EOLPodcast

Ep. 249 Improving Advance Directives by Using Video Technology with Fred Mirarchi MD

Learn how video tech is revolutionizing advance directives and about special training for death doulas to become ACP educators.

My guest Dr. Fred Mirarchi is an emergency medicine physician and the principal investigator of the TRIAD Research Series (The Realistic Interpretation of Advance Directives.) He’ll discuss how his research has confirmed that there is a nationwide patient safety risk due to confusion surrounding living wills, DNR and POLST orders. We will also talk about MIDEO, which is a video advance directive and physician’s medical order that improves both the quality and safety of advance care planning, AND his initiative to provide doulas with training to become ACP educators. Learn more at these websites:

www.mideocard.com

www.institutehcd.com

Listen here:

Improving Advance Directives by Using Video Technology

This episode includes:

  • Significant problems with living wills and POLST orders revealed by TRIAD research
    • poorly understood by patients
    • misinterpreted by healthcare workers
    • forms not properly completed
  • Poor communication and lack of education create problems with advance care planning
  • “Effective” living will document differs from “Active” living will, which is triggered by a terminal event
  • Why video is more effective than a paper form for documenting patient wishes
  • How MIDEO works for creating video directives
  • Training physicians, doulas and other healthcare providers to help patients create video directives
  • How COVID-19 is currently affecting advance care planning
  • Moral injury is occurring for healthcare providers making difficult decisions during COVID-19

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get the book here: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying
  • Doula training program on ACP and MIDEO
  • Learn about MIDEO here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest Patron: Marnie McCourty. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 12: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 12: There’s something greater than us

There’s something greater than us

Featured Verse from The Tao of Death by Karen Wyatt

Verse 25

There is something greater than all the laws of Nature –

greater even than the Universe itself.

It exists outside of time,

perfect in its serenity, emptiness and wholeness.

It will never change and never die.

It is the source of all creation and all creativity.

We have no name for this infinite source and so we call it

The Way of Death.

The Way of Death exists within all things,

gives Life to all things, and

returns everything back to the original source.

The ancients say that there are four great powers in existence:

the Creative Force,

the Universe,

the Earth,

and Humankind.

Humankind must yield to the laws of the Earth.

The Earth must yield to the laws of the Universe.

The Universe must yield to the laws of the Creative Force.

The Creative Force operates through the Way of Death.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 248 The Human Journey: A Game for Families Facing Change with Sara Schneider PhD

Learn about an innovative game that helps families improve communication and face grief and change together.

My guest Sara Schneider is trained as a performance anthropologist and also has a background in writing and directing for the theatre. She is the creator of a unique game titled The Human Journey® which helps families and support groups develop the capacity for meaning-making and communication skills in the heart of change. Sara will discuss how this game can help families deal with grief in the face of change and loss. Learn more at her website:

www.the-human-journey.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How games and storytelling can be helpful for healing
  • How the Hero’s/Heroine’s Journey informs our personal and societal storytelling
  • The 3 “acts” of The Human Journey:
    • I: the struggles and strengths dealt to us in life
    • II: the hard decisions we have had to make in life
    • III: re-imagining the future
  • How COVID-19 may be calling all of us to a “Hero’s Journey” to rediscover our interconnectedness
  • How families can play The Human Journey game in person and virtually to help them communicate and heal
  • How the game can benefit families with a loved one in hospice and who are distant from one another
  • Why a facilitator or “conductor” is necessary for the game
  • How to get training to be a conductor for the game and lead people through it

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 11: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 11: To everything there is a season

To everything there is a season

Featured Verse: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 247 Reimagining Death During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Lucinda Herring

Learn some new strategies for coping with after-death care needs at a time when the funeral industry is overwhelmed.

My guest Lucinda Herring is a home funeral and green burial consultant and guide and a licensed funeral director in the state of Washington. She is the author of Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials and will share with us how to rethink home funerals and green burials during this time of change due to the coronavirus. Learn more at her website:

www.lucindaherring.com

Listen here:

Reimagining Death During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This episode includes:

  • The work of a home funeral/green burial guide
  • What happens when funeral directors are overwhelmed during the pandemic
  • How some home funeral practices can benefit families who are dealing with unplanned deaths at home
  • How being in the presence of the dead can be a gift
  • Tips for shifting energy in the room after a loved one has died
    • Clean and straighten the room
    • Open windows
    • Bring in flowers and candles
    • Play music
    • Cover the body with a lovely cloth or scarf
  • How creativity strengthens and heals us during difficult situations
  • How to “companion” dying loved ones at a distance
  • Why green burial could be a good alternative to traditional burial right now
  • How to find out where green burial grounds are located

COVID-19 is forcing us to re-weave death into our lives and into our medical system.”

