EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 298 Loss Without Sadness: Another View of Grief with Jennifer Mathews

Learn how for some of us it’s possible to experience grief without being sad and why that’s okay.

My guest Jennifer Mathews is a founding member of the Ashland Death Cafe and the Living/Dying Alliance of Southern Oregon. She is on a mission to shift cultural messages that hold us back from joy and to help us rethink grief and how we respond to death. She shares with us why we need to prepare for loss by developing tools that allow us to cope better. Based on her popular TEDxTalk “Death is Inevitable – Grief is Not” she also proposes the controversial idea that grief doesn’t have to be sad and it’s okay for each of us to have our own unique experience after the death of someone close to us. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.JenniferMathews.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What motivated Jennifer to rethink grief in her own life
  • How the language of grief can impact our expectations and experiences of grief
  • How some of our current models of grief may actually shame people who grieve differently for not being “sad enough”
  • There are many ways to respond to death and grief is just one of them
  • Adjusting to the loss of a loved one’s physical presence is not the same as grief
  • Why love does not always equal grief
  • Tools we can develop before a loss occurs to help us when we do encounter loss

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 supporter Judith Hillyard! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Special Episode: Vigil to Honor and Grieve Our Mothers

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 help us grieve the deaths of our own mothers on this Mother’s Day. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil to Honor and Grieve Our Mothers
“MOTHER”  by NIKITA GILL
 
The water of her womb, your first home.
The body she pulled apart to welcome you to the world.
The spirit in you she helped grow with all she knew.
The heart that she gave you when yours fell apart.
You are her soft miracle. 
So she gave you her eyes to see the best in the worst.
You carry your mother in your eyes.
Make her proud of all she watches you do.
EOLPodcast

Ep. 297 Compassion 101: Why We Are Failing and How To Do Better

Learn how to increase your own capacity for compassion toward yourself and others and make the world a better place in the process.

In this episode I share some of the research and articles I’ve been reading in the book Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science, edited by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz. It seems to be that we are in need of greater compassion as a society right now to help us cope with our current adversities and grow stronger in love and kindness in the process. I have some poems and practices to share that hopefully will inspire all of us to higher consciousness. View Tania Singer’s website:

www.taniasinger.de

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why we need more compassion in our society right now
  • 5 reasons why we are “failing” at compassion
  • The difference between empathy and compassion according to researchers
  • Why overdoing empathy can lead to burnout while practicing compassion can prevent it
  • The positive benefits of compassion practices
  • How and why to begin practicing self-compassion
  • The difference between self-compassion and self-esteem
  • Study results on using the Lovingkindness Meditation (Metta) as a regular practice
  • Mantras to use for self-compassion and Lovingkindness

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 supporters Stefanie Elkins and Claire Murphy Jones! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 296 NDE’s and After Death Communication in Hospice Work with Scott Janssen

Learn why and how to support patients who have transpersonal experiences at the end of life.

My guest Scott Janssen has been a hospice clinical social worker for almost 30 years. During that time he has been gathering the stories and reports of hundreds of hospice patients who have had transpersonal experiences as death approached. He shares some of these stories, describes the various phenomena that can occur near death, and explores the benefits they offer to experiencers and their loved ones. We discuss how healthcare providers can do a better job supporting and listening to patients with these end-of-life transpersonal experiences. Learn more about Scott’s writing at his website:

www.jscottjanssen.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Scott first became aware of transpersonal experiences at the end of life
  • Types of phenomena that occur as death approaches
  • Why we need to open our minds to these experiences
  • How these experiences differ from hallucinations caused by illness or medications
  • Positive benefits of transpersonal experiences at the end of life
    • Decreased fear of death
    • Healing of grief
    • Decreased depression and anxiety
    • Sense of peace
    • Increased focused on the present moment
    • Greater appreciation for relationships in their life
    • Greater spiritual awareness
  • How to be supportive of patients’ stories even if you don’t belief in transpersonal events
    • Learn about these phenomena and research that has been done
    • Be aware of your biases and don’t force your beliefs on patients
    • Avoid negative labels and judgements
  • How teaching stories can normalize patients’ experiences and encourage conversation
  • How patients can transform at the end of life and why transpersonal events are helpful

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Episode 261 on NDE’s with Lilia Samoilo and Heidi Walsh
  • Scott’s article in GeriPal on NDE’s and After Death Communication
  • International Association for Near Death Studies website
  • IANDS Spring Symposium: Providing Care for Those Touched by Near-Death and Related Experiences: Ethical Best Practices – April 30th
  • Book: Standing at Lemhi Pass: Archetypal Stories for the End of Life and Other Challenging Times by Scott Janssen
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past 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 supporters Dianne Feltham and Karine Ferro! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 295 Psilocybin Therapy at End of Life: The Legal Case with Kathryn Tucker, JD

Learn about the legal effort to make psilocybin available as a transformative therapy at the end of life.

