardless of whether they were medicated. When I interviewed Audrey Scott, 84, who was dying of cancer, she was receiving visits from her adopted son Frankie, she said, who had predeceased her by several years. He sat quietly in a nearby armchair.

In some cases, people see friends or family members they simply weren’t aware had died. In one of the first well-investigated cases of a deathbed vision, a mother dying in childbirth told obstetrician Lady Florence Barrett in a Dublin hospital that she saw her deceased father before her. She also saw something that confused her: “He has Vida with him,” she told Lady Barrett, referring to her sister, whose death three weeks earlier had been kept from her. “Vida is with him,” she repeated wonderingly.

3. There’s something else about that famous white light.

It has become a bit of a cliché in our culture to talk about seeing “the white light.” But, the truth is that this light is also perceived as wisdom and love. It’s a feeling as much as a visual experience. Those who have near-death experiences — retaining consciousness during cardiac arrest, for example — are veritably shattered by the emotional power of this light. Dr. Yvonne Kason, who had been in a plane crash, compared it to an extraordinary maternal love. “Like I was a newborn baby on my mother’s shoulder. Utterly safe.” Then she added: “It was like I’d been lost for centuries and I’d found my way home.” Nurse Callanan frequently observes her patients being present, conscious, in this world and also beginning to see and remark upon the beauty of another.

4. Even when there’s no warning, they may still say goodbye.

It came as a true surprise for me to learn that study after study confirms that roughly 50 percent of the bereaved sense the presence of lost loved ones, either in the moment of death, or sometime later. It happened within my own family. My father died abruptly, without a warning illness, in the middle of the night in 2008. My sister Katharine, awake in her bedroom 100 miles away, suddenly sensed a presence near her, and felt hands gently cupping the back of her head. She was suffused with feelings of contentment and joy, an experience so vivid and strange that she found it remarkable — and shared it with her son before learning that our father had died.

Although psychiatrists call these instances “grief hallucinations,” the science of such subjective experiences remains poorly understood; certainly, it doesn’t explain how we can have them before we know someone has died. One man told me about going downstairs to breakfast during his childhood, and seeing his father seated at the table, as always. He was totally mystified when his mother proceeded with the news that his father had died in the night. “But he’s sitting right there!,” he said. His father then faded.

Only 5 percent of these experiences are visual, according to a study done by palliative-care physician Michael Barbato at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Auburn, Australia. The majority involve the sense of a presence — not a fleeting, shadowy sense, but a vivid and specific one, often spurring people to make urgent phone calls, or to change direction as they’re driving, or to burst into tears. It can happen at the moment of death, after some weeks, or even years later. Said the Toronto advertising executive Karen Simons, of a cold night six weeks after her father died: “I’m driving on the highway, and into the passenger seat comes Dad. I could feel him settle in. He had a very distinctive lean to the left. He rode with me from Kennedy Rd. to Pickering (10 miles). It was incredibly real, and it was completely transforming.”

5. The living can share in the experience of dying.

Research in 2010 by psychiatrist Raymond Moody, PhD, who coined the term, “near-death experience” in his groundbreaking 1975 book Life After Life, suggests people can occasionally co-experience the sense of entering the light. As Florida-based palliative-care psychologist Kathleen Dowling Singh, PhD, has noted, “The dying become radiant and speak of ‘walking through a room lit by a lantern,’ or of their ‘body filling with sunlight.'” Sometimes, if only for a moment, their family members do, too. The psychologist Joan Borysenko, PhD, for instance, described having such an experience when her 81-year-old mother died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston while Borysenko was on faculty at Harvard. The room seemed to fill with a brilliant light, which both she and her teenage son saw, as they watched her mother rise spectrally out of her body.

We fear death in our culture, and find it difficult to talk about and witness. But perhaps the dying understand more than we do, and can offer us comfort, if only we could listen to what they’re attempting to say.

Patricia Pearson is the author of Opening Heaven’s Door: Investigating Stories of Life, Death, and What Comes After and When She Was Bad…: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost OWN on Facebook and Twitter .
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin- -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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