Diane Goble, MS – Master Transition Coach

My Mission

My mission as a Transition Coach is to empower my clients to overcome fear of death and dying by providing them with the methods and resources to be in control of this profound transformational journey we all get to experience no matter what one’s physical or mental condition– by preparing long before the time comes and being in control when it does.

What is a Transition Coach?

A Transition Coach functions as a facilitator to empower the patient to take control of his or her own end-of-life decisions from terminal prognosis to transition and final disposition coaching the patient and caregiver to play an active and informed role in developing and carrying out a personalized end-of-life strategy.

What is Advance Care Planning?

End-of-life or advance care planning involves making decisions about one’s circumstances and the care we expect when we’re not able to speak or communicate our wishes ourselves, such as in the case of a stroke or heart attack, a sudden accident or near the end of a long life.

In these written documents, we appoint a healthcare representative we trust to carry out our wishes and include directions as to whether we want artificial hydration or feeding, if or how long we’d want to be on life support and what treatments we’d accept, including surgeries, procedures, treatments, blood transfusions, resuscitation– from do everything to do nothing.

It also includes one’s personal decisions your healthcare representative may have to advocate for you concerning how to pay for the health care and what to do after the death, such as organ donation, funeral and burial arrangements, writing our obituary, and many other details that come with wrapping up one’s life on earth.

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When Should I Consult a Transition Coach?

While there is never a good time to be told there is nothing more medical science can do for a person and no way to predict the course any illness will take, the sooner the patient and the family start talking about a plan and dealing with the what ifs, the less stress on all concerned, and the more peaceful and loving the entire process will be. The family may be at odds with the wishes of the patient or each other, sometimes old hurt feelings stir up arguments, and the Transition Coach will facilitate family discussions to bring about forgiveness and healing.

Even when there is one more clinical trial or one more new drug to try, the Coach will facilitate the family’s involvement in planning for palliative care, organizing caregivers, home health aides, in-home ADA adjustments through various health changes, and finding help from various agencies and services. With the help of the Transition Coach, time spent writing one’s Will and Advance Healthcare Directive, looking into assisted living arrangements and hospice services, thinking about memorial services, deciding on burial or cremation arrangements, discussing DNRs, POLSTs and Death With Dignity options, can  replace the worrying and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness about the patient’s medical issues and health concerns during this stressful time.

Does the Transition Coach Help the Caregivers?

The goal of the Transition Coach is to build a team of caregivers around the patient to support the patient’s journey. The primary caregiver may be the main contact person with the Transition Coach and the second question is always “and how are you doing?”

Caregiver burn-out is inevitable among loving people who want to do everything they can to keep their loved one comfortable, and free from pain and suffering. The Transition Coach will help the primary caregiver come up with a stress management plan that involves the family and all caregivers involved.

What is the Role of the Transition Coach?

The role of the Transition Coach is not to be a service broker or care manager, but rather, to provide support, guidance, resources, and spiritual comfort to the patient and caregiver(s) as they explore the workbook Beyond the Veil: Our journey home by Diane Goble. The Transition Coach may facilitate discussions between the patient and caregiver, and other family members to get everyone on the same page with decision-making or help clarify values and mediate belief differences when it comes to changes in health conditions and end of life decisions.

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What Action Can You Take Now?

It is suggested that interested parties first purchase a copy of the workbook Beyond the Veil: Our journey home which may be ordered here or from any online or onland bookstore. After reading through the workbook, if you and your family think you may be interested in working through it with a Transition Coach you’re invited to email Diane to request an appointment for a free half hour phone or Skype call to assess your needs and help you make a decision to proceed to the next step.

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What’s the Next Step?

If you decide you’d like to work with a Transition Coach, we’ll set up payment arrangements and book an appointment for a phone or Skype call. During that call, we’ll go through an initial needs assessment, which could take an hour or more, and result in a coaching plan.

For the coaching plan, some people prefer a weekly phone call, others want to be able to call when questions come up. There may be more frequent calls early on, then less need for a period, then greater need as the end nears. You can email a list of questions and we’ll discuss them during phone calls. You can text if it’s a short, quick question or emergency. Every case is different and Diane is flexible… Email

BIO

Diane Goble, MSCC, CCHt

Master Transition Coach

 

Diane Goble has a Master’s Degree in Psychology (CSULB, 1983) and another in Clinical Hypnotherapy (St. John’s U, 1992). Over the years she has taught stress management, had a practice in hypnotherapy and past life regression therapy, became an ordained spiritual minister, meditation teacher, and was a hospice volunteer off and on for over 25 years in Florida, California and Oregon. She is the author of Beyond the Veil: Our journey home, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Cosmic Consciousness, Reincarnation and the Evolution of Consciousness, Sitting in the Lotus Blossom and the website BeyondtheVeil.net (1996-2018).