My guest Kathryn Tucker is a Special Counsel at Emerge Law Group where she co-chairs the Psychedelic Practice Group. She is also the Executive Director of the End-of-Life Liberty Project and served two decades as Director of Advocacy and Legal Affairs for Compassion & Choices, working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. She shares the current legal case she is spearheading to allow terminally ill patients to try psilocybin as a palliative care medication and how psilocybin has already been shown to be hugely beneficial to patients at the end of life. Learn more about her work at:

www.emergelawgroup.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The benefits of psilocybin therapy for palliative care
  • Why terminally ill patients cannot currently access psilocybin therapy
  • What are Right to Try (RTT) laws and how they may apply to psilocybin
  • History behind psilocybin being labeled a Schedule I drug by the DEA
  • Test case that has been filed in court based on Washington state and Federal RTT laws
  • How “friends of the court” can be helpful to this case
  • Why the success of this case could open access for patients in other states
  • Oregon’s Psilocybin Therapy Law and implications for other states

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

Ep. 294 Virtual Funerals and Memorials: How and Why to Hold Them with Merilynne Rush

Learn best practices for creating a meaningful and powerful funeral or memorial service online.

My guest Merilynne Rush is an EOL Doula Mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Death Cafe host, former hospice nurse, and former home birth midwife. Today she shares her personal experience planning and hosting a virtual memorial service for her father, including all of the challenges and benefits of taking on such a task. She offers helpful advice to anyone who feels called to plan a virtual ceremony and explains why this new way of being together after a loved one dies is likely here to stay. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.thedyingyear.org

Read her blog post on Virtual Memorials here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The importance of funeral and memorial rituals and why they should happen sooner rather than later after a death
  • Why a virtual ceremony can be just as effective as in-person
  • Why good planning and organization is essential for conducting an online event
  • Getting outside help from a tech assistant and an “MC” to manage the flow of the ceremony
  • Creating an effective “script” for the event
  • Why breakout rooms are helpful at the end of the ceremony
  • Tips for creating a slide show to use during the event
  • How virtual gatherings can “carry all the love” we want to share and help with our grief
  • Why virtual funerals and memorials are likely to continue even after the pandemic

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 supporter Heather Capuano! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Special Episode: Vigil for Coping with Change

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 hold space for coping with all of the overwhelming changes that have crushed us this past year. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Coping with Change
Poem: by Ginny Yurich

From the trees I learned
That growth isn’t orderly.
Under the surface
Roots thrust out in ways
That are chaotic and untidy,
But they produce the solid foundation 
For a lifetime of growth.
 
From the chick,
The butterfly and the frog,
I learned that change is possible,
Even the kind of change
That renders us unrecognizable.
 
And from the garden I learned
That at the end of harvest
When all looks bleak, even dead,
There remains an undercurrent
Of new possibilities.
We can look a little deeper and find
There are always things that thrive 
Even in the harshest of conditions. 
EOLPodcast

Ep. 293 When Your Aging Parent Needs Help: A Step by Step Guide with Leslie Kernisan MD

Learn about a helpful guidebook for people caring for elderly parents that addresses all the major challenges.

My guest Dr. Leslie Kernisan is a practicing geriatrician and the founder of the popular aging health website and podcast Better Health While Aging. She recently published the book When Your Aging Parent Needs Help to answer the many questions she has received from people struggling to care for their elderly parents. She shares many of the helpful tools and resources included in the book for dealing with our most pressing issues when we become involved in providing care to our older loved ones. Learn more at her website:

www.betterhealthwhileaging.net

Get the book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why good communication skills are important in caring for our parents
  • How to approach a challenging subject (e.g. the COVID vaccine) with reluctant elders
  • Remembering to respect what matters to our elders (your goals vs your parents’ goals)
  • What to say when the conversation hasn’t gone well
  • How to negotiate doctor visits with your parents: what to bring, what to ask
  • Self-care tips for caregivers feeling the strain of dealing with parents
  • When to let go and accept things as they are instead of trying to be perfect caregivers
  • What to do if parents become paranoid and blame you for things
  • Steps and tips to slow brain health decline due to Alzheimer’s

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

Ep. 292 Life Review: The Hospice Musical – Life, Love and Loss with Benjamin Kintisch

Learn about a touching and humorous new musical that focuses on the stories of hospice patients and how you can join the audience.

