EOLPodcast

Ep. 369 Practical Tools for Home Caregivers with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn useful tips for caring for a dying loved one at home and how to be better prepared for the challenge.

My special return guest is Barbara Karnes RN, hospice nurse, author, thought leader, and expert on end-of-life care. Barbara is going to be a recurring guest from now on, joining the podcast every other month to talk about hospice care. Today we discuss practical tools that caregivers need in order to care for themselves and their loved ones at the end of life. Barbara has written a new guide for caregivers called By Your Side that offers a tremendous number of resources and practical tips and she’ll share many of them with us today. Learn more about Barbara’s work at her website:

www.bkbooks.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The needs of caregivers are often overlooked by both hospital and hospice staffs
  • What caregivers need to know about food intake for patients at the end of life
  • The importance of keeping a written record of patient’s status throughout the day because it’s too hard to remember
  • The impact of sleep deprivation and fatigue on caregivers including lack of patience and flexibility
  • Why self-care for caregivers is essential and not selfish
  • How to set boundaries with a patient and why they are necessary
  • It’s not a failure to decide that home caregiving is too difficult
  • Why understanding the dying process is important for caregivers
  • How to find support in your community as a caregiver
  • How care of patients with dementia differs from other hospice patients
  • Basic information about pain management and symptom control

Links mentioned in this episode:

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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 Donna Fleming, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 368 Why Death Education is Important with Karen Wyatt

Learn some ideas for how you might teach others in your community about death and dying and why you should.

In today’s solo episode I’ll share with you my thoughts on why death education is so essential in our society today. No matter what type of work you do in the end-of-life field (estate attorney, hospice staff, death doula, home funeral guide, green burial practitioner, bereavement counselor) you need to help educate your community about death, dying and grief if you want people to utilize your services. Right now we ALL need to become death educators in our own special way and I’ll talk about why that’s true and how you might get involved.

Watch on YouTube to see the slides

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • We are living longer and developing complex diseases (like Alzheimer’s) with increasing incidence.
  • Medical tech continues to advance rapidly allowing us to prolong life (even when patient’s don’t want that).
  • Our society is divided over ethical and moral dilemmas around end-of-life issues like medical aid in dying and removal of life support.
  • Being unprepared for death has a high financial cost (too much medical care and wasteful after-death care)
  • There is also and emotional and spiritual cost to ignoring death.
  • Where we need to be teaching about death, dying and grief:
    • The home – showing parents how to talk to their children about death
    • Schools – teaching high school and college students about death through classes, book clubs, discussion groups
    • Churches – clergy members need to know about EOL issues in order to better serve their congregations
    • Workplaces – employers and staff need to know how to deal with death and grief at work
    • Medical facilities – of course all medical personnel need much more education about death, grief, and how to deal with EOL decisions
    • Assisted living and nursing homes – staff also need to know how to handle grief, help residents with ACP, create sacred space for dying residents

Links mentioned in this episode:

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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 Francesca Arnoldy, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 367 Increasing Death Awareness in Japan with Masatoshi Shoji

Learn how this man’s experience with grief led him to start a Death Café in Japan and become a death doula and Willow EOL educator.

My guest Masatoshi Shoji is a licensed acupuncturist, health communicator and medical translator in Sendai Japan. He started Death Café Sendai in his hometown in 2015 and since then has trained as a certified grief counselor, death doula and Willow EOL Educator. He shares why he first became interested in working with grief and death and his experiences with Death Café in Japan.

Visit his website

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Masatoshi’s experience with grief as a young widower in Japan
  • What inspired him to create Death Café Sendai
  • How he organized and promoted his first Death Café
  • Resources that Masatoshi is using to further his own death education
  • The gradual growth in popularity of Death Café in Japan
  • The obstacles to talking about death in his community, including the use of implicit language
  • How Masatoshi felt socially marginalized as a young widower in his community
  • His goal to bring acupuncture to hospice and end-of-life care

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Donate on Paypal

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 Merlin Murdock, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 366 The Death Conversation Game and Talking About Death with Angela Fama

Learn about a creative game to help foster conversations about death.

