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!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 240 Practices for Loss and Grief During a Time of Isolation with Kirsten DeLeo

Join this conversation about coping with separation from our loved ones at the end of life and practices to help us through these times of isolation.

For this episode I invited my friend Kirsten DeLeo to join me in a conversation about how we can all cope with the isolation and separation we are experiencing from our loved ones during this unprecedented time of global pandemic and quarantine. We address the pain of being unable to be at the bedside of a dying loved one or to care for the body after death due to our necessary isolation. Kirsten is the lead faculty of “Authentic Presence,” a training in contemplative care of the dying and the author of the book Present Through the End: A Caring Companion’s Guide for Accompanying the Dying. Learn more at her website:

www.kirstendeleo.com

Listen here:

Practices for Loss and Grief

This episode includes:

  • This is a time of remembering that we are all truly connected around the world
  • Staying in the present moment as an important mental health strategy during a time of crisis
  • Tips for returning to the present
    • Slow down
    • Take a break from media
    • Deep breaths
    • Connection with nature
  • Coping with uncertainty by staying grounded and centered
  • Our deeper connections transcend the physical realm
  • How to deal with fear when it overwhelms us
  • Balancing the “terror of being alive” with the “wonder of being alive”
  • Care packages for loved ones at a distance
  • Practices at a distance:
    • Unsealing the Spring (to express love)
    • Unfinished Business (for forgiveness)
    • Poetry
    • Music

May a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.

John O’Donohue

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • FREE course on Advance Directives: www.eoluniversity.com/roadmapcourse
  • Kirsten’s book: Present Through the End
  • Ep. 214: Present Through the End – Spiritual Care of the Dying with Kirsten DeLeo
  • John O’Donohue poem: A Blessing for the New Year
  • Elgar’s Nimrod by Sheku Kanneh-Mason: YouTube video
  • 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 Patrons:  Jo Anna Dvorak and Emily Eliot Miller. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

BONUS 3: 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 3: Loving the Unlovable

Loving the Unlovable

Featured Poem: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 239 Rethinking Advance Directives in the Time of Coronavirus

Learn why it is important right now to revisit your own advance directives and those of your loved ones.

In this solo episode I share some resources for surviving and thriving during the coronavirus quarantine. Then I discuss some important issues to consider regarding your own advance directives and those of your loved ones as we face a medical crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. This is a difficult conversation to have but one that is of utmost importance right now. Thanks for tuning in and spending some of your time with me! Take good care of yourselves this week! 💖

Listen here:

Rethinking Advance Directives

This episode includes:

  • Tips for surviving quarantine:
    • Walk every day
    • Connect with nature
    • Spend time alone in contemplation or meditation
    • Bring beauty into your life (art, music, poetry, literature, film)
    • Connect with friends and loved ones
    • Be kind to others and yourself
  • Journal prompt for this week: Write a story about a time in your life when you feel you were at your best or you acted from your highest self. Describe the event in detail as best you can remember it. Then make a list of the best qualities you exhibited on that day. Reread the story throughout the week and add to you list as you recognize other positive qualities. Or write more stories as you recall them.
  • Make sure your elderly loved ones have advance directives (including POLST forms) and make sure you understand their wishes
  • If you are a healthcare proxy for a loved one make sure you are prepared to carry out their wishes, particularly if they choose comfort care only
  • Think of creative ways to connect with a loved one who may be in isolation – (e.g. an iPad + Skype)
  • Be prepared that you may not be able to be at the bedside of a hospitalized loved one with coronavirus
  • Rethink your own advance directive regarding mechanical ventilation, since ventilation is part of the treatment for this virus

This is a remarkable time, when washing our hands and staying at home are radical acts of global compassion and service.

