Be Here Then

why and how to write & create an ethical will, hospice card, or other legacy

Archive for the category “Resources”

Not about hospice, but a must-read about your medical care

Before you finish your ethical will, before you might need hospice care, before you read another book or see another doctor, read this: When Doctors Don’t Listen, written by two medical doctors currently working in Boston, Massachusetts, is something I wish I had had fifteen years ago and was in an HMO.

What I love most about this book are three things in particular:

One, their tone is respectful of doctors, even the ones who don’t listen, but also firm in urging patients to speak up to those same doctors in the moment, right when patients feel they aren’t being heard.  The authors’ suggestions for how to speak up are, in my opinion, beautifully and carefully considered.

Two, the authors provide useful appendices: one in particular gives you a few opportunities to “practice” speaking up before you need to go in for a medical appointment (and I think many of us could use that practice); another gives you a framework for how to organize your information before you go to the appointment to help maximize your opportunity to be clearly understood.  (I could have used this when I was trying to find out why I wasn’t sleeping.)

And three, the examples and stories the authors use to illustrate their points are spot-on, and personally I found them usefully alarming.  I won’t ever again dumbly nod when I’m told to go get a CT scan, especially after having had three chest CTs already and now — now! — finding out about the risks involved.

In fact, this book is so good, that I wish I could afford to buy a copy for every doctor I’ve seen over the last fifteen years who did not listen, and who contributed to the consequences of undiagnosed sleep disorders, and give it to them along with a letter written explaining why they are receiving it.

Yes, it’s that good.

Whether you are a ‘doctor knows best’ person or a skeptic Googler of medical research, you will find this book any or all of the following: useful, hopeful, supportive, challenging in a respectful way, and ultimately worth every penny.


Hospice cards – a link to someone else’s site to buy them

I do not know this person but the artwork on the cards and the sentiments already printed inside them might appeal to some of you, so in case you have not already found this resource:

In the meantime, I am still working on a few more free ideas to post here for you.

Another resource for people who are wanting to organize their lives and tie up loose ends is the book In the Checklist of Life and I do very much recommend it.  You can read my description of  it here but the actual book you can find here:

Anyone familiar with the old James Taylor song “Shower the People”?  Tell them the way you feel…

Remember 8-tracks. Seriously.

I say “remember 8-tracks” because there was a time when 8-track audio cassette tapes were objects of derision and synonymous with obsolete technology (although today they have their collectors).   Read more…

ethical will links

Ethical wills — lots of links, lots of people selling you services, lots of information.  If you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know what to ask Google or your favorite search engine to find for you.  So, I have added to the Resource section a links page that you can start with, and I’ll be adding many more links for sure.

Coming up during this week will be the completion of the visual exercise (1.3), more on using photographs, and something about 8-track tapes.

Cool link for archiving on disks, and updates

If you haven’t already, check out the new resources pages and a few updates, including one excellent link to everything you need to know about archiving your digital media!  Even if you don’t write your ethical will…which, of course, I keep encouraging….  By the way, I learned one thing that I cannot use my beloved Sharpies for, my default writing implements for anything other than paper.

Check out the link, and be sure all your tunes and pix last a long time!

Why handwriting counts, and neatness doesn’t

Handwriting:  Sometimes illegible, sometimes beautiful, but always important.  When you are creating your ethical will or other format legacy communication, it is part of the gift you are giving.

Why?  For a number of reasons.  In part, probably for a similar reason a friend currently deployed to Afghanistan gave for why getting actual letters Read more…

Resource: archival-quality pens, not fountain

if you like fiber-tip-like finepoint pens rather than fountain pens or rollerballs, and don’t mind using another disposable stick, you might very much like the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen M901 (pH neutral black pigment ink).  These pens (which come in several different colors) are much-used by professional Read more…

Resource: archival-quality (and beautiful) inks for fountain pen and rollerball

No, not Noodler Sink — Noodler’s Ink!

We are including this information for those of you choosing your materials and who like to use fountain pens.  Noodler’s even makes a refillable rollerball pen!  They have a wide range of colors and several categories of ink.  Here’s an excerpt from their site:

“Many Noodler’s inks such as “eternal” and “bulletproof” inks are made with the ideal of reaching out as far into immortality as the written word permits Read more…

Resource: storage & delivery and a very cool idea!

PS I Love You Letters.  

PS I Love You Letters, launched in April of this year, was sparked by another touching story which you can read on their site. (If you EVER doubt the power of a story, here’s a perfect example of it!) Buy this company’s reasonably-priced archival materials writing kit, write your legacy letter or ethical will, and through their service they will store your document and mail it Read more…

Ethical will, “list” style, by a vet

Another sample ethical will for those of you who want to see more but haven’t made it to the Resources page.  For folks who want a simple, straightforward format to help organize their thoughts this “List” style is very effective — you be the judge.  If this had been your uncle, would you have preferred to read it while he was alive, or after he had passed away?  What difference, if any, would it have made to you?  

To my family and friends and all those I love:

I am not big on words.  But I want to tell you some things, maybe explain a few things.  Maybe this letter can be passed on to my nieces and nephews because I would like them to know who I am.

1.  Values.  I value honesty, friendship, hard work, respect for others, and giving a helping hand to other hardworking honest people. Read more…

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