My guest Angela Fama is an artist and photographer who lives in Vancouver Canada and is also a recently trained death doula. She created the Death Conversation Game and facilitates online seasonal Let’s Talk About Death conversations. She will share how she became interested in exploring death as a subject and why she created the game. We will also play a few rounds of the game so you can see how it works! Learn more at her websites:

www.angelafama.com

www.deathconversationgame.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Angela’s What is Love project
  • How focusing on love led her eventually to learn about death
  • Why Angela needed to talk about death after a serious accident
  • What inspired the Death Conversation Game
  • How playing a game helps facilitate conversations about death
  • Why it’s important for people to talk about death
  • How to create a safe, trauma-informed space to discuss death
  • We play the game to demonstrate how it works
  • Who might benefit from using the game in their work
  • How Angela’s time in Zimbabwe influenced her decision to become a death doula
  • Angela’s request for a collaborator to extend the reach of the game

Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?

The Flaming Lips from Do You Realize

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Song: Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips
  • Get in touch with Angela: info@deathconversationgame.com

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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 Martha Lundgren, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 365 How to Live a Death-Aware Life with Karen Wyatt MD (ENCORE)

Learn the benefits of having a personal practice to increase our death-awareness.

In this encore solo episode I’ll be sharing with you research that shows that the human brain has a primal mechanism to protect us from thinking about and acknowledging our own personal death. Even those of us who study death and teach others how to prepare for the end of life can be in denial about our own mortality. However, living with “death awareness” is the best way to grow spiritually and make the most of every moment of life. My book The Tao of Death (with a companion journal) can be used for daily contemplation and help you become more death aware in your own life. Let’s talk about why we need to maintain our death-awareness and how to do it!

www.eoluniversity.com/taoofdeath

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • A study that shows the defenses against death-awareness that exist in the primitive human brain
  • Why personal death-awareness must be intentionally cultivated
  • How death-awareness can expand and transform our lives
  • Why daily death contemplation is essential to our growth
    • Think about the fleeting nature of life
    • Acknowledge fears of death and dying
    • Recognize barriers to awareness
  • Benefits of increased death-awareness:
    • Enjoy the present moment
    • Find comfort in stillness
    • Experience authentic gratitude for life
    • Experience awe
    • Become less attached to material things
    • Be more inclusive and less exclusive
    • See everything as sacred

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 and to those who have bought me a coffee (thank you Elisa Weger!) and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 364 What to Do When I’m Gone: Mothers and Daughters on Loss and Grief with Hallie Bateman, Suzy Hopkins, and Gia Snyder

Learn about a charming book of wisdom shared by a mother to her daughter and how it touches on the universal experience of loss and grief.

In this episode I’m welcoming my daughter Gia Snyder as my co-host. Gia is a spiritual teacher and musician, who is currently in nursing school to become an RN. Our special guests are also a mother and daughter pair: Suzy Hopkins and Hallie Bateman. Suzy is a retired journalist who worked for four Northern California newspapers and founded a community magazine in the Sierra Foothills. Hallie is a writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Buzzfeed and many others. Together Suzy and Hallie created the book: What to Do When I’m Gone: A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter. The four of us will discuss the book, our mother-daughter relationships, and how we are all dealing with loss and grief as we navigate life and its changes.

Learn more about Gia’s work at: www.divinelygia.com

Learn more about Hallie’s work at: www.halliebateman.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Suzy and Hallie decided to write this book
  • The anxiety mothers feel over the prospect of leaving children behind when they die
  • Anticipatory grief experienced by daughters as their mothers age
  • The complicated nature of the mother-daughter relationship
  • The importance of wisdom passed on by mothers to their daughters
  • How we grieve the loss of our mothers differently than others
  • Afterlife communication with our mothers
  • How sharing food together helps us heal
  • Why recipes are a valuable part of the legacy we leave for family members

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 363 Support for Hospice Nurses with Shelley Henry RN

Learn how this hospice nurse is supporting other nurses by providing employment that allows them to improve their work-life balance.