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, Tragedy

BONUS 2: 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 2: Love is the Purpose

Love is the Purpose

Poem by Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

Yes there is fear. 
Yes there is isolation. 
Yes there is panic buying. 
Yes there is sickness. 
Yes there is even death. 
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 238 A Death Lived: A Doctor’s Memoir of Her Husband’s End of Life with Martha Calihan MD

A doctor learns about death by caring for her husband at the end of his life.

My guest Dr. Martha Calihan has been a practicing physician for over 30 years but she didn’t learn about the end of life until she became a caregiver for her ill husband. She shares how she navigated those challenging days and how being a caregiver made her a better doctor. She is the author of A Death Lived – a memoir of her end-of-life journey with her husband Charles. Learn more at her website:

www.fivestoneswellness.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

A Death Lived with Martha Calihan MD

This episode includes:

  • How an Integrative medical provider differs from a conventionally-trained physician
  • The challenges of playing dual roles of wife and physician
  • What doctors can do better to help patients and families navigate the end of life
  • Making medical decisions when the patient’s health status is constantly changing
  • The freedom that comes from “speaking the unspeakable”
  • One valuable question doctors need to ask caregivers: “If you come home and [your loved one] is unresponsive, do you know what you would do?”
  • Tips for having the “death talk” with loved ones
  • How to decide when it’s time to say no to medical interventions
  • The gift of Near Death Awareness and how it helps with fear and grief

It’s more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

Charles’ last words – from “A Death Lived”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-order 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying here
  • Libby app
  • Dr. Calihan’s book: A Death Lived
  • Five Wishes document
  • Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan
  • 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 Patrons:  Molly Oldfield and Lisa Rivera. Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 237 Physician Burnout: Why Death Awareness Could Make a Difference

Learn how death-denial may contribute to physician burnout and how to change it.

In this solo episode I share my thoughts on the inner reasons why physicians may burn out and how increased death awareness could be a solution. Now more than ever we need death-informed education for all physicians, which would transform medical practice in general and especially end-of-life care.

Listen here:

Physician Burnout

This episode includes:

  • Survey showing that 44% of physicians report being burned out. largely due to external factors out of their control
  • Article by Dr. Keith Corl describes “moral injury” for physicians who are asked to practice in a way that violates their moral integrity
  • Multiple deeply-ingrained factors that arise from medical training and lead to lack of satisfaction in medical practice
  • 4 principles all med students should be taught:
    • Death is inevitable and not a failure
    • Death is a mystery we cannot control
    • Death makes life more precious
    • Dying is an opportunity for transformation
  • Doctors need to find balance between holding onto life and letting go when the time is right
  • Also need to learn to grieve over patient deaths in a positive way

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 Patron  Donna Peizer. Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 236 Reconnecting Life and Death – SoULL: The School of Unusual Life Learning with Jeanne Denney

Learn about an innovative training that helps restore death as a natural component of life.

In this episode my guest Jeanne Denney discusses her School of Unusual Life Learning and how she helps people embrace a life that includes aging and dying. We talk about the harmful consequences of living in a society that separates death from life and ignores the natural wisdom available through embracing death. You’ll learn how Jeanne’s training can help death workers discover new tools for their work and how to enroll in her school. Learn more about SoULL here:

www.jeannedenney.com/the-school

Listen here:

Reconnecting Life and Death with Jeanne Denney

This episode includes:

  • How Jeanne transitioned from teaching about death to starting a school and life processes
  • Why Western “life education” has fostered a split between our concepts of living and dying
  • The consequences of our separation from the natural world
  • The definition of “life force movement” and why it should replace our notion of life and death as opposites
  • How people doing death work can benefit from training in energy and consciousness
  • Why new ways of thinking are necessary in order to change our death care system
  • Training offered through SoULL: School of Unusual Life Learning

   “You never change anything by fighting the existing reality.  Build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

Buckminster Fuller

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

Ep. 235 How to Surrender and Go With Life’s Flow with Gia George

Learn how to navigate life’s difficulties by letting go of expectations and attachments.