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In 1971, at age 30, Diane drowned while white water rafting and had an extensive near-death experience, which is what changed her life path and led her to return to education and eventually to explore the field of death and dying. She is the author of Beyond the Veil: Our journey home, which is based on an online course she developed in 2007 to train Transition Guides (Death Doulas, Spiritual Midwives) to empower terminally ill patients to take control of their own end of life planning. You can read her extraordinary journey into the afterlife in the book.  After training a number of practitioners from around the world, she turned that training course into a workbook, which patients and caregivers could use together for advance planning and learning the Art of Conscious Dying… being aware of and involved in one’s personal transformational journey home.

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The message I was given to share with those whose lives I touch is that WE don’t die! Only our physical form expires while the essence of who we are is released and returns home in full consciousness– an exhilarating Aha! moment of understanding everything while being filled with overwhelming love, peace and joy… finally remembering who we really are and what the heck this lifetime on planet Earth was all about… being greeted by our loved ones who have gone on before us, and the realization that we are returning home to the Source of our being– from whence we came.

I don’t just base this on my own experience. I’ve been reading other experiences and participating in and following the literature concerning the research into the survival of consciousness after death for decades. These experiences are not hallucinations or delusions or wishful thinking… and I believe so many are surfacing now because it’s time for humanity to collectively wake up and realize there is  more to “life and death” than we’ve been led to believe and a higher purpose for humans to exist and maintain this planet for that purpose.

My story of transformation is in Chapter 10 of The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences: How the Messages of NDEs Positively Impact the World by Dr. Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh…

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My coaching is non-denominational yet adaptable to any belief system or none. I respect all religions and beliefs for their intrinsic beauty and compassion but do not hold one over another. In the Light I found only Universal Love at the Source.  My mission as a Transition Coach is to empower my client families with the resources and tools to assist them in carrying out their personal last wishes and final arrangements for a peaceful conscious dying experience based on their own values and beliefs.

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If Beyond the Veil: Our journey home resonates with you and your beliefs, feel free to use all the resources it contains. If you feel you and your family could benefit from having the Transition Coach who wrote the book on it available to help you and your family work through the difficult parts, schedule a free half-hour phone or Skype conversation with Diane to assess your needs… email

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If, after your initial conversation, you decide you and your family would feel comfortable working with a Transition Coach, we’ll book an appointment for a phone or Skype call and set up initial payment arrangements through PayPal. During the call, we’ll go through an initial assessment of your needs, which could take about an hour, and develop a Coaching Plan.

  • For the Coaching Plan, some clients prefer a scheduled weekly phone call; others want to be able to call when questions come up
  • There may be more frequent calls early on, then less need for a period, then greater need as health changes
  • It is up to the client to end the phone session. There is a 30 minute minimum (except for pre-paid plans) and two hours is the upper limit
  • If Client has a time limit, please say so at beginning of call. The Coach may do the same
  • Clients may email a list of questions ahead to be discussed during phone calls to save explanation time
  • Clients may text if it’s a short, quick question or emergency and Diane will respond as quickly as possible (no charge)

Fee Schedule

  • Diane only works with a limited number of clients at a time and for many families the duration may extend over six months or longer so there may be a waiting list at times.
  • Diane is available every day between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm PST for phone or Skype calls by appointment only, and will respond to texts and emails as soon as possible
  • New clients are charged $25 to book initial appointment and create client file
  • Ongoing clients may book appointment times with 24 hours notice
  • For cancellations, please give 24 hours notice
  • Time begins at connection and stops when client requests end of conversation
  • Diane will keep a timer and it is suggested client do as well to keep track of how much time passes
  • Coaching time is billed at $1.00 per minute
  • Pre-paid packages for 3 hours, 5 hours and 10 hours are available
  • Internet research and transmittal @$25 per hour (payable prior to transmittal)

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th…

for the month of April 2018

 10% off on pre-paid hours for new clients

who book their 1st contact during the month of April

  3 hours $180 = $162

  5 hours $300 = $270

10 hours $600 = $540

Enter appropriate payment amount thru PayPal

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Photo by Cat Connor

CONTACT

Diane Goble, Master Transition Coach

Email

Website

Facebook Page: Death and other taboo topics

Facebook Group: Having The Conversation about Dying and Death

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Near-Death Experiencer provides comfort to the dying and their caregivers

BEYOND THE VEIL

Our Journey Home

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by Diane Goble

Diane Goble had a near-death experience in 1971 and was given certain information to bring back with her to share with others. For the past 40 years she has been working in the field of death and dying as a spiritual counselor, hospice volunteer, and is the author of several books and a major NDE web site, Beyond the Veil.