My guest Shelley Henry has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, with 20 of those years served in hospice. She is the creator of the popular Instagram channel For Hospice Nurses where she shares quick video tips from her many years of experience to make work a little easier for her colleagues. Shelley is also the founder of the Amity Group, which she started with the primary goal of bringing experienced hospice nurses back to the field while maintaining a fulfilling personal life. She discusses how her innovative company helps hospice nurses create the work life they desire while filling in the gaps for hospice companies. Learn more at her website:

www.amitystaffing.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Shelley was drawn to work in hospice
  • The rewards and challenges of being a hospice nurse
  • Why some hospice nurses leave the field
  • Shelley’s top tips for hospice nurses
  • The issues that hospice nurses are most concerned about now
  • How redundant documentation is causing stress and wasting precious time for hospice nurses
  • Why Shelley created Amity Staffing
  • How this model benefits nurses who still want to work in hospice but need more control over their schedule
  • How hospices are benefitting from having well-trained contract nurses available to fill in the gaps

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 362 The Grief Cruises™: Travel to Heal Grief and Honor Loved Ones with Linda Findlay

Learn about an innovative cruise that focuses on grief support and memorialization of loved ones.

My guest Linda Findlay is an Aftercare Coordinator for funeral homes and a hospice bereavement support group facilitator. She is also the founder of The Grief Cruises™ and has escorted four groups on special cruises for the purpose of healing grief and honoring loved ones. She discusses her inspiration for this work and what to expect on a “grief cruise.” Learn more about her work at her websites:

www.thegriefcruises.com

www.mourningdiscoveries.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Linda’s own grief journey that inspired her current work
  • What is a grief cruise and who is it for
  • The benefits of getting away from ordinary life when dealing with grief
  • Activities included on the cruises: workshops, memory wall, candlelit memorial walk, night of remembrance
  • These experiences help people go home with a coping “toolbox”
  • How families can benefit from taking a grief cruise together
  • How burial at sea for cremated remains is possible during a cruise
  • Feedback from attendees on past cruises
  • How participants learn that grief and joy can coexist
  • How COVID impacted Linda’s work as a bereavement coordinator

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 Sharon, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 361 Exploring End-of-Life Controversies Through Fiction Writing with John Byrne Barry

Learn about a novel that explores the moral dilemma of a son whose father asks him to end his suffering by hastening his death.

My guest John Byrne Barry is a writer, designer, actor, pickleball player, and crossing guard. He is the author of the novel When I Killed My Father: An Assisted-Suicide Family Thriller that explores what might happen if a son followed through on his father’s request to hasten the end of his life. He discusses how fictional stories can help us address controversial issues and find new perspectives on them and why he writes fiction “with a conscience.” Learn more about his writing at his website:

www.johnbyrnebarry.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why John chose to wrote a novel that addresses a family member helping a loved one end his life
  • How John did research for the book in order to understand hospice, end-of-life and right-to-die issues
  • How fiction can help us look at controversial and complicated issues and find more compassion for one another
  • How John portrayed communication issues, old family conflicts, and shadow wounds as obstacles to decision-making in the book
  • What John learned from writing this book
  • How end-of-life issues are becoming more visible in popular culture
  • What readers might take away from the book and apply to their own lives

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 Karen Hendrickson, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 360 Creating Community for Death Doulas with Jo-Anne Haun and Karen Hendrickson

Learn why community is important for all of us as we work to improve the end of life in our society.

Today I’m welcoming two guests to the podcast: Jo-Anne Haun and Karen Hendrickson who are the co-founders of the Death Doula Network of BC. Jo-Anne is a professional end-of-life doula, hospice volunteer, and therapy clown. Karen is a professional coach, a licensed Willow EOL Educator™, and end-of-life doula. They share their experiences in creating an online community for death doulas, why it’s important that we form collaborative networks right now, and how everyone benefits when we work together. Learn more at their website:

www.ddnbc.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Jo-Anne and Karen decided to create DDNBC
  • How the pandemic helped inspire this online network
  • How facing death can help us truly find quality in life
  • Why preparing in advance can help us cope with a terminal diagnosis
  • The value of humor to help us shift energy and cope with difficult situations
  • Why the role of the death doula is essential at this time in our history to fill in gaps in end-of-life care
  • Doula communities allow creative potential to arise for each individual and foster collaboration
  • The need for community-wide education about loss and end-of-life issues

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 359 Unburying My Father: A Grief Project with Zander Masser

Learn how discovering his father’s old slides helped Zander heal his longstanding grief and understand his father’s story.

