Ep. 411 The Four Things That Matter Most with Dr. Ira Byock

Learn about a powerful book that has been helping people heal their relationships at the end of life for almost 20 years.

My special guest Dr. Ira Byock is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. We discuss his seminal book The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living, which will reach its 20th anniversary next year. Each time I’ve interviewed Dr. Byock in the past I’ve received numerous messages from listeners letting me know how influential this book has been in their work. So it’s time we talked about all the wisdom it contains. Learn more about Dr. Byock’s work and all of his books at his website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Dr. Byock to write the book
  • What “the four things” are (and why there used to be 5 things)
  • Why it makes a difference to simply say these four things
  • The importance of forgiveness at the end of life and why people shouldn’t wait until their deathbed to practice it
  • How to use “the four things” if your loved one has already died
  • What to do when you need to make peace with a loved one with dementia
  • How the lessons from this book have made a difference to Dr. Byock

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 Kelly Bean for increasing your pledge, and to Madeleine for buying me 5 coffees! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

Leave a Reply