She created a training course to teach people to be Transition Guides for those who are getting ready to leave their bodies and return to their spiritual home– according to their own beliefs. Her message is that we don’t die, only our bodies die– but we don’t need them any more. Our consciousness survives the death of our body. We are beautiful spiritual beings of light on an eternal journey and shedding our skin is part of our spiritual growth and the evolution of consciousness.

In “Beyond the Veil: Our Journey Home,” Goble condensed her Transition Guide Training Program into a handbook for caregivers and patients. It offers a simple, non-denominational method of meditation and guided imagery practice to help us remember who we really are while still in our body and when we awaken on the other side.

Diane-BtV4x4“By practicing to die consciously before we die physically,” she says, “we are prepared and aware of what’s happening when we find ourselves out of our body– no matter how it died.”

This book is for every one because we are all, after all, going to die one day, but it is especially for anyone who has received a diagnosis of an illness that has even the slightest potential to cause death and for adult children caring for their aging parents. It will help you and your family to have the conversations you need to have about end of life care, last wishes and quality of life and death. It will help the person leaving reconcile his or her life and prepare for a peaceful transition on their own terms.

You’ll find information about palliative and hospice care, final arrangements, and Death With Dignity laws. You’ll delve into the subject of near-death experiences and the current research into the survival of consciousness, and the ancient mysteries that gave birth to our understanding of death and the afterlife. This is no ordinary book and it is guaranteed to change your life!

Available in paperback and Kindle at amazon.com

and all major book retailers

 

It is time… WAKE UP! new ebook by near-death afterlife experiencer

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

by Diane Goble

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(Photo by Cat Connor)

Available March 1st on Kindle exclusively at Amazon.com

When Diane Goble began developing her first website in 1996 to talk about her near-death experience by drowning during a white water rafting accident in 1971, she had no idea she would eventually connect with millions of people all over the world with her message from the other side that

“WE DON’T DIE!”

She received emails from thousands of people from 140 different countries, from ages 16 to 94, from all religions, as well as skeptics, all wanting to ask her about her experience, what she learned, her perspective on the meaning of life and God– spiritual seekers hoping for answers to questions they’ve never dared ask before, wanting confirmation that there is more to life beyond this life, and that we get to see our loved ones again.

But even more, these people wanted to share their pain and spiritual angst with someone who understood and wouldn’t judge them. They poured out their hearts and many found their souls.

For the next 10 years, Diane’s spiritual path became responding to all those emails and allowing the message to come through her to her keyboard. She expanded her website to include lessons and resources for spiritual seekers, as well as for healers and caregivers. On her online Seekers Open Forum page, she posted many of the emails she received and her responses, and invited others to share in the discussions. There weren’t as many trolls back then but she wasn’t afraid to take them on and had quite a few provocative exchanges.

As it turned out, a lot of people asked similar questions about the same subjects so rather than continue to personally respond to everyone and repeat her answers, she grouped similar questions and put a sampling from various subjects into this book to provide a variety of perspectives about similar topics, such as

Near-Death Experiences, Fear of Death, Grief, The Afterlife, Paranormal Experiences, Reincarnation, Suicide, and Spiritual but not Religious.

It is her hope that making this information more available at this time will encourage further conversations that will lead to more people on the planet waking up… becoming aware that there is more to “life” than we’ve been led to believe… that we have become mental prisoners of lies forced upon us by those who need to keep us dumb slaves so they can become more wealthy and powerful… that we are brainwashed into becoming warriors willing to die for the military industrial complex as if it were an honorable thing to do… that we are lolled into complacency by the media so we won’t notice what’s really going on right in front of our eyes. If we realized who we really are, they couldn’t control us.

“If we’re going to save the planet and Humanity,” she says, “now is as good a time as any before. Just as things couldn’t get any worse, the wave is cresting. The turmoil is at it’s height. The Shift is happening. Those who are already awake, need to awaken others to Cosmic Consciousness— the Realization that We Are One… that we are all in this together.”

Open your heart… Expand your Awareness… Imagine Peace…

Whatever else you believe, do everything with Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Comments from emailers–

Thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful response. You are a nurturing soul… I am very eager to get a handle on this… I often feel that I am not from around here … or don’t want to be here … not like wanting to be dead, just not wanting to be on earth.        –Molly

What a relief to communicate with someone who understands how I feel. I have just been in the garden contemplating things. You have hit the nail on the head in so many ways.   –Lenny

Thank you Diane for your courage to speak out. I never wanted to say much about it [childhood NDE] because I felt people would think I was crazy. Now I’m grown and live a good life and I treat people like I want to be treated. — Bobbie

I very much enjoy your words and outlook, I think you really are here to calm humanities fear of death. What an awesome life mission to have. –Pete