My guest Zander Masser is an occupational therapist, husband, father, musician and author of the newly released narrative photography book Unburying My Father. The book chronicles his 10-year project of exploring his own grief while sorting through ten thousand slides he found in his father’s basement. Today he shares how this project helped him find new perspective on his grief and how he is helping others use storytelling and creativity to heal their grief. Learn more at his website:

www.randymasserphoto.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What Zander learned about his father through this project
  • How Zander gathered stories for the book
  • How learning his father’s hidden stories helped Zander better appreciate his photography
  • The trauma experienced by his father because of his diagnosis
  • How this book has given a voice to Zander’s father and made meaning of his entire life
  • How new layers of grief have emerged since undertaking this project
  • The shift from focusing on our loved one’s death to focusing on their life
  • How Zander was unprepared at age 14 to go through grief therapy because his family had almost never talked about his father’s illness and death
  • How to use creativity and stories to explore grief
  • How objects from the past can help us tell stories about our loved ones
  • How Zander used social media to begin putting this story out to the world
  • What medical providers can improve upon to help children deal with grief over the death of a loved one

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 to my newest donor Elizabeth Grace Wolf! Also thank you to Jen Blalock for buying me a coffee. Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 358 STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers with Mary Roach

Find out what happens when a body is donated to science and how cadavers have benefitted the living through various types of research.

My guest Mary Roach is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers including STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which has sold over 1 million copies and been translated into 17 different languages. She’ll tell us why she wrote this book, how she did the research for it and what she learned from this project. Her stories range from macabre to heartbreaking in this look at the “other side” of death that we rarely explore: how the deceased benefit the living. Learn more about Mary’s work at her website:

www.maryroach.net

View on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What drew Mary to write about cadavers
  • The surprising fact that this book sold over 1 million copies when it was first published in 2003 in our death-phobic society
  • What it was like to do research for this book
  • Which experiences were most challenging for Mary
  • How cadaver researchers cope with the trauma of witnessing human carnage
  • Why cadavers are our superheroes and the contributions they have made to the betterment of humankind
  • A touching ceremony Mary witnessed at the UCSF gross anatomy lab
  • What is a “beating heart” cadaver
  • How cadaver research has changed over the years

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Order All the Flowers of the Mountain by Christina Holbrook here (and thank you!)

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 357 The Hidden Grief of the Replacement Child with Jeremy Damec

My guest Jeremy Damec has a master’s in Counseling Psychology and has worked with youth and families in San Francisco and in Mexico providing therapeutic services and developing community programs to support family and youth development. After his mother’s death from cancer in 2009 and following his own personal journey of grief, he began in 2015 working with families and their loved ones who are approaching the end of life. He has done volunteer chaplaincy training, end-of-life doula training, worked at a funeral home, and as a celebrant has officiated at both funerals and weddings. Today he shares his personal experience as a “replacement child” born after the death of his older brother. Learn more about Jeremy’s work at his website:

www.jeremydeathandgrief.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is a “replacement child”
  • Jeremy’s story of being introduced to grief before he was born
  • How a replacement child experiences grief
  • How a mother’s grief can influence her unborn child
  • How to process unspoken and hidden grief that has been present since before birth
  • How to find information about a loved one who died in the past
  • How being a replacement child has shaped and informed the work Jeremy does now

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 to my newest donors Erin Bishop, Carole Dempsey, and Sue Skeates! Also thank you to C. Schlumberg and Frances Pope Hewitt for making donations through Paypal. Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 356 What Keeps Me Up at Night (about Hospice and Palliative Care) with Ira Byock MD

Dr. Ira Byock takes an honest and challenging look at worrisome issues within the hospice and palliative care field.

My guest today is Dr. Ira Byock who is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. He is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence St. Joseph Health. He is a frequent guest on this podcast and the author of Dying Well, The Four Things that Matter Most, and The Best Care Possible. Today he shares some of the concerns he has about current issues in hospice and palliative care. Learn more about his books and his work at the website:

www.irabyock.org

Watch on YouTube

Read the transcript

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The history of hospice programs and how and why they began
  • For-profit hospices now outnumber non-profit hospices by nearly 3 to 1
  • Problems with for-profit hospices include poor staffing, patients are less likely to see a doctor or social worker, 10% fewer nursing visits
  • For-profits extract up to 20% margin from patient care and make it hard for non-profits to stay in business
  • Concerns about sending patients home for hospice care without providing training to family members
  • Staff are burning out because of moral distress and because of excessive case loads which are being imposed for the sake of profit
  • For-profit hospices are being traded on Wall Street and private equity firms are also buying up hospices
  • How a focus on marketing and “branding” is causing palliative care to distance itself from hospice and from death and dying
  • Why we have to be brave enough to talk about and deal with the things that people in our society are afraid of
  • Why the palliative care “brand” should be providing the best care possible through the end of life (instead of “at the end of life”)
  • What to do:
    • Don’t trust blindly – ask questions and be discerning
    • Don’t lose your outrage – speak up when you see poor care being given
    • Be strong advocates for one another
    • Support community-based non-profit hospices

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-order All the Flowers of the Mountain by Christina Holbrook here (and thank you!)

