“I’m kind of excited about it,” my mom, who was in hospice care, said to her best friend just days before her passing.

“Excited about what?’ Her friend replied.

“You know…” Mom said as she rolled her eyes back, cocked her head to one side and stuck out her tongue. They both laughed.

“What about it excites you?” Her friend inquired.

“The mystery.” mom said with a smile.

I love this story about my mom’s final days. The notion that she was reluctantly open to the mysterious realm she was about to enter and could laugh about it fills my heart with relief. Despite the months of fear, denial and heartbreak this “mystery” encompassed for my mom and all who loved her, we each came to recognize there was nothing we could do to stop it. And so we had no other choice but to give in, allow and accompany her as far as we were able. The rest was up to her.

That moment came days later as my sister, brother and I surrounded her bed, holding her hands and telling beautiful and funny stories about what we would miss most. It was the most powerful moment of my life. It was a beautiful death.

This month’s feature is about honoring that sacred mystery and consciously approaching life’s ultimate transition with intention and openness. My hope is that this topic opens doors and allows new questions to be considered for those facing their own end-of-life journey, as well as family and friends accompanying them.

Our community spotlight features Hospice of North Idaho, a nonprofit organization that will always have a very special place in my heart. They took care of my mom and our family during the most difficult time of our lives, and also happened to be one of my first partners for this magazine. There are many such organizations in our area doing incredible work for those facing their own end-of-life journey, as well as supporting those around them.

I think we would all agree that in order to keep our bodies balanced and pain-free, we need a good chiropractor. But how do you know what type of chiropractic care is right for you? We highlight the questions to ask when looking for a chiropractor, and detail the most common chiropractic methods and techniques available. We also have several articles from local practitioners, including a unique method called Quantum Spinal Mechanics (QSM3) as explained by upper cervical chiropractor Dr. Kim White.

October’s issue also includes articles on fermented foods, bone density exercises, mindfulness for kids and a fun natural pet article on working dogs, which includes a local therapy dog named Normie.

This issue is dedicated to the memory of my dearly loved mother, Sandy Pratt, who is still the light of my life. It is also dedicated to all those experiencing their own form of loss, grief, endings and new beginnings. Know you are not alone.

In health and wellness,

Amber McKenzie