You have no idea how glad I was receiving your email! Just the thought that you actually took the time to answer me shows what a caring and lovely person you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I continue reading your site and I printed all its contents, which filled a thick binder. It is for me like a Bible and whenever I feel down or scared I consult it giving me comfort. –Maria

I was moved to tears. Some how I wanted to cry with joy for what I was reading. I was so deeply touched by your insights some how you’ve articulated so many things I’ve felt.     –Sonny

I needed focusing into what I was already aware of and you helped. Thank you soooo much!! –Carly

…your site certainly came into my view at the exact time period in which I could not have needed it more. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story, and for the manner in which you decided to share it. –Patricia

Your Q&A approach covers every question that I had before I had thought of them yet. “Nothing on Earth Had Prepared Me For the Reality of Life After Death” (Chapter One) was the most profound, insightful piece of writing I have yet found in all of the NDE books I have read. I know how impossible it is to put NDE subjects in relatable or fresh terms, but I think you succeeded. –RJ

Thank you so much for your reply. It is the BEST explanation I have had. — Laurie

… thank you for responding to my message and, of course, for telling me, a complete stranger, about the life-altering experience you had. –Paul

… please accept A Heartfelt Thank you for your inspirational site! It is encouraging to connect with one who is walking their talk as a living example of truth/god in action! expressing it-self in physical form! –Donna

… you have a wonderful website and your words are most comforting for those of us that fear disease and death. —Bob

Thank you for this site. This site will always benefit people. —Dave

I will also remain very thankful that our paths crossed. You were right when you wrote on your website about the fact that there are no accidents. I was led to the site for a reason, and thanks to your kindness and patience I understand that reason much better today that I thought possible. Thank you again… you are a very kind soul indeed… —Kaleb

I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing all your experiences and knowledge with the world. You see, you were partly responsible for saving my life. — Shawn

You have articulated my own thoughts much better than I have been able to myself… –Greta

I just found your web site since I just woke up this morning and am gratified to find it. I have been crying a cry of recognition reading the feelings and experiences of your other Emailers. –Mike

I’ve been a confused Christian for 31 years and within a week of reading from your website I feel a newfound joy in wanting to understand the soul’s purpose, journey, etc. in a positive way. –Adam

I appreciate your willingness to respond to people about your experience and what you have learned. Your response put into words a gut feeling I have had for a long time. Thank you! –Scott

When I read your email, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It’s like I always knew that but was afraid to think it because it’s not what I was brought up to believe. I’m so grateful to you for opening my eyes. –Marianne

Read about my Near-Death Experience Here

Near-Death Experiencer Shares Secrets from Beyond the Veil

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Search “Diane Goble” in your device’s ebook store or Google “ebooks by Diane Goble”

or read a sample and purchase directly from publisher (click on title below)

Watch for a New Smashwords Discount Coupon every month

Reincarnation and the Evolution of Consciousness (2013) – 16,000 words – $1.99

Author reading Chapter “The Challenge of Being Fully Human

Author on BlogTalkRadio with Pamela Edmunds’ Bridge Between Two Worlds – 2/12/14

Author on BlogTalkRadio with Pamela Cummins’ The Love Channel Show – 4/15/14

The Path to Peace & Joy (2013) – 15,290 words – $1.99

Author reading Chapter “Chakras

How to Die Consciously: Secrets from Beyond the Veil (2011) – 52,520 words – $2.99

Author reading Chapter “End of Life Conversations

Conversations with a Near-Death Experiencer – Book 1 (2010) – 95,840 words – $3.99

*** MARCH SPECIAL “50% Off” – Use code FJ47W at check out ***

More Conversations with a Near-Death Experiencer – Book 2 (2010) – 70,340 words – $2.99

*** MARCH SPECIAL “50% Off” – Use code ZQ22G at check out ***

Sitting in the Lotus Blossom (2010) – 64,100 words – $2.99

Author reading Chapter “The Wounded Planet

• • • • • • •

The following CDs are suggested in some of Diane’s ebooks

Vocals by Diane Goble • Music by Shapeshifter

Sample and downloads available by clicking on links below

happinessCDHappiness Journey (download) – $1.99

lotusmeditationLotus Meditation (download) – $1.99

Relax1-4Relax2-4Relaxation Exercise 1 & 2 (downloads) – $3.99

ClearingPastCDClearing the Past (download) – $1.99


Physician-assisted suicide addressed in new book by Near-Death Experiencer

Beyond the Veil

Our Journey Home

by Diane Goble

We’re all going to die some day so–

  • shouldn’t we all be looking into this event instead of living in denial and pretending it only happens to other people?

  • shouldn’t we at least have some tools available to us so when it does, however it does, we’re prepared and know what to do next?

  • shouldn’t we prepare ourselves to take care of and comfort a loved one who is terribly ill or elderly and facing their own death?