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest Patrons Bob Hoffman, Elizabeth Coplan, and Patty Emmitt! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

BONUS 10: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Tims

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 10: What Life is Bringing Me Now

What Life is Bringing Me Now

Featured Quote:

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning pp. 98-99

What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. … Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. … When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”

Viktor Frankl
EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 246 Mother’s Day Grief Dialogues for Motherless Daughters with Elizabeth Coplan

Learn how stories heal grief in this special episode for Mother’s Day.

My guest Elizabeth Coplan is a playwright, educator and speaker who created the non-profit Grief Dialogues where she uses theatre as the artistic expression to open new conversations about dying, death, and grief. Today, on Mother’s Day, we will talk about the grief experience of motherless daughters and she will share some stories from Grief Dialogues: The Book. Stories of Love and Loss. Learn more at her website:

www.griefdialogues.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Elizabeth used writing to work through her own grief issues
  • How stories help us heal grief
  • The unique grief of motherless daughters
  • How Grief Dialogues is reaching out to healthcare professionals to address grief
  • Two stories from the book Grief Dialogues:
    • I am a Marionette by Megan Vered
    • Grief is Like Swimming in the Middle of the Ocean (and I hate the ocean) by Alica Forneret
  • How to submit your own story to Grief Dialogues

Out of grief comes art.”

Motto of GriefDialogues.com

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Special Episode: Vigil for Those Who are Grieving

On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will honor those who are grieving. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Those Who are Grieving
EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 9: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 9: Every Life is Precious

Every Life is Precious

Featured Poem:

Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye

A man crosses the street in rain,

stepping gently, looking two times north and south,

because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.

No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo

but he’s not marked.

Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.

He hears the hum of a boy’s dream

deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able

to live in this world

if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing

with one another.

The road will only be wide.

The rain will never stop falling.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 245 Virtual Funerals and Memorials: Innovation for Now and the Future with Noha Waibsnaider

Learn how online platforms are helping families gather for funerals and memorials during this time of isolation due to COVID-19.

My guest Noha Waibsnaider is the co-founder and CEO of GatheringUs, an online platform where communities can gather after the death of a loved one and create a memorial page or schedule an event. Her team helps people create customized ceremonies and gatherings to honor their loved ones and share comfort and support. After a very successful first year of business, Gathering Us is available at the perfect time right now to help families separated by the global pandemic come together in a meaningful way. Learn more at the website:

www.gatheringus.com

Listen here:

Virtual Funerals and Memorials

This episode includes:

  • The inspiration behind GatheringUs
  • One way in which virtual funerals can be better than in-person events
  • How a virtual funeral is conducted
  • How virtual funerals lend themselves to unique and creative celebrations
  • How virtual “reception rooms” facilitate more intimate sharing during the event
  • Why virtual funerals are likely to part of traditional funerals in the future after COVID-19
  • Why commemorations for our loved ones are especially important during this time of separation
  • How online memorial pages can help families deal with grief over time
  • “Grief Soup”: How to balance personal grief with overwhelming communal grief

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-order my book: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying
  • Interview on White Shores Podcast with Theresa Cheung
  • Interview on A Light in the Dark with Egan Orion
  • GatheringUs website
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest Patron Alan Leon! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 8: Everything is Perfect

Everything is Perfect

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 244 Creative Tools for Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Claudia Coenen

Learn how creativity can help us process our feelings of grief and sadness to become more whole during times of difficulty.

My guest Claudia Coenen is certified in grief counseling and thanatology and is also a musician, dancer, writer, and chef who utilizes creative process and somatic therapy in her work with clients. She is also the author of two books – “Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again” and “The Creative Toolkit for Working With Grief and Bereavement: A Practitioner’s Guide”. Today Claudia shares how creativity can help all of us deal with our grief and sadness as we cope with the global pandemic and some specific tools for fostering resilience and healing in a time of distress. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.thekarunaproject.com

Listen here:

Creative Tools for Grief with Claudia Coenen

This episode includes:

  • How creativity can help us deal with trauma, loss and grief
  • Why everyone is creative – even if they don’t know it
  • Creative activities for addressing fear during the pandemic
    • Fear and Action Worksheet
    • Shield Collage
    • Resilience basket
  • How various models for grief can help us get in touch with our emotions
    • Shattering of the Assumptive World
    • Meaning-making
    • Dual Process
    • Companioning Model
  • A daily ritual for acknowledging the current collective grief of humankind: Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

May we be at peace.

May we be healthy and strong.

May we be open-hearted.

May we remember we are all connected.”

from Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-Order 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying here
  • Claudia’s Website: The Karuna Project
  • Get Claudia’s Book here: Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again
  • Pre-Order Claudia’s new book here: The Creative Toolkit for Working with Grief and Bereavement
  • View Karuna Cards here
  • Shattering of the Assumptive World grief model – Ronnie Janoff-Bulman book
  • Leave a message for me at SpeakPipe.com/eolu and I’ll include it in a future episode!
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!
  • SUBSCRIBE to the podcast here

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

BONUS 7: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 7: The Angel Tree

The Angel Tree

Featured Quote:

We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.” 

