October News Brief

Greetings Further Shore friends! October is such a beautiful month in the northern hemisphere. The entire season is a palpable and visual transition from the busy fullness of summer to the quieter demeanor that winter requires. If we pay attention, there are clues to guide the process, generously offered by mother nature. While fall starts out with September’s frantic squirrel behavior, October reminds us to be aware changes in the wind. The trees put on their most celebratory colors as if to attend a festive gala. Soon enough the red, orange, and gold will give way in November to the bare boned branches that stand fast against winter’s chilly darkness.

Wayne bid us farewell on a crisp fall day, October 4, 2004, with the trees in full regalia. While out walking recently, I was surrounded by a flurry of swirling leaves and found myself thinking about him and how he loved the seasonal changes. I was wishing I could have shared The Fall of Freddie the Leaf with him. This children’s story book by Leo Buscaglia, PhD is so sweetly written and illustrated, that I knew he would love it as much as I do. We would read it, laugh, and tear up a little bit over its simple, poignant depiction of nature’s cycle of birth, life, and death. I’m always grateful for Wayne’s presence in my life, especially so in October. Please enjoy this YouTube of Freddie’s journey in honor of Wayne and the brilliant month of October. {Warning: “tissue alert” if you choose to watch this.}

Now for the News:

  • On the Blog:  “R” is for Respect is coming soon! Stay tuned.
  • This Month’s Special Day:  October 8th is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. The holiday was launched in 2005 by the World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), an international NGO with member organizations in more than 100 countries that focuses on the development of hospice and palliative care worldwide. The mission of the WHPCA is to unite the global palliative care community in order to improve well-being and reduce suffering for people in need of palliative care. To honor the day, you can donate to your local hospice organization; inquire about becoming a hospice volunteer; or attend a Death Café, where it’s safe to discuss death and dying alongside delicious cake and tea with the view of living life more fully NOW!
  • Pandemic tidbit:  If you are caregiving for someone in cognitive decline, please read the following article in MedXpress entitled “Risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease increases by 50-80% in older adults who have had COVID-19”. The article includes a link to another reporting on research data about people with dementia being twice as likely to contract COVID-19. As well, Harvard Health shares this article about cognitive challenges after covid. Please be safe and protect the vulnerable in your world.
  • Movies that Move Us:  To honor World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and learn more, watch “End Game” (streaming on Netflix). This short documentary film was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It features people who are learning about palliative care with the guidance of Dr. Pantilat (University of California, San Francisco) and Dr. BJ Miller (Zen Caregiving Project and Mettle Health). Moving, informative, and hopeful.
  •  Quote of the Month:  “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” ~ George Burns

May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.

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