Welcome to Livingly Dying


Welcome to a space dedicated to the process of livingly dying – staring at imminent mortality and yet residing in the world of the living. More and more of us are finding the words terminally ill and chronic illness co-mingle. We are living longer and better despite a dire diagnosis/prognosis. But the path is not easy.

We bounce between denial, deep despair, and sheer optimism. All the while, many of us face treatment regimes that whittle us down and a current culture in the United States unfamiliar with sitting with death and dying. These writings will be of most value for:
a. people navigating the balance of living when told you are dying
b. people pursuing creative approaches, especially those stimulating our immune systems to fight back the diseases trampling us
c. people interested in witnessing one person living each day with terminal illness.
Livingly Dying Essays, Clinical Trial & Creative Approaches,  and Medical Industrial Complex Woes make up the three categories on the lower right column of the front page allowing you easy access to content that most interests you. To receive new posts click the follow button in the upper right column. I share my journey to support collective efforts to live well while dying. I am feeling my way out loud. Thank you for joining me. Comments are always welcome, in fact, they cheer on the process. If you scroll below this welcome, you will find the running narrative with most current post on top.


Alive! Three years into the cancer journey

Alive! Four + years into the terminally living journey.

Marcy Westerling – marcy@rop.org

14 responses »

  1. Finally signed on to the blog. Wow! It is beautifully designed! And your essays are as eloquent, honest, and thought provoking than ever. I feel privledged that you are sharing this journey. Thank you Marcy. Love you, miss you.

  2. Luv ur blog! Just happened onto it today…love the look! As a fellow chronic I love your spirit! We may as well keep living…and enjoying…and being. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  3. Marcy,

    Your comment on my blog post “The Disabled: Different Yet the Same” at Greatgourdini.wordpress.com brought me here. I cannot fathom what it must be like to stare one’s mortality in the face as one copes with a terminal diagnosis. As I have written elsewhere on my blog, we cannot control how we leave this life, or when. The only thing we can do is do our best to live whatever time we have between now and then as well as possible. It seems as though you are succeeding on that score, and I congratulate you. None of us is perfect; we all have moments we wish we could do over (better, this time! ;-D) But it does seem as though, as you reflect back on your life, it has been more with fondness than with regret, for which I also congratulate you.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, keep up the great work here for as long as you feasibly can.

  4. Dear Marcy, Thank you for your blog. In case it helps anyone…My mum was orphaned before 5 years old so I trained as a teacher and counsellor. I spent the last 6 years interviewing people who had their parent/s die when they were kids. I found out the most important things people wished they knew from or about their dead parent which would have helped them or given them solace in life. I made a free video-recording, question-prompting app so we can all record ourselves for those closest to us – you can edit the questions to suit you – all good wishes, Gaby Eirew http://www.RecordMeNow.org

  5. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be
    on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while
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  6. Wow. I like to check out the blogs of people who coment on my posts, and since my blog (The Bullshit-Free Zone) is a place for crass language, outrageously incendiary claims, satirical ridicule and offensive humor, I generally expect to find othe cynics like myself commenting on the blog. But I did not expect to find this. I really admire what you’re doing. My mother lasted seven months after her stage IV cervical cancer diagnosis, and she kept on acting as if she was gonna be okay. She kept a very positive attitude, but I don’t think she ever actually confronted the reality of mortality. What you’re doing is so constructive, and to have made it three years doing this is truly a blessing, already beating the odds that weren’t in your favour to begin. Rest assured that I’ll keep reading until the day the posts stop coming!

    • And I love your approach, including your ability to admit that yes, the day will come when I die. I fret the societal pressure we give people to stay positive in a one dimensional way when, in fact, there is nothing more appropriate then taking time to consider approaching death. It’s a gift to have such time. Women especially tend to never give themselves that time because they feel their job is to stay strong.
      warmly, marcy

      • Do keep us updated on your prognosis. I find myself cheering for cancer patients fighting the good fight, trying to beat it as long as they possibly can. Even though my mom wasn’t able to make it the five years like I’d hoped, I feel a bit of joy every time I hear of someone else getting closer to that mark.

  7. It is the best time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to
    be happy. I’ve read this put up and if I may I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
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    • Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. The August edition of the Quarterly Yes! magazine will have an essay by me on the topic and now that I am getting a break from chemo and travel, I do hope to write some more.

      Also, if you scroll down the right side of the home page, you will find a category called Livingly Dying Essays which does include some other writings.

      warmly, marcy

  8. Marcy,
    I read an article by you in the yes! magazine that a friend gave me; i was so excited! I just followed Lisa Adams and your blog; i was trying to figure out how to send you an email but couldn’t….
    i blog at helpforhealing… i have a raw and honest style of writing as well and loved what you wrote; i wrote a book about my husband’s terminal illness and am soon publishing my second book on rebuilding our lives after his death….

    anyhow, if you want to guest blog or interview with me i would love it; if you were interested in reviewing my second book and writing a blurb for the back cover, i would also be honored!

    my email is darcy.helpforhealing@verizon.net

    thank you for what you do!!

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