This section looks at the “final journey” and provides tools for end of life planning, including funeral or memorial services. It also offers personal testimonials of good practices during this time in people’s lives.
L’Arche believes that preparing well for one’s death is an act of love. Good preparation can help those left behind focus on celebrating life. L’Arche celebrates in thanksgiving for the gift of the person in our lives and community. We name ways that this person has made a difference in our lives and in the world.
The life of each person has value and dignity and the stories of others who have gone before us can provide an example against which we can model our own lives and passing.
As one ages an end of life plan, that allows people to express their wishes for their care, their estate and their funeral and burial, is an important step. The following is a description of an end of life plan developed by two members of L’Arche Vancouver.
Two end of life testimonials: “Cecile’s capacity to speak about death matter-of-factly and peacefully pushed the rest of us to grow. She was able to ask us questions that helped us think about death.” “Following Bill’s wishes was a way of really honouring this great and humble man.”
Several sources of legal and administrative information exist on the topic of death.
Tool to help people with intellectual disabilities plan their end of life and how they wish to be remembered
Dying is the most general human event, something we all have to do.
But do we do it well?
Can it somehow become an act of fulfillment, perhaps more human than any other human act?
We, at L’Arche, believe that preparing well for one’s death is an act of love. Good preparation can also help those you leave behind to focus on celebrating your life.
The Celebration Booklet along with this accompanying power point provide tools for reflection and preparation for a person’s final journey.
Government of Canada, Ontario and Municipalities (English/French)
Government of Manitoba (English/French)
Government of Alberta (English)age booklet published by the Government of Alberta, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports deals with the practical and legal aspects of dying (funerals, burial, wills, estates, paperwork, etc.) and provides helpful information plus references and checklists.
Funeral Cooperatives Of Quebec (French)
France Obseques Liberté (French)
Lasting Gifts (English)
Books Beyond Words (any language)
Series of very well illustrated pictorial books that can be used for any language:
More Than Inclusion: Honouring the Contributions of People with Developmental Disabilities
Aging: The Fulfillment of Life (Henri Nouwen and W. Gaffney) ISBN 0-385-00918-6
Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring (Henri Nouwen)
“We need, in love,
To practice only this;
Letting each other go.
For holding on comes easily;
We do not need to learn it.
“Requiem for a Friend”
Rainer Maria Rilke