Health Related Better Endings


Why is it that so many novels, plays and films about persons afflicted with illness end with that person dying? For that matter, folks, what really is a “terminal illness?” Okay, yes, of course there are medical conditions that will be more than not likely to terminate with a person’s passing. (That condition applies to us all, “in the end.”) But there are many “better ending” scenarios that could be focused on instead of mainly spotlighting the loss and grief associated with transitioning from the body or losing a loved one. For this post I choose to focus on the many possible BETTER ENDINGS facets of such conditions.

Firstly, many people with “life-threatening” illnesses either do not succumb at all (live out a normal life span) or they survive much longer than was at first or is generally anticipated. In such cases, such ‘illness’ conditions offer the person many tremendously positive opportunities for growth, improved health, and greater spiritual awareness or empowerment. These outcomes can be beneficial regardless of the progression, or reversal or remission, of the health condition leading to such positive results.


Carolyn Myss, in her well known 1996 book, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can ( , looks carefully at  some possible cultural or ‘energetic’ aspects of health conditions as well as healing. She asks why it is that sometimes a person might “hold onto” an illness condition, choosing to continue with “unhealthy” behaviors rather than choosing to make some possibly health-improving changes.

As a Better Endings theme, I invite you to think of some health-related story you are familiar with that “ends badly” (to you) or perhaps is too predictably about a character’s eventual decline and their loved ones’ loss and adjustment.


Steel Magnolias (, for example, is a movie I cannot even watch fully through a second time because it caused me to sob throughout the last scenes and for probably an hour afterwards when I watched it for the first time. M’lynn’s daughter Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) suffers from a severe diabetic condition which she dies from while giving birth to her son after marrying the man of her dreams. Shelby’s mother (played brilliantly by Sally Fields) tries to persuade her daughter not to bring her pregnancy to term, knowing the dangers.  Shelby risks these dangers to bear her husband a child and she dies as a consequence.

A Better Endings scenario might have found Shelby and her Louisiana born and bred husband Jackson (played by Dylan McDermott) deciding to adopt rather than to risk Shelby’s life in this manner. It could have been about the joy of adopting a child from China or Nicaraugua, for instance, and the joy that child brings to all in the community rather than spotlighting the loss and grief M’lynn and the rest of the family endure.


Please all, I am NOT saying that death and bereavement are ‘bad’ occurrences in themselves or that they are by any means often ‘unnecessary’ or avoidable.  All I am getting at here is that illness or other heavily impactful circumstances are opportunities for positive growth and reflection, whatever the outcomes. We can celebrate all the potential GOOD that might come about from our positive responses to these conditions in our own lives or others’ rather than stigmatizing or even sometimes marginalizing people ‘afflicted’ with such challenging life conditions.


images are from

I welcome your comments and stories.

Contemplation Seeds



For our Tuesday “prompts day” about the weekly topic of Health and Healing Better Endings, I’d like to offer you some “contemplation seeds,” beginning with life coach Dawn Abraham’‘s thoughtful affirmation above.

Writers, journallers, artists, poets, meditators and contemplators, photographers, life coaches and health care professionals—I invite you to plant a seed or more from the pod below.  From applying the nourishment of your careful attention, what insights will emerge?

  • A time when you learned  valuable life lessons from an ailment related situation
  • The most “Well” time of your life (past, present or envisioned future)
  • What you have experienced from a chronic health condition and tips for enduring or improving upon your condition
  • Best Practices: Wellness or healing tips (e.g. a Top 10 List)
  • Body-Emotion-Mind-Body Wellness interconnections
  • Healthy Thinking/ Healthy Habits/ Living Well
  • Wellness is a state of consciousness (regardless of ‘health’ matters)


If one or more of these contemplation seeds resonates with your own experience or memories, I invite you to write about, actively contemplate, discuss, or artistically express your insights. I sincerely hope that some of these prompts might serve as useful seedlings for your own emergent awareness. I welcome any insights you might choose to share with us here, through your comments, guest blogs, references to good reading material or other tips that have helped you or that you use in your own caring practice, or stories!


To Your Total Health!


encourage your stories and insights about Health and Healing Better Endings this week. What are some of your best health & healing tips? I have already spotted a couple of blogs to share some re-posts from this week, as several of you have blogs or websites in this area and have greater knowledge and experience than I do in this domain.

We can define Health as whatever your current Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit condition just IS; from this perspective we all “have” our Health, so what matters in terms of Better Endings is what we do with or about our current state of Total Health, which we can define as our degree of Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit “wellness”. Wellness is a subjective matter, and someone might have a physical illness requiring medical care, yet they might practice mental, emotional or spiritual activities which raise their level of general wellness to a high degree.

You might start reflecting  on your Total Health by filling in percentages or maybe adjectives (or pictures) for each of the quadrants in the Medicine Wheel image below. For example, you might rate your sense of wellness for each quadrant.


When I do this reflection, I see what areas could use a boost. “Body” comes out weakest in my personal wellness scale right now, because I have not been getting enough physical exercise. Of course, all of these aspects of our Total Health system are interdependent. That means a less than well condition in any one of these quadrants of the Medicine Wheel might affect the others. However, this also means you can ‘borrow’ or apply strengths from a “more well” aspect to help you to improve the other aspects of your Total Health. So, for instance, last week I started feeling like I might be losing a battle with my immunity to cold germs I am often exposed to where I work. So I did a spiritual contemplation which resulted in my choosing to go to the gym (after 2 months without going) and I added more fresh veggies and certain vitamins. So far, I have withstood breaking out with a cold, but more than that, I have been contemplating more deeply, too.


All components of your Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit Total Health are interconnected. Each aspect is an important source of Life Energy, experience, and expression.

Salute a te!