#PeopleofNEI: Lauren, walking people through death and grief

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people and places shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI #PlacesofNEI

This week's feature:

Lauren is a mother, wife, creative, and end-of-life advocate. She grew up in Fort Wayne (her grandfather was the Wolf & Dessauer Santa Claus) and lives in 46807 with her husband and two daughters. She is actively involved in the community not only in people’s lives but also as many face the end of their life. “Fort Wayne is an amazing place to raise a family. We love it and have really found our tribe here. There’s a closeness I don’t think we could find anywhere else. I like being in places where I am part of change and pushing for what is next. I always want to find ways to make it better. This path is something I was interested in since I was a child. I was always curious why death freaks us out. When I thought about the reality of a death of someone close to me, I realized I would want them to have a support that isn’t available. I knew I could advocate for my own family, and if I could do it for mine I could do it for others. It’s important that people understand that grief and mourning are two different things. Grief is a biological reaction to a death or loss. Mourning is actively choosing to move through grief. Mourning is a choice and we don’t know how to do it because we’ve lost all the social markers. There’s no path to follow. When we reject death and dying completely, we miss out on what makes us human. My passion is about starting conversations regarding what it is like to embrace dying, and how to spend our time. When facing a death, everyone deserves to have someone in their corner. I have become an advocate, hand-holder, researcher, buffer, protector, guide, and a safe place. Death is a doorway and uncertainty scares people, but we can companion each other through it. Death affects us all and it is one of the few experiences every single one of us will encounter. I help people whether they are single and need an end of life plan, or if someone is facing a diagnosis and are scared and don’t know where to start. We have an opportunity to live well and die well. Culturally the scales are tipped against dying well. You have to fight for it. We can’t fix death. We can’t take away a diagnosis, but we can be with someone until the end.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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