That’s what I thought when I first began writing this book, which is what I was asked to do when I decided to come back into my body during my near-death experience while drowning during a white water river rafting accident in 1971.

Voilà!

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 The answers to all those questions you have about death, dying and what comes next are between these covers.

The paperback, published by Cosmic Creativity, is now available on amazon.com and at most major book retailers.

Posting reviews or sharing your thoughts about Beyond the Veil on retailer websites, like amazon.com, may contribute to the evolution of human consciousness and are much appreciated by all those who contributed to the publication of this valuable book.


… a way for individuals to consciously prepare for what’s to come, and to better understand the life in their death, and what happens next. Anyone can benefit from this book, so keep it handy. You may use it more often than you think.

~ P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., researcher and author of Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story and We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death

There is no easy way to bring up the conversation of death but Goble’s book shows us why this is one of the most important discussions that we can have.

~ Josie Varga, author of Visits from Heaven and Visits to Heaven

Ultimately learning how to be fully present and conscious for the one who is passing is one of the greatest gifts you can offer someone you love.

~ JoAnn Chambers, Vibrational Sound Healer and co-author of The Sonic Keys: Sound, Light & Frequency; DNA Activation, and The Secret of Abundance


This is a conversation you must have with yourself…

and probably should have with all family members–

not that you need to have all the answers right now, but just to get you started thinking about these important questions before it’s necessary to know the answers so there won’t be any family disagreements in the heat of a crisis. We all need to have these conversations about the end of our lives and what we do want and don’t want as far as treatment options, including invasive procedures, aggressive therapies, prescription drugs, palliative care, hospice,  and when and where we choose to die, depending on the circumstances and based on our own values, traditions and beliefs. Ideally we need to review our choices every 5 years as we get older, if we have health changes, lifestyle changes, because we often make different decisions as our age and circumstances change. We need to think about situations like–

If your heart stopped right now, what is your family’s plan?

Does anyone know where your important papers, passwords, contacts, valuables are kept and what you want done with them and who to contact after you’re gone?

If your persistent headaches led to a diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor and a diagnosis of 6 months or less to live, would you consider the Death with Dignity option (do you know if it’s available in your state/country, what the requirements are)?

Are you aware that your Emergency Contact is not necessarily your Healthcare Representative unless that person is also designated in your Advance Healthcare Directive/Living Will?

If your spouse had a sudden illness requiring hospitalization, what things would you have to do that you wouldn’t ordinarily do? What if the person had been in an accident and was in a coma?

Do you really know what it means if you say do everything to save me?

Knowing that at some point you will die, how do you hope your death will be? Have you told anyone? Have you contemplated your own death?

Have you considered how you would manage becoming a full-time caregiver for a severely ill child or an elderly parent?

If you are entering your dying process, have you reconciled your life and found peace of mind or do you fear what lies ahead?


Beyond the Veil: Our Journey Home

was written by Diane Goble, a near-death experiencer who became a spiritual teacher, based on what she learned during her journey home and was asked to bring back to share with as many people as she could.
Her primary message is– We Don’t Die!
Her book is a resource manual, chock full of information about the options that are available to us as we are preparing ourselves for transition or being a caregiver for someone who is in the dying process.
It is a training manual based on the author’s professional course to teach caregivers to be Transition Guides for their dying loved ones or patients.
It is a personal workbook with plenty of Notes pages for those soon departing as they are guided through the practice of the Art of Conscious Dying and writing their own Personal Transition Guidebook.
It is printed in large type.

For those of you who need more, go to BeyondtheVeil.net. Diane will be offering classes and webinars with special guests, and private consultations about end-of-life issues and conversations in the near future. If you would like to receive updates, fill out the following form:

Death with Dignity laws

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The recent death of a 29-year old woman who chose to use the Death with Dignity law in Oregon has invigorated the debate about our right to make choices about our healthcare at the end of our life. Brittany Maynard had a brain tumor that doctors said would end her life in a most undignified manner and she chose not to experience that part of her illness. She completed her Bucket List and enjoyed the last quality time she could with her husband and parents, and died peacefully at the time of her choosing at home in her own bed surrounded by those who loved her.

If you are facing such a decision, whether you are thinking about the Death with Dignity option or not, this book by a Near-Death Experiencer, will help you find acceptance and peace of mind as you navigate medical decisions, care options including palliative and hospice services, conversations with family and providers, filling out Advance Healthcare Directives and making decisions about how your want to die.

Beyond the Veil is for caregivers who will be transition guides for their loved ones, for families to help them have the necessary conversations, and for the dying person who wants desperately to know what is happening to them along their journey home.

Excerpt from Beyond the Veil: our journey home by Diane Goble about Death with Dignity laws:

Reasonable laws can prevent abuse while honoring self-respect, human dignity and compassion. Just as an obstetrician might administer a drug to hasten a birth, a doctor may prescribe a drug that will hasten not death but the rebirth of our spiritual nature. Prepared ahead of time and guided by a transition guide’s voice reading one’s Personal Transition Guidebook, it is a peaceful journey home beyond the veil.