My guest Benjamin Kintisch is a Cantor, hospice chaplain, and music teacher when he’s not performing on stage. He has loved singing and performing since childhood and has had used his skills to create a musical inspired by his experiences with hospice patients. He shares his creative process in writing Life Review: The Hospice Musical and performs two songs from the musical to give us a preview! Learn more at the website:

www.lifereviewmusical.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How a hospice chaplain became inspired to write a musical
  • The power of both stories and music to open the heart
  • Why music ends up being a good format for telling the stories of hospice patients
  • An overview of Life Review: The Hospice Musical
  • How Ben recognized that the musical needed to contain lightness and humor
  • Coping with the reality that ultimately we can’t fix people
  • Ben’s experiences “workshopping” the musical
  • Feedback from cast members and audiences
  • How Life Review can be used for education and discussion purposes
  • Goals for the musical currently and post-COVID

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • SAVE THE DATE for the upcoming Virtual Cabaret Show of Life Review: The Hospice Musical with Ben Kintisch on Sunday April 25, 2021 at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern
  • Listen to the unedited interview on YouTube: https://youtu.be/lvLuVXliqlU
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past 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 supporter Trina Wacasey and Suzanne O’Brien for upping your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 291 The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business with Eric Layer

Learn how the funeral business needs to evolve to meet the needs of our changing society.

My guest Eric Layer grew up around funeral homes and cemeteries where both of his parents worked. Now as a partner in a marketing advisory firm he has taken a critical look at the funeral business and analyzed what has gone wrong and what is still right within this necessary service industry. He is the author of the book The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business to Its True Calling and shares his insights with us. Learn more at his website:

www.therightwayofdeath.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How the funeral industry has failed to evolve with the rest of society
  • Research on ceremonies and rituals for death around the world
  • Why death rituals are important
  • Dr. J. William Worden’s 4 “tasks” of grief and how funeral homes should help with those tasks
  • Direct cremation and why is it a concerning practice (in light of the tasks of grief)
  • The challenge for funeral directors (and other end-of-life care providers) in dealing with people who are facing the worst crisis of their lives
  • How to legitimately build a business out of work that is also a service to others
  • What is “the right way of death”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get Eric Layer’s book here
  • Book: Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy by J. William Worden
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past 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 supporter Toni Marie Van Aernum! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 290 How to Restore Joy After Loss: Tools and Strategies with Joy Lucinda

Learn how a hospice worker became a coach who teaches about joy to help navigate grief and loss.

My guest Joy Lucinda worked as a health care professional serving hospice patients, persons with dementia and their families for more than 20 years. She now does coaching and consulting to help others share their unique gifts with the world and navigate grief and loss. She discusses some of the simple tools she has found to help people experience joy even in the midst of loss and difficulty. She is the author of the book Restore Joy After Loss. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.joylucinda.com

Get the book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Joy shifted from hospice work to consulting and coaching
  • The difficulty of experiencing joy in the midst of suffering
  • Why joy is always present if only we remember to look for it
  • Simple tools for shifting out of fear into a neutral state
  • The four “R’s” for getting through the pandemic, grief and chaos
    • Rest
    • Retreat
    • Rediscover
    • Restore
  • Why we need to use strong and positive words to help shift our emotional state
  • Embracing change by talking to your future self
  • The importance of surrender as we move forward in 2021

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 Kindness in the Midst of Overwhelming Grief

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 hold space for kindness even while we are brokenhearted by overwhelming grief. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Kindness in the Midst of Overwhelming Grief
Blessing for the Brokenhearted
BY JAN RICHARDSON

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound,
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—

as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it,

as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still,

as if it trusts
that its own
persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom
but will save us
nonetheless.
 
EOLPodcast

Ep. 289 Echobox: Preserving the Story of Our Lives with Tim Roberts

Learn about an innovative new app for storing and sharing image and stories of our lives and those of our loved ones.

My guest Tim Roberts is an artist, musician, app developer, idea our and dreamer who lives in Calgary Canada. He created the digital legacy project Echobox Memory Vault™ and worked with a developer to turn it into an app. Today he will tell us how the app works and why it’s important for us to save and share our memories as stories and images for our loved ones. Learn more about Echobox Memory Vault™ at the website:

https://echobox.ca

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Tim was inspired to create Echobox
  • Who can benefit from using Echobox and how it works
  • How privacy and security are maintained in the Echobox app, unlike many social media sites
  • Why it can be helpful to preserve memories digitally
  • The importance of stories to help us makes sense of the past and inspire future generations
  • The positive response of the healthcare world for Echobox
  • How Echobox helps connect people who can’t be together because of COVID
  • How Echobox can help with grief and bereavement

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 supporter Carrie Andrews! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 288 PEACH: Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless with Dr. Naheed Dosani

Learn about an innovative program to provide end-of-life care to people living on the streets and in shelters in Toronto.

