Our Work in the World

Polly Posten: A Caretaker Facing End of Life With Grace…

Last year we introduced you to our latest offering, Living ‘til the End, a program that helps people facing end of life – and their caretakers – discover simple ways to find comfort, ease, and relief in this difficult period of life. Since we’re still in early days, we continue to raise awareness and work closely with volunteer ambassadors and participants in shaping this program.

 

One of our most recent participants is Polly Posten, who we had the pleasure of meeting at Pathways this past spring when we led a 90-minute experiential partner session and introduction to Living ‘til the End. As a naturally curious person, Polly attended the workshop in hopes of learning how to apply a mind-body practice and approach to her life as a caretaker to Bill, her husband of more than 40 years who lives with stage 4 prostate cancer and other chronic conditions. At the Pathways session, Polly really felt how giving and receiving support can create a profound difference in one’s approach to living along with the benefit and joy found in playful movement. In her words, “Playing together… It is so simple and refreshing.”

 

After learning more about our approach, Polly says that she immediately felt connected to MBS and the people she met at the Pathways event which led her to join the LttE program. Once enrolled in LttE, participants are matched up with a trained MBS ambassador for up to six in-home visits where together they explore simple mind-body practices that address grounding, expansion, balance, and rhythm. Depending on an ambassador’s personal experience and interests, they may also incorporate other elements during their sessions such as reading, meditation, and breathwork. Polly’s ambassador, Kathy Dahl, is a voracious reader so it only felt natural and appropriate for Kathy to share passages from some of her favorite authors such as David Whyte. Polly really enjoyed this personal touch and found great comfort when Kathy would invite her to lay down during the final moments of their sessions and read to her. Polly recalls these moments as being some of the most insightful. In the quiet space, she felt she was able to come home to herself. “It was so opening and welcoming. As I lay there, I felt open to good things. I could come right into me…”

 

As Polly wraps up her six visits and time in the program, she says she will continue to weave these practices into her life and in the time she spends with Bill. Though he didn’t directly participate in LttE, Polly believes that he too absorbed some of the practices. She sees him sitting taller and can’t help but notice him expanding into the space around him. She also notes that in just a short time, he has become more spontaneous, intimate, and open. One can’t help but wonder if these transformations have actually occurred because of Polly, who by all accounts has always been curious, open, and full of life… But, she gives credit to Living ‘til the End and MBS in helping her discover greater joy during this period of her and Bill’s life. As Polly says, “All of our days are numbered but we all have the capacity to see and feel the lovely focus of the moment.”

 

The Living ’til the End program is completely free to participants, made possible through the generosity of donors. To support this important and transformative program, please consider making a gift. Thank you for helping shape healing stories for those facing end of life and their loved ones…