There was an interesting human interest story in today's Boston Globe about an elderly cancer patient in hospice care who had been an active square dancer, and how her hospice program arranged to have a square dance group come to her nursing home so she could have one last dance: (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/20/shes_square_with_life/)
At the end of the article, she is quoted as saying, "I know I'm going to die one day but it doesn't bother me. I don't think about dying. I believe in afterlife. I assume there's a heaven. . . . I'll let you know if I get there." This got me to thinking how differently people respond to similar circumstances. I don't believe in an afterlife; I think when I die it will just be a return to the same nothingness as before my birth. I believe that the only "afterlife" is the way one lives on in people's memories, and it has been so gratifying to me to hear from so many people who appreciate the work I've done and the positive effect I've had on their lives. So I feel confident that I will live on in the memories of many, many people, and that thought gives me great comfort.
I also feel confident that if I were to ask my hospice people to help me fulfill some similar wish, they would do whatever they could to make it happen.