Follow-up panel discussion on death set for Aug. 6


By Joan Mieritz

Special to The PREVIEW

There will be a follow-up panel discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 1 p.m. in the Ruby Sission Library large meeting room. If you did not attend the first meeting, you are welcome to join us at this session. We appreciate both questions and input from all participants.

The members of our panel will again include Archuleta County Coroner Brandon Bishop, a grief counselor, the Hospice of Mercy social worker and a representative from a local mortuary. We will have a report on the possible local option for cremation that is in the planning stage. This was brought up in July by a participant, which is why we value individual contributions. Hopefully, we will have more time for discussion this month or perhaps have an additional meeting in the future.

The ultimate goal of this meeting is that each person at a future time will have a valuable discussion with their family so that better decisions can be made through openly knowing thoughts and wishes. We will have advanced directives available.

Our initial meeting on July 22 was very informative. One of the most interesting things we found out is that every person who dies in Archuleta County will have an autopsy unless they die in the hospital or are in hospice.

We also talked about Proposition 106, called the End of Life Options Act, which was passed by Colorado voters in 2016. We were the sixth state to pass such a law. In 2017, 69 Colorado residents, and in 2018, 125 Colorado residents made use of the options provided by this act. The Internet is the best place to find more information. The procedures seem to be well-organized and reasonable in difficulty, meaning that it is simple, straight forward and comprehensive.

The Pagosa Earth Community is doing this program to honor the memory of Dr. Karen Goodwin, who was a founding member of the Pagosa Earth Community. People were asked to do something to make the world a better place in her memory. We hope this will be a fitting tribute to a wonderful, talented and conscientious friend who is greatly missed.

This may seem like an unpleasant topic, but it is often empowering to face reality. Death can have a positive impact on our lives. Since it is inevitable, we might as well make it positive and have some control.

We ask you to mark your calendar for a stimulating and inspiring talk by Fran Korten. She will be speaking in the library’s large meeting room on Sept. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. There are so many topics that she could talk about. She will allow time for questions.

She and her husband, David Korten, who wrote “When Corporations Rule the World,” are the reasons we have a Pagosa Earth Community. They started YES Magazine, which is available at the library. The Pagosa Earth Community is open to everyone. We hope you will decide to come to our programs and become an active member.