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 to my newest donor Mary E. Moriarty! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 355 Irish Keening and Wakes: Traditional Mourning Rituals with Mary McLaughlin

Learn about the history and importance of Irish mourning rituals.

My guest Mary McLaughlin is a singer/songwriter and teacher who studies and teaches workshops about Irish singing and technique and Gaelic song and culture. She has recorded five CD’s to international acclaim, written two song books and completed a PhD in Irish Otherworld Song. Today she teaches us about Irish wakes and the ancient funeral ritual of keening. Learn more at her website:

www.marymclaughlin.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The ancient tombs found in Ireland and what we can learn from them
  • Many contemporary funeral traditions have been influenced by both Christian and Pagan customs
  • Wakes thrived during the Middle Ages in the early Celtic Church but were later forbidden
  • “Professional waking” used to take place in small Irish villages
  • The purpose of the wake is to help people cry and mourn, sometimes through laughter and games
  • Keeners had to be good singers and specially trained to provide this ritual for wakes
  • The benefits of having keeners be outsiders to help the family express emotion, move into their grief, and create a sense of awe
  • The keen would continue from the wake through to the burial ground
  • The three stages of ritual: separation, liminality, and re-incorporation
  • How the keen addresses the 5 stages described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-order All the Flowers of the Mountain by Christina Holbrook here (and thank you!)
  • Recommended Book: My Father’s Wake by Kevin Toolis
  • Sign up for Mary’s newsletter here

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 to my newest donor JoAna Dwyer! Also thank you to Mark Langlois for buying me a coffee (3, in fact)! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 354 The Hospice Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn about the basics of hospice care, when to consider it, how to talk about it with others, and what to expect during the dying process.

My guest Barbara Karnes RN is an internationally recognized author, speaker, thought leader and expert on end of life care. She is the author of the “little blue hospice book” Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide in 12 different languages. Today Barbara shares her insights and stories about the hospice journey for patients and their families and walks us through each step of the process. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.bkbooks.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • When is it time to consider hospice
  • Why hospice care is a special type of medical care
  • How to find a good hospice
  • What it takes to care for a loved one at home
  • What hospice does and doesn’t provide for families
  • How to talk to a loved one about hospice
  • What to expect as death draws near
  • How hospice provides comfort and pain management

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 to Jan Wessel for increasing your pledge! Also thank you to Thilda Zorn for your Paypal donation and Bob Hoffman for buying me a coffee! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 353 The Rebellious Widow: Love and Life After Loss with Jill Johnson-Young

Learn practical tips for navigating the caregiving journey and grief after the death of a spouse.

My guest Jill Johnson-Young is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in hospice and as a therapist specializing in grief, loss, dementia, and trauma. She shares her personal journey as a caregiver for two spouses and as a “double widow” along with helpful tips for grief and how to break the “widow rules.” She is the author of numerous books about grief for adults and children including her most recent The Rebellious Widow: A Practical Guide to Love and Life After Loss. Learn more at her websites:

www.therebelliouswidow.com

www.jilljohnsonyoung.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The “widow rules” and why they need to be challenged
  • How society judges grievers rather than allowing them to take their own unique path
  • How anticipatory grief helped with her process of grief after death
  • The importance of fostering intimacy for couples who are facing death (making “body memories”)
  • How medical and hospice providers often overlook the needs of the caregiver
  • What to say to couples dealing with a terminal illness
  • Why couples should discuss the caregiver’s future after death
  • Setting boundaries and asking for help as a caregiver
  • How she found “helpers” to connect with her children and watch over them during the dying process and funeral
  • The jarring moment when a diagnosis is received for both patient and caregiver
  • Challenges facing same-sex couples as they access care
  • Humor as self-preservation for medical staff and caregivers

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 Janis Wiebking and Robin Blanche! Also thank you to Francis Pope Hewitt for your Paypal donation! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 352 Cross-Cultural End-of-Life Practices with Gary Wederspahn

Learn about fascinating end-of-life rituals from cultures around the world.