Some people believe it is a slippery slope to allow this at all. They are afraid mentally or physically disabled or senile elderly people will be murdered for convenience. Perhaps in some societies where human life isn’t valued that could be true. It is up to those who believe in death with dignity to make sure laws are in place to prevent forced euthanasia by designating medical professionals and safe procedures to provide humane, compassionate assistance to those who decide of their own free will to exercise this option.

A May 2005 Galllup Poll indicated that 75% of Americans support “euthanasia” for certain patients but only 58% support “doctor-assisted suicide” for the same patients. Use of the term “suicide” was the only difference in the question asked. The Gallup Poll conclusion was that the use of the word caused the apparent conflict in values.

Opponents count on the negative emotional impact of the term. Calling it “suicide” or “murder” conjures up images that clash with religious beliefs and humanitarian values, but have nothing to do with personal choice at the end of life.

This is what Dr. Jack Kervorkian fought for–a patient’s right to choose and the physician’s role at end of life. It’s nobody’s business except the person who is dying, his physician and his family members (and sometimes not the latter). It’s continuing care through the end of life.

Instead of physicians abandoning their patients at the end of their invasive medical treatment options, they could stay with them to provide the medication that will quickly end their suffering if that is their patient’s final request.

Their Hippocratic oath says, firstly, do no harm, but if forcing a person to stay alive while their body  progressively deteriorates for years, whether physically or mentally, isn’t doing harm, I don’t know what is. Seems to me physicians need a better understanding of compassion. Continuing to swear an oath to Greek gods is out of touch with contemporary reality–the earth is not flat and doctors are not gods.

Having “The Conversation” about End of Life Healthcare Planning

The Nugget, Sisters, Oregon – October 15, 2014

Having “The Conversation”

By Diane Goble

Ever since Ben Franklin warned us, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” we’ve been diligently planning for everything — college, career path, marriage, children, home buying, vacations, retirement — everything, that is except our inevitable end of life. We don’t want to think about that so we tend to ignore it or postpone dealing with it, often until it’s too late. We live in the state of denial that keeps us oblivious to the unthinkable fact that this day could be our last on earth.

Hopefully that’s not true for you this day, but statistically, in this country, 1 person dies every 3 seconds, approximately 6800 of us every day, 2,468,435 every year. Most people die from health-related conditions, including (in order) heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (COPD) and stroke. Accidents are next down the list. All of these are, to some degree, preventable, treatable, manageable, mitigated by medical care and healthy lifestyle changes, and most of us will survive to live the life we planned to a ripe old age.

And that’s part of the problem. Health care has improved, we’re making progress with many cancers, we’ve recognized the problem of obesity and we’re eating healthier and exercising more so we’re living longer but we’re getting diseases now that people didn’t use to get because they died at earlier ages — Alzheimer’s Disease, in particular, but also emphysema, COPD, Parkinson’s Disease, and diabetes. And with the aging Boomer population, we wonder will there be rationing of medical services.

The health care system has us focused on treatments that almost kill us in order to make us better so we can live longer and get more diseases for them to treat. At the same time there are more people in need of care, there are also fewer doctors and medical services are stretched thin.

And within this maelstrom of activity is the elephant in the room. At some point, we are all going to die — but no one wants to admit it or talk about it and certainly know one wants to plan for it. We always think there will be more time.

This is a quote from this correspondent’s soon to be released book on amazon.com, Beyond the Veil: Our Journey Home, from a woman named Kathy who shared her experience of not planning ahead:

While we had gradually acknowledged to each other that he might not make it, we’d never really accepted it or talked about what it meant. I always thought we’d have a period of time when he was in hospice care when we would talk more and say our goodbyes. While I, and my kids, said lots of goodbyes and I love yous while he was in a coma, he was never able to communicate with us again. I still replay those last few days over and over and wonder how we didn’t know he was so close to the end and wonder if he knew.

There is a lesson in this: to say the things we want to say while we can – and it illustrates why it is so important to plan for the end of our lives, not just for our selves, but for our loved ones as well. We won’t know how we are going to die, where we will be when it happens, who will be with us or if we will be alone, but we can make our choices known about how we want to be treated at that crucial time, which will guide our loved ones to follow our wishes.

We do have some options and they are more likely to be honored if we have discussed them with our family members and doctors, appointed a healthcare representative who supports our wishes through our Advance Healthcare Directive so physicians will know what we want and don’t want if it comes down to that. The biggest hurdle is sitting down to have the conversation.

