Guideposts Magazine articles
about The Final Words Project
The Final Words Project portends to revolutionize what we know about death and dying.
Become an important part of this groundbreaking research by
sharing your accounts of puzzling
or fascinating final words or conversations.
If you would like to connect more deeply with someone you love in the last days or weeks of life, listen with an open ear and heart. Write down the words--no matter how puzzling they may seem. You may be surprised later by what they reveal to you.
Treat final words like your own private oracle, and you will find love and wisdom in them. Even when it may seem the words you are hearing are completely nonsensical, take the time to write them down when you can.
If you did not speak French, but you heard others speaking it, you might think what French people were saying was utter nonsense.
In the same way, if you knew nothing about weddings, you might think the words "I do" were meaningless and would not know why or how these two words repeated had the power to dramatically change lives.
Words not only have meanings, they also perform certain functions, such as wedding vows. FWP is studying both the meanings and functions of language at end of life.
Our working assumption is that the language of dying, like the language of living, has both meaning and purpose. We hope that as we catalogue and analyze the speech of those at the threshold, we will better understand the significance and function of the language.
It is possible that the language of end of life is a "transitional" language that emerges as we transition from life here on earth to another life,
or another dimension--what some people call "heaven" or "the afterlife." Deathbed conversation offers some indication that, indeed, another realm may exist beyond this one.