Such a simple quote from William James but it resonates with many of us.
Life is what we make it and regardless of what we achieve on this earth we are all valued for who we are.
A diagnosis of terminal illness can happen to people of all ages and is a difficult burden to bear.
A prognosis of how long you have left to live is not always possible. Some terminally ill patients are aware of approximately how long they have to live, but not always how the quality of their life will be for them.
Georgia Martin helps terminally ill people to fulfil their last wishes, realise their dreams and even attend their own living funeral. Sometimes a small private tea party, lunch or supper with loved ones is a perfect way to say goodbye. If they are well enough and have the blessing of their medical professionals, some people want to travel to a special place or visit family overseas. With Georgia's gentle, mindful and meticulous planning she can make something wonderful happen in your last weeks or months.
No parent ever dreams of outliving their children. Coping with a terminal diagnosis for a young adult is desperately hard for their loved ones. But what about the young person them self? They have only just started out in life's great journey and they are going to miss so many rites of passage - graduation, first job, living-together with a partner, marriage,the opportunity to have their own children and so much more. It must weight heavy on their innermost thoughts.
A gathering to celebrate a young life can be healing for family and friends but most importantly can be an opportunity for a young adult to say a very special and meaningful goodbye. It's a brave decision for anyone but especially when all those future celebrations that we all take for granted are being denied.
So, have your 'coming of age' party with joy and light, with fun and frivolity, with meaningful thoughts expressed. Let your teenager or young twenty-something know how proud you are of them and give them an opportunity to shine in their own special light on their own special day. Throw a ball, have a disco, a beach party or a camping adventure with toasted marshmallows, guitars and warm blankets... The choices are infinite and being involved in the planning will be rewarding and positive for everyone.
Raise money for charity
So many young people are involved in charity fund-raising and we've all been inspired and amazed by the energy and generosity of young people. Why not carry forward a lasting legacy? A fund-raising party would be one way to create a lasting memory which lives on to benefit others.
Talk to Georgia about the many ways a young life can be celebrated, remembered and carried forward for good.
This is a very sensitive decision to make for any grieving parent. Your child may have been very ill from birth and time is running out for them, for you, your wider family and for the carers of your sick child. Saying goodbye is going to be impossibly heart-wrenching - especially if you have to make a decision which will end their life after all other possible options have been explored by the medical team.
Georgia will help you in her gentle way to make contact with the people you want to attend your beautiful goodbye. She can arrange an appropriate meaningful occasion to enable you, your guests and the staff who have been caring for your child and reassure them about what to expect. There might be music, poems, a story or, if the child is a little older, a favourite children's TV programme to share together. You might want to video the occasion or have a professional photographer present.
These special goodbye occasions are usually held in a hospital, children's hospice or, if all the support can be put in to place, at your home. This is not the time for a party or a celebration of a life well lived. This is the time to gather around your nearest relatives and dearest friends. These are the people who have been with you through your trials and it is an opportunity for them to say goodbye.
Whatever you choose Georgia will ensure that the occasion meets your needs with integrity and tenderness and gives you the opportunity to mark a special moment in time for you and your child.
Your illness may make you feel vulnerable and fragile as well as not being well. In these situations it would be easier for you to have a small, gentle gathering of close family and friends at a place you feel safe and cared for.
You can ask Georgia to arrange a celebration that suits your taste and reflects your personality, as well as leaving all the organising beforehand and afterwards in her capable hands. She can take care of the guest list, the catering and servers, the flowers, and any other special personal touch you would like.
Afternoon tea is a perfect choice if you're not able or well enough to cope with a gathering that lasts longer than an hour or so. Georgia can liaise with your hospice to provide a suitable welcoming area for your guests. She can organise caterers, help you make a speech (if that's what you'd like) or hire a pianist or singer for entertainment.
If you'd like to have your small celebration at home or in your garden Georgia can arrange for extra chairs, tables and decorations. She can help you your guest list and writing and sending invitations as well as looking after the responses.
If you're feeling pretty good and have a longer time left to live and enjoy life, a grand 'Living Funeral' party to celebrate your wonderful life, friends and family might be just your style!
It could be a no-holds-barred party with a special theme, a wonderful lavish setting, a marquee perhaps - or even a castle! You could offer your guests fine champagne (or fine prosecco!), delicious canapes, a memorable meal and lots and lots of dancing!
If a lavish affair is not your style you could have a wonderful party in an unusual location - a converted barn, a windmill, a unique property, stately home or super hotel. With Georgia's experience as an event organiser you can be sure you'll have a send off party that everyone will enjoy and remember for ever.
A living funeral is a unique and special opportunity to express your appreciation to friends and family in person, before the inevitable happens. A living funeral is not necessarily held instead of a traditional funeral or memorial service, but as a joyous, meaningful celebration of life.
There is a growing trend towards celebrating life with a living funeral. The event can be a simple gathering for those closest to you, perhaps including lunch or afternoon tea or it could be an elaborate party, meticulously planned with music, dancing, entertainment and catering.
Unlike traditional funerals time will be on your side. You will be able to invite the people that matter to you and plan your beautiful goodbye. Living funerals also allow the guest of honour to be involved in the planning before they experience the love and support of the people who have been an important part of their lives.
There are many good reasons why a dying person would want to get married to the person they love prior to their passing. Marriages and blessings can take place in a hospice, hospital, a religious building, a hotel or any special venue licensed for weddings. Georgia can arrange any kind of wedding - large and small - and take care of everything from sending out the invitations to being with you on your special day to make sure everything runs as you want it to do.
Married couples feel they want to renew their wedding vows as a separate occasion or part of a living funeral.
Making a will is a wise decision and often includes a charitable donation in your name. But what about leaving something more personal to those you will leave behind? Something that's not about money but more about remembrance.
Georgia can make sure that your wishes are carried out - be it a bouquet of flowers delivered for an anniversary or a hand written letter delivered on a special day.
You may have a library of special books and you'd like your friends and family to select what they want from your collection. They might be your treasured cookery or gardening books, or special first editions. Whatever the subject your loved ones will be delighted to make their choice and receive a handwritten Ex Libris note from you.
Georgia can help you make and write hand-written bookplates ready to be inserted into the book your friends choose.
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