Realize that this is not a one-time conversation. It may occur in bits and pieces — a question at the dinner table, a comment during a TV program or news story, a shared article from a magazine, a book, a website, a post on Facebook. Over time and with new information or health concerns, you may change your mind several times.

You may have a conversation with your doctor or a clergy member that provides some new insight or clarifies your values. After seeing what another family went through, you may decide you do or don’t want that to happen to you. Visiting a friend in hospice care may change you mind about how soon you would want to bring hospice services into your life or the life of a family member. Advance Healthcare Directives are changeable and should be reviewed every 5 years or as you health changes.

No matter how old you are — and perhaps this is something everyone should do when they first get their driver’s license because those are extremely vulnerable years for accidents — no matter what your health status is, the time to have these important conversations is when you are healthy and mentally competent to make decisions. By the time you are in an ambulance, in the ER, or on your deathbed, it is too late. Leaving it to your distraught family members to decide what you would want during dire circumstances is setting them up for unending grief and trauma over whether they did they right thing — no matter what they did or didn’t do.

Fortunately, right here in Sisters, there are several people, including Kelsey Collins, Sue Stafford, myself and others, who are available to help people sort through the information about Medicare, home health care, palliative care, hospice services, Advance Healthcare Directives, POLST and Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. Talk to your doctor, talk to your spiritual adviser and by all means, talk with your family about your last wishes — then you don’t have to think about it anymore!

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A Peaceful Death with Dignity

I’d like to express my appreciation to Brittany Maynard for going public with her decision to exercise her Death with Dignity option in Oregon because it will bring this conversation to the family dinner table where it belongs. Of course I’m sad she has this terrible condition, but if she can make something positive out of a bad situation, which she is by raising awareness, it gives hope to many people who want the same thing– if my death is inevitable, let it be peaceful and on my own terms.

This is what I encourage people to do on a daily basis through my writings and “Having The Conversation over Coffee and Cake” gatherings. I don’t encourage Death with Dignity, but I’m not afraid to address it as an option and provide resources, such as Compassion & Choices, if people want to consider it. This is a truly personal decision that should be between a terminally ill patient and those in his or her inner circle and it’s a shame the Maynard family has to be exposed to the vitriol that permeates Internet over their personal decision to allow Brittany to have a peaceful death with dignity. It’s as if  everybody suddenly noticed there’s an elephant in the room.

Those among us who think we have a right to an opinion about how any person decides he or she wants his/her death to be should be thinking about how they want the end of their lives to be, not someone they don’t even know. If, for whatever reason you think, having control over one’s own death at the end of life, is wrong then do it your way, whatever that is – and let me do it my way. Don’t force your views on me because you think you have all the right answers and I won’t interfere with your decisions about how you choose to experience your last days. And I’m referring here to people who have been given 6 months or less to survive a terminal illness, are in intractable pain or unbearable agony or suffering, and choose not to prolong their life.

That choice is still limited by the ability to self-administer the medication and therein lies the crux of the problem. If the person waits too long and loses decision-making abilities, or there is a sudden change in health that precludes swallowing or self-administering the medication, or if the person makes the request too late for all the paperwork to be completed, there are complications. This is where the law comes in. We can’t have people recklessly giving vulnerable people life-ending medications, or physicians or insurance companies or the government deciding when life no longer has value.

The law that was passed in Oregon takes into account the legal aspects of the issue to the extent that we can protect the vulnerable and protect physicians, hospice workers, pharmacists and families, from prosecution for helping a dying person carry out their wishes for a peaceful ending to their physical existence. This law has stood the test of time with no slippery slope or mass extinction for 17 years and is the basis for the laws passed in Washington, Vermont, and pending a vote in several other states.

Studies among physicians reveal a majority of physicians would refuse treatment and consider Death with Dignity for themselves, but they would suggest continuing treatments to their patients. They have the hypocrisy to claim that an oath written 2500 years ago by people who believed the earth was flat, and gods and goddesses ruled over humanity, told them to do no harm and give no poison. What really is the harm if the person is dying and is in considerable pain?

Which leads us to consider religious views that claim God said this or that, or a Jesus or a Mohammed said this or that, and believe that their holy book or their dogma is the one and only truth – and that it applies to the rest of us. And many people don’t believe… that there is even a God or a Jesus or a Mohammed to have a say so in the matter. Then we have many ethical atheists who think we only have one life and have no right to end it on our own terms.

We live in a world where millions of people die every day, often sick, hungry, dehydrated, neglected or savagely beaten, enslaved, decapitated, electrocuted, eviscerated, drowned, bombed, burned alive, as if they were meaningless cockroaches. But suddenly we become concerned and know what’s best for some poor person who has been suffering terribly with some dreadful disease or condition, and only asks for a peaceful death with dignity in the privacy of their own bedrooms, surrounded by their loved ones.