My guest Gary Wederspahn is a board member of the Final Exit Network and the author of a book and many articles on cross-cultural communications and relations. He has served as a Peace Corps Director in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Ecuador and has traveled in over 20 countries. He shares his passion for studying end-of-life rituals and traditions wherever he has traveled, including slides from many different countries. Learn more at these websites:

www.finalexitnetwork.org

www.thegooddeathsocietyblog.net

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This episode includes:

  • What is appreciative inquiry and how it facilitates conversations
  • Why studying end-of-life traditions introduces you to the values and deep culture of societies
  • How end-of-life care has been outsourced here in the U.S. to our detriment
  • Mayan traditions around death in Guatemala during Dia de los Muertos
  • Three-part community cremation rituals in Bali
  • The “thin veil” between the living and the dead that is perceived in many cultures
  • How “continuing bonds” with ancestors help strengthen the family
  • The use of cremated ashes to make burial beads in Korea
  • How Vietnamese funeral processions resemble funeral parades in New Orleans
  • Ceremonial kites flown in Guatemala city to honor their ancestors during Dia de los Muertos
  • Zoroastrian custom of leaving corpses in “Towers of Silence” for vultures to consume
  • Ifugao people in high country of Philippines keep bodies of their ancestors in rafters of the house and bring them out during special events
  • “Bone collecting” ritual after cremation in Japan
  • Igorot hanging coffins in the Philippines
  • Tibetan sky burial also depends on vultures; Sioux burial platforms similarly rely on ravens to consume the body
  • How Gary’s exposure to the rituals of other countries has informed his own decisions for the end of life

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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 Erinn Gregory! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 351 Grief and the Best and Worst of Times with Dianne Gray

Learn how the death of her son inspired Dianne Gray’s current work as a death doula and patient advocate.

My guest Dianne Gray is a death doula, grief specialist and the Chief Innovation and Patient Advocacy Officer at Acclivity Health. After her son’s death from a rare neurodegenerative disorder she has dedicated her life to improving care for all adults and children facing serious illness. She shares her long journey with grief and how it has shaped and informed her work and her life.

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This episode includes:

  • How Dianne survived the end-of-life journey and death of her son
  • The best and worst experiences of the dying process
  • How Dianne’s encounters with death and grief led her to the mission of helping others facing loss
  • Why death and grief are part of the wellness movement and must be included in life in order to be whole
  • What Dianne learned about life from the work of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Simple tools to ease grief and improve resilience
  • Therapy works for some people and not for others – keep searching for a good fit with a therapist
  • Learning that grief is a long journey to become someone new
  • Why viewing life as a fascinating adventure is helpful (and we never know what might happen next)
  • How social media can help or harm our grieving process
  • How Dianne works virtually as a patient advocate to get patients admitted to hospice and palliative care

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 Phyllis Nickel and Kathleen Ribbens! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 350 Meeting the End-of-Life Needs of Your Community with Elizabeth Johnson and Erin Collins RN

Learn how this non-profit organization is working to solve gaps in end-of-life care in their community.

My guests Elizabeth Johnson and Erin Collins are the founders and creators of the non-profit Peaceful Presence Project with a mission of helping communities live well, age well and die well by reimagining the way we talk about, plan for and experience the last stage of life. They have created Endnotes, a roadmap for end-of-life planning an will discuss the genesis of their organization and how they take a community-based approach in their work by meeting the gaps that exist in end-of-life care. Learn more at their website:

www.the peacefulpresenceproject.com

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This episode includes:

  • How Elizabeth and Erin were inspired to start this organization
  • The Compassionate Communities model of care that informs their work
  • The importance of integrating palliative care into daily life
  • How to reclaim deathcare as a social event with a medical component
  • Surveying the community for strengths and weaknesses around end-of-life issues to determine areas of need
  • Thoughts on improving the medical model to move from a curative focus to a healing focus by increasing education around palliative and end-of-life care
  • Reasons why our advance care planning has not been “successful” so far
  • High quality conversations about EOL choices are essential and they should start outside of healthcare first
  • Why advance care planning is important for those experiencing homelessness
  • The needs for increased access to palliative care in rural communities
  • Exploring who is too poor to die well

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.