Henri Nouwen
End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 243 Grief Work for Healthcare Providers with Amy Wright Glenn and Nicole Heidbreder

Learn about a course to help healthcare providers heal the pain of grief and why it’s important right now.

My two guests this week both share a passion for the full circle of life from birth to death. Amy Wright Glenn is a birth doula, hospital chaplain, author, and founder of The Institute for the Study of Birth, Death and Breath. Nicole Heidbreder is a labor and delivery and hospice nurse who teaches workshops for both birth doulas and end-of-life doulas. We will discuss the overwhelming grief affecting healthcare workers, particularly now in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the course Amy and Nicole have created to help providers heal from multiple losses and trauma.

Learn more about Amy’s work: www.birthbreathanddeath.com

Learn more about Nicole’s work: www.gracefulfusion.com

Listen here:

Grief Work for Healthcare Providers

This episode includes:

  • The connection between birth and death
  • Why grief work is important for healthcare providers
  • Why grief is largely a neglected subject in the training of healthcare providers
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding grief for medical workers right now
  • Practices that may be helpful for healthcare providers in the moment
  • What we can learn from the isolation and boundaries that COVID-19 is making essential in our society
  • What the online course Grief Work for Healthcare Providers consists of and how to join

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • FREE Course on Advance Directives here
  • Observe the Ninth
  • Vigil for Ailing Loved Ones When We Can’t Be Together – podcast
  • Amy’s Institute for the Study of Birth, Death and Breath website
  • Nicole’s Graceful Fusion website
  • Grief Work for Healthcare Providers Course
  • Leave a message for me at SpeakPipe.com/eolu and I’ll include it in a future episode!
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Bonus 6: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 6: Waiting for the Sun

Waiting for the Sun

Featured Verse:

by Rainer Maria Rilke

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 242 Death Care at Home and at a Distance for Families and EOL Doulas with Merilynne Rush

Learn about important resources for caring for loved ones and patients at home and far away.

My guest Merilynne Rush is a former hospice nurse who now practices as an End-of-Life Doula mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Death Cafe host and more. Merilynne joins me today to talk about safe practices for home funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, how to stay connected to our ill and dying loved ones, and she offers many resources for eol doulas at a distance, as well. Learn more at her website:

www.thedyingyear.org

Listen here:

Death Care at Home and at a Distance

This episode includes:

  • What a home funeral consists of and why consider one now
  • Home funeral resources:
  • How to conduct a safe home funeral during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The option of live-streaming Virtual Wakes, Visitations, or Funerals
  • Tips for staying connected to our loved ones at a distance
    • Legacy projects
    • Leave written instructions for distributing possessions after death
    • Voice recording of messages for loved ones
    • Window visit
    • Technology
  • Why early hospice admissions are important for hospital and long-term care patients
  • Tips for EOL Doulas to stay in touch with patients when visits aren’t possible (download handout below)
  • Why Advance Care Planning is essential right now
  • Advance Care Planning facilitator training

Other links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 5: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 5: The Power of Silence

The Power of Silence

Featured Poem:

by John O’Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,
The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.
You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

EOLPodcast, Grief, Tragedy

Special Episode: Vigil for Our Ailing Loved Ones When We Can’t Be Together

On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will honor our loved ones who are sick or injured and with whom we cannot be physically present. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Loved Ones

EOLPodcast, Grief, Tragedy

Ep. 241 Life in Italy During the Pandemic: Coping with Loss and Isolation with Claire Duiker PhD

Learn how people in Italy are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and what they would like us to know as we follow a similar path.

For the past few weeks we’ve been hearing heartbreaking reports from Italy about the devastation caused by COVID-19 and the efforts there to stop the spread of the virus. My special guest this week is my friend Claire Duiker who lives in Florence, Italy and will give us a personal view of day-to-day life under lockdown in her community. She shares her own coping process and what we can learn from Italy’s long history of suffering due to wars, plagues and invasions. Claire is a tour guide who is usually traveling this time of year in her job with Customwalks.com.

Listen here:

Life in Italy During the Pandemic

This episode includes:

  • The current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
  • What life is like for Claire under lockdown
  • How she is coping with her own stages of grief and loss while being isolated
  • The magnitude of this global event and why it is a privilege to witness history-in-the-making
  • How Italy’s long history of suffering through wars, plagues and invasions has led to a legacy of resilience
  • How the family-centered people of Italy are coping with being separated from dying loved ones
  • How isolation can help us confront our own egos and gradually become better people

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination …”

Mary Oliver – Wild Geese

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 4: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 4: Why Me?

Why Me?

Featured Poem:

A Blessing for Courage by John O’Donohue

When the light around you lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world.

Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone,
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes,
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you towards higher ground
Where your imagination
will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!