My guest Dr. Naheed Dosani is the founder of PEACH, a mobile outreach program that provides palliative care to the homeless on the streets and in the shelters of Toronto. His model led to the development of Journey Home Hospice, Toronto’s first hospice for the homeless, which opened in May 2018. He’ll share how and why he started PEACH and inspire all of us to be more aware of and active in dealing with the issues of homelessness and health inequities in our communities. Learn more about PEACH at this webpage:

http://www.icha-toronto.ca/peach-covid-19-palliative-care-resources-for-physicians-and-frontline-workers

Follow Dr. Dosani:

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Naheed to create a palliative care program for homeless people
  • How PEACH functions and provides care for patients on the streets and in shelters
  • Why there is a great need for palliative care for the homeless population
  • Health issues faced by homeless people and their shockingly low life expectancy
  • How to replicate PEACH in other cities and countries
  • Trauma-informed care and why it is needed for all patients, including those who are homeless
  • Why we need systemic change in medicine to provide more equitable care to all people
  • Dealing with grief, compassion fatigue and moral injury for healthcare providers
  • Why we’re facing a global pandemic of grief due to COVID-19

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

Ep. 287 Giving Voice to Grief Through Poetry with Bruce Sterling

Learn how writing poetry helped Bruce express his grief and find a connection with others.

My guest Bruce Sterling is a writer and poet who earned a degree in psychology and worked in the technology sector for decades. As he compiled his first book of poetry he recognized that a significant number of his verses focused on his grief after the death of both of his parents in a tragic auto accident. Because these poems seem to touch others deeply as well he has published his first poetry book Not Enough: Musings on Grief and is currently writing a second book Stories of Grief and Hope. In this conversation he talks about grief, poetry, lessons learned and connecting with others through our shared experiences of pain. Learn more at Bruce’s website:

www.brucesterlingllc.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Bruce’s journey of grief and poetry
  • How the organization of his poetry book reflects his personal process with grief
  • After a sudden traumatic death, shock happens first, grief begins later
  • How Bruce’s process for writing poems includes surrender
  • Why poetry is a good medium for expressing the pain of grief
  • Grief as a tool for acknowledging previously repressed emotions
  • How poetry makes space for the mystery and the unknown

“It wasn’t my parents’ death, but the miracles that came next, that took tragedy and loss and turned it heavenward. I can’t look at all these gifts and synchronicities and think that life is anything less than miraculous; tragic, certainly; wondrous, at times; meaningful, hopefully; but miraculous, even when we’re not looking.”

Bruce Sterling – Stories of Grief and Hope

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

Ep. 286 The Three Regrets: Stories from a Buddhist Hospice Chaplain with Tenzin Kiyosaki

Learn how a former Buddhist nun brought her gentle, compassionate approach to hospice chaplaincy.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Laughter Yoga Webinar mentioned in this episode has been rescheduled for March 10th due to severe weather-related power outages experienced by the presenter. You can still register using the link below.

My guest Tenzin Kiyosaki has been a certified interfaith hospice chaplain for the past 13 years. She also practiced as a Buddhist nun for 27 years after being ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and brings an Eastern perspective to her hospice work. She is the author of the book The Three Regrets: Inspirational Stories of Love and Forgiveness at Life’s End and shares the spiritual wisdom she gathered from her work with dying patients.

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Tenzin was inspired to become a hospice chaplain
  • What Tenzin learned from her Buddhist studies about the end of life
  • What hospice work is always an ongoing learning experience
  • How Western culture avoids the subject of death while Eastern cultures embrace it
  • The failure of Western medicine to accept impermanence
  • What led Tenzin to return her vows and become a lay person once again
  • The role of a chaplain in hospice to find the “heart” of each patient
  • Do chaplains and hospice need different titles to overcome bias in our society?
  • How to help patients who regret a lack of accomplishment in life
  • Helping patients who have not shared enough love during their lives
  • Why regret at the end of life is actually a good sign
  • A Buddhist perspective on medical aid in dying

Links included 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

Special Episode: Vigil for Exploring Our Grief

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 hold space for the we have been carrying for the past year and help us explore it for the hidden blessings it contains. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Exploring Our Grief
Miracles Abide There by Bruce Sterling 
(from Not Enough: Musings on Grief)
 
We each have loss none escape it. 
Grief,
the healing process that reintegrates feelings and thoughts, desires and regrets, the past and
no future. 
Through life, through living we choose the palate but never
the timing, 
the circumstances or the outcome. 
So there it is,
shock
then sadness,
later
reality,
an unreal reality
the likes of which you've never experienced. 
Like taffy
you're pulled
into shapes
that leave you
in a state
from which you can never return. 
 
