SHARON ZIFF, RN
As a Hospice Nurse for 12 years at Memorial Hospice, Sharon Ziff, RN, learned about death; the importance of preparations; and dying with dignity from her many patients. From these experiences, Sharon was moved to learn more about how we as a society, and as individuals, have treated aging, illness and death.
Since retiring from full-time nursing, Sharon has dedicated herself to breaking the taboo associated with speaking about death. Hence the name “Let’s Speak About Death.” Sharon is wholly committed to helping her community gain knowledge to best prepare themselves and their loved ones for a good “final chapter” and how to face death with dignity.
All her life, Sharon has been a community activist. Her belief in collaboration with other advocates for change led her to multiple community associations in which she spearheaded the combining of public and private partnerships. Before moving to Santa Rosa, Sharon lived in Southern California where she was active in local politics. Sharon was Chair of the Environmental Committee in the local Chamber of Commerce as well as sitting on the Education Foundation Board. These positions taught Sharon a deeper understanding of the importance of networking and forming relationships that lead to win-win solutions.
Sharon has been a life-long believer and student of holistic health and the self-care practices of nutrition, yoga, exercise and mindfulness meditation. Upon retirement, Sharon was certified in the specialized program, “Authentic Presence: Contemplative Care for End of Life Practitioner.”
Her authentic passion led Sharon to develop workshops and programs to help individuals and their families prepare for conscious end-of-life transitions using body, mind and spiritual practices.
If you don’t deal with end-of-life issues now, you may lose control over decisions that are made on how you live out the last years, months, weeks, days of your life. Now is the time to make decisions about your care and quality of life for both yourself and your loved ones.
Kathy Story, MFT
As a social worker at our local Hospice, I worked with nurse Sharon Ziff for many years, and can heartily endorse her sensitivity and skills in the area of death and dying. Sharon and I often met together with patients and their family members to introduce them to the ideas and practices of hospice care, we admitted patients to Hospice Services when they would so choose, and we shared in the delivery of care for pain and symptom management and emotional support until the time of the patient’s death. I loved to work with Sharon because she always came to the work with an ability to listen deeply and discern what was most important to each patient/family; she gently facilitated the sharing of precious end-of-life thoughts, feelings, concerns, and needs. She knows the profound importance of each person’s individual life story as they anticipate death, and she unfailingly wants to hear and appreciate each of those stories. She is aware of the great vulnerability that facing death brings to a person/family, and also of the quiet courage that is required of people as they come to the end of their life, and she accompanies people at this time with tenderness and warmth. Sharon consistently weds a matter-of-fact attitude with deep respect for the ultimate mystery of death, and she is an experienced guide who will effectively support those who are ready to look at the deepest mystery of life. In this challenging time which raises the issue of mortality for all of us, it is so important to be considering our feelings regarding end-of-life, and the understanding of and sharing of those thoughts and feelings is something Sharon Ziff is uniquely able to facilitate. Those who choose to explore this most critical aspect of life with Sharon will be in good hands!
Facilitator: Speaking of Death...Cafes in Sonoma County Awakening to Life and Death: Community Collaboration to Navigate End Of Life
Talking about death and dying is a conversation we don’t generally engage in. We may be reluctant to speak directly to what is unfinished. Whether it be our directives , designating accumulations, addressing our relationships, or making peace with ourselves, its important. I have collaborated with Sharon Ziff in community education to prepare for our dying. The wisdom, experience and safety she brings, has been a great contribution. Committed to end of life work for years, she is compassionate and supportive. She is an advocate, a medical professional, and an experienced guide in the transformative process of our final stage. We are fortunate that she is broadening her experience a Hospice Nurse, to engage the community in the completion of a lifetime.
Bonnie Ferber Hart RN BSN
Sharon is a Hospice Nurse and has personal experiences with death and dying which provides her as a great resource and support and counsel those facing end of life decisions and issues. As a colleague and friend, I feel comfortable recommending her as a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable person in the field.
Attitude is an essential component not only in traversing the path toward the end of life, but in preparation for its exploration as well. Sharon Ziff is the ideal companion to help illuminate the uncertainty, and explore the array of questions and concerns about what may lay ahead in our quest to understand the end of life and the mysteries which surround it. Sharon sets the table for a perfect teacher/student partnership with her quietly confident communication skills, her willingness to share her experience during her many years as a hospice nurse, and her unique ability to gently guide those who are willing to travel a path that leads to what can only be described as a more comfortable trip into learning about the typically taboo topic of “death.”