Documentary Filmmaker to speak in Rockford Thursday

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The end of life is very much a part of life, yet sometimes those conversations and decisions are the toughest to make, or even talk about.

Filmmaker Carolynn Jones made a PBS documentary on that very subject, called “Defining Hope” Jones made a previous photo book and film about the nursing industry. But, she felt there was more to say about palliative care and hospice care nurse; with the idea that everyone one of us is going to die, but focusing on what makes life worth living is a positive way for patients and families to make great choices on how to die with dignity.

"I had spoken to, at that point, maybe 120 nurses,” said Jones. And I realized the one topic that kept coming up was that we're just not dying very well in this country. We don't want to talk about it. We're not prepared for it. So I got very possessed by this idea that i could make a film that could help make people better understand what choices they have at the end of life."

Jones says one thing that was evident when making this film is that every family is different when coping with the impending death of a loved one.

"It was remarkably different. You know one mindset is all about fixing us. I'm going to fix you and make you better. And the other is, not so much about fixing us but really about helping us find our way to the end in the way that's least painful and kind of the most positive."

You can see the PBS documentary “Defining Hope” Thursday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at the UIC College of Medicine. Carolyn Jones will be there to answer questions after the presentation. You can register at 779-696-8050 for the free event sponsored by all three Rockford hospitals, Transform Rockford, and UIC College of Medicine. You can also show up the day of the event without registering, but there is no guarantee of being fed before the program in that scenario.