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  • Writer's pictureLiz Sterling

An Unexpected Death

A recent Op-Ed from Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North, wrote, “While death is inevitable, our attitude about it is not.” May I add….except when it comes unexpectedly to someone you love and care about. That’s when death is really hard to accept.

On Friday, I received a text, " Sorry, this isn’t the way I would want you to know that our good friend, Gail Shapiro-Scott, passed.” Gail was in the Wisdom Circle class eleven days ago — shining brightly and illustrating how learning and growing makes life more exciting. She drank in everything she could, to be her best self.

Gail loved creating healthy boundaries. It made her feel genuine and authentic. Often she would pause to collect her thoughts when sharing a story about communicating with a friend or loved one.

She would often remind me, of one of my favorite sayings, “You can’t choose your first morning thought — but you can choose your second.” She would always say, “How I feel is up to me.” She was truly empowered by her choices.

We are hearing, reading and beginning to discuss the inevitable…. death will take us all. The conversation is becoming ripe for discussion. I’ve read a dozen articles in the last month on the emerging shift in the baby boomers approach to our end-of-life experience.

Pipher says, “Like almost all my peers, I want to die young as late as possible. I don’t want to live beyond my energy level. I don’t want to suffer dementia or lie helpless in a hospital. I want to die while I still believe that others love me and that I am useful.”

What are your thoughts? Some people I hear from want to live forever… others say, as Pipher exclaims, “I’ve had many conversations with my family and my doctor about end-of-life decisions. My mnemonic device for all of them is, “If in doubt, snuff me out.”

Those that knew Gail Shapiro-Scott saw that she had immense joie de vivre that made everyone around her feel alive.

To life, to the inevitable, to the unexpected, to our friend, Gail…

Rest in Peace and May the Blessings Be.

The Women's Wisdom Circle

Wednesday, March 11th

Life & Death | A Short Memorial for Gail Shapiro-Scott

Levis JCC Sandler Center, Boca Raton

Membership is not required. $13 payable at the door.

21050 95th Ave S, Boca Raton, FL 33428


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