I hope Brittany Maynard’s plight will be an awakening to all you who have doubts about what is the right thing to for you in a situation like she is facing and begin to see that death is a sacred journey into whatever comes next. We will all go through it, we need to recognize that it is a graduation, not the end of our journey.

The message from my near-death experience is that We Don’t Die! Death of the body is not the end of life – life goes on and there is so much more to look forward to beyond the veil of illusion.

Peace & Joy!

Diane

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How do you make end of life healthcare decisions?

Of a certain age…

by Diane Goble, Columnist, The Nugget News, April 16, 2014

My best friend just had her second mastectomy last week. In the last two years, she’s had her gall bladder removed, a lumpectomy, a mastectomy and now this one. She says the good news is that she’s lost 20 pounds and can see her toes again!

She has several messages on her cell phone asking her to call another oncologist for follow- up. She’s procrastinating. “It’s not in my lymph nodes so I’m not going for radiation or chemo,” she says. “I’m done with the medical stuff.” She insists she’s going to eat better, exercise more, take up yoga and meditation, and try to be as healthy as possible until she dies. She’s contemplating an artistic tattoo to obscure her now breastless chest.

That’s the rub. You can go through all the treatments and deal with all the side effects of them– sick as a dog and wanting to die most of the time. You maybe get a few good months and then it comes back with a vengeance and you die anyway. The outcome is the same. The difference is the quality of life in between.

This doesn’t have any thing to do with age. My friend is in her 60s, five years younger than I am. It can happen to us at any time in our lives. We have jobs to get to, children to raise, relationships to deal with, bills to pay, retirement to plan for, and then suddenly we have to make these decisions about what we want and don’t want because we are diagnosed with a serious illness or have a life-threatening accident.

I had a stage IV melanoma a while back. Had the Moh’s surgery, no problems, no lymph node involvement. That follow-up oncologist wanted to do radiation and possibly chemo, but I said no thanks. I’ve been in remission for almost 8 years. That doesn’t mean it won’t still come back. One or two spots I’d probably have them removed but that with a vengeance thing not so much. I’ll start planning for the end of my days.

I don’t have a problem with dying. I did that once. Drowned. It was a fantastic journey home and back again. I expect it to be the same the next time, only without the back again, so I look forward to moving on to what comes next… because I know there’s a next. Of course I’ll miss my family and friends but I know I’ll see them again soon.

My concern is more about what will happen to me while I’m still in a body. I refuse to put up with Alzheimer’s. Any inkling of that and I’m making my going away party plans before I forget how! I’ve filled out my Advance Healthcare Directive and appointed a non-family member as my healthcare representative so my children don’t have to make any decisions. They don’t want to talk about it so I sent them their copies and included a video of me telling them my decisions about what I want and don’t want. I’d opt for a heart attack over a prolonged illness, but if it were an illness, I’d be working on the paperwork process for physician aid-in-dying the moment I got that 6 months to live diagnosis then I’d keep working my Bucket List!

So how does one decide what they want at the end of their life? It has to be based on one’s own beliefs and values, not forced on you by someone else’s biases. Talk to your family, your doctor, your spiritual advisor, search your soul, search the Internet… meditate, pray, talk to God or a tree. Educate yourself about the process. There are some good videos out these days about death and dying– “Consider the Conversation,” “How to Die in Oregon,” “The Day I Died: The mind, the brain, and near-death experiences.” The more you know, the better decisions you can make about your own healthcare at the end of life.

April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day… think about it!

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What if death is… ?

Death is always a loss no matter how you look at it and it doesn’t mean there won’t be grief, but what if…?

  • What if dying is actually a wonderful, exciting experience as near-death experiencers have described?
  • What if dying is an opportunity to celebrate the end of a wonderful human experience and a joyous return to our spiritual home and family?
  • What if death is our graduation from the University of Life on Earth and we go on to have other amazing experiences exploring consciousness at higher levels, being co-creators with God?
  • What if all those who have transitioned before us are there to greet us, and those we leave behind join us again almost before we know it because there is no time?
  • What if we exist in a multi-dimensional universe in many different forms in many different frequencies of endless possibilities?
  • What if consciousness doesn’t arise from matter, but creates matter?
  • What if our True Nature is continuous and our human lifetimes are breathing spaces along our eternal journey?
  • What if our human lives are not completely predestined and we have the free will to choose to break the cycle of death and rebirth, and move into higher consciousness and higher dimensions?
  • What if we can accelerate our progress by practicing the art of conscious dying during each human lifetime we experience?
  • What if we make the spiritual connection in a human lifetime and go directly into the Light at transition, thereby propelling our soul into the next dimension?

How wonderful would that be?

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Excepted from new book by Diane Goble

Stepping into the Light

Reframing death from a Near-Death Experience perspective

(due out in June 2014)