Like flying in the clouds you can't tell which end is up even when firmly planted in your seat. 
Like walking the streets on Christmas morning when gifts are exchanged and no one’s outside. 
Like you've walked into the emotional post-apocalypse. 
Like love has filled your heart but the drain plug
is three times the size
it should be,
and the vacuum left collapses everything 
that made sense, everything
that gave you substance, everything. 
Grief,
the humanizing, humbling shape-shifter
that tears
the fabric of you and explodes your heart into newer dimensions you didn't realize you signed up for. 
I don't wish the pain on anybody
I just know the value of the outcome. Miracles abide there,
if you can just see. 
EOLPodcast

Ep. 285 Laughter Yoga: Antidote to Burnout with Janet Carroll RN

Learn about the power of laughter to reverse the effects of stress, improve our health and prevent burnout.

My guest Janet Carroll has had a dual career with 48 years in nursing and 35 years as a massage therapist, which have given her not only decades of experience in health services, but also a special insight into wellbeing. She is also a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Instructor and will share today how laughter can help us improve our health, prevent burnout, and find deeper joy in life. In addition, I will be hosting a free experiential webinar with Janet on Laughter Yoga on February 17th! Learn more about her work at her website:

www.janetcarrollrn.com

Register for the FREE webinar here!

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What exactly is laughter
  • Why you don’t have to be happy in order to laugh
  • The history of Laughter Yoga
  • The catastrophic effects of stress on the body and how laughter counteracts them
  • The benefits of laughter for individuals and groups
  • How Laughter Yoga can help prevent burnout
  • Why it’s better to laugh out loud than to laugh internally
  • What you’ll learn at the upcoming FREE webinar with Janet

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 supporters Jen Davidson, Alissa Silva and Brittany J. Ellis! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 284 The Hero’s Journey at the End of Life

Learn what the Hero’s Journey can teach us about the dying process and how to support someone on that journey.

In this solo episode I share some thoughts about the archetypal Hero’s Journey, conceived by Joseph Campbell as a template for the transformative experiences of our own lives and those who are facing the end of life. Each of us has the opportunity to be a mentor for someone who is going through the ordeal of their own hero’s journey and this model can help us understand how to offer support and what is needed from us. Download a one page handout at the link below:

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why the archetypal Hero’s Journey applies to people at the end of life
  • Why things generally have to fall apart before transformation can occur
  • How dissolution of life’s equilibrium can lead to either transformation or regression
  • The importance of a mentor for people experiencing the sacred end-of-life journey
  • The most important tasks of the end-of-life hero’s journey
    • Reframing Suffering
    • Strengthening Connections
    • Finding Meaning
    • Facing Fear of Death
  • How unaddressed shadow issues can sabotage transformation at the end of life
  • The benefits of stories as tools for a mentor
  • How to utilize stories to assist with transformation

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

Ep. 283 Reshaping the Future of Advance Care Planning with Patty Burgess, Fred Mirarchi MD and Sheila Schultz

Learn about video advance directives and how to get involved in this game-changing innovation for the future of advance care planning.

In this episode I host three guests – Patty Burgess, Dr. Fred Mirarchi, and Sheila Schultz – who have partnered together to create MIDEO University, the only organization to train and certify Advance Care Planning Educators (ACPE’s) in every community. They share how MIDEO’s video advance directives are revolutionizing end-of-life and emergency care in hospitals and how they are training doulas, advance care planners and other healthcare professionals to become paid educators using the MIDEO approach. Learn more at their website:

www.YourVoiceDirectives.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What MIDEO is and why Dr. Mirarchi was inspired to create a video advance directive
  • How Patty and Sheila became inspired to partner with Dr. Mirarchi to create an educational program for end-of-life doulas and other healthcare professionals
  • How MIDEO works and what differentiates it from other advance directives
  • How certification as an ACPE can benefit an end-of-life doula professionally
  • Why advance care planning should not focus solely on end-of-life scenarios
  • Why video directives are important during this time of the COVID pandemic
  • How an ACPE can benefit primary care health providers in their work with patients
  • How to participate in MIDEO University and become certified as an ACPE

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!