My very special guest this week is Gia George (my daughter!) who joins me in a conversation about the spiritual task of surrender and the challenges we face in life trying to let go and be in the flow, especially when things are not turning out the way we hoped. She shares her latest song Will You Fly at the end of the episode and you can also watch the video of this discussion on YouTube! Learn more about Gia’s work at her website:

www.DivinelyGia.com

Listen here:

How to Surrender – with Gia George

This episode includes:

  • What does it really mean to surrender
  • Why we need to practice surrender in our world right now
  • How surrendering to “what is” allows creativity and healing to flow
  • How to stop fighting what is happening in life and focusing energy on living the best life anyway
  • Learning that we are already on the path we seek, even when we don’t realize it
  • Tips for surrendering in each moment:
    • Recognize that you are holding on and resisting change
    • Understand what you are attached to
    • Journal about the process
    • Mantra: I’m already where I’m trying to go
    • Mantra: Right now, I’m okay

The mystery unfolds slowly. Who knows what this precious life may bring? … Will you leap beyond what’s known and take flight? 

Gia George – from “Will You Fly”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Gia’s website
  • Episode 219: Rituals for Letting Go with Gia George
  • Lyrics to Will You Fly
  • Watch video of this episode on YouTube
  • 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 Patrons Maya Jones and Kimberly Wise, and thanks also to Diane Button for upping your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 234 It’s OK That You’re Not OK: A New Model of Grief with Megan Devine

Learn about the flaws in our old models of grief support and a new approach to being with those who are grieiving.

My guest Megan Devine is a psychotherapist, writier, grief advocate and communication expert. She is the author of the book “It’s OK That You’re Not OK” and the creator of an online community, blogs, podcasts, and courses for people dealing with grief. She will share with us how she came to see that our current models of grief support are flawed, what approach she advocates for helping those who grieve and the resources she offers on her website. Learn more about her work:

www.refugeingrief.com

Get the book here.

Listen here.

This episode includes:

  • How Megan was inspired to create a new model of grief
  • What most grief support programs “get wrong”
  • About our society’s broken relationship with grief
  • What those who are grieving need to know right now
  • How to be an effective support person for someon experiencing grief
  • About Megan’s book “It’s OK That You’re Not OK”

Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”

Megan Devine – refugeingrief.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, Tragedy

Ep. 233 Fire and the Cycle of Life: Why Birth Always Follows Death

Learn a new perspective on devastation and destruction as part of the natural cycle of life.

In this solo episode I share reflections on the devastation caused by wildfires and what we can learn about the cycle of life from that destruction. The transformative power of fire is discussed and how we can utilize the “fires” of our lives to help us grow in love.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What the Yellowstone National Park fire of 1988 teaches us about the cycle of life
  • The new birth that follows from destruction and death
  • How forests benefit from wildfire
  • A story about Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction, but also of love
  • How the fire of Kali burns away what doesn’t serve us and transforms it to love
  • Recognizing that fires and death are an essential part of the cycle of life
  • Seeing the “big picture” when devastation occurs
  • New growth includes creativity, spontaneity, surprises and miracles
  • Finding gratitude for the cycle of life

Yellowstone is not an ending or a beginning.

It just goes on and on and on.

The difference is whether we choose to live

Seeing the wingspan of a heron glide through

The Burnt forest or not.”

from Shards of Yellowstone by Katya Williamson

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

Ep. 232 Love and Death Over Dinner with Michael Hebb

Learn how the Death Over Dinner movement is impacting healthcare systems and changing our conversations about death (and love.)

My guest Michael Hebb is the founder of Death Over Dinner and author of the book Let’s Talk About Death (Over Dinner.) He discusses the value of conversation at the dinner table and particularly for discussing difficult topics like death. We learn how the movement has grown and now includes death dinners for healthcare providers. Michael also shares information about the upcoming event Love and Death, which will take place in April in Seattle. Learn more at the website:

www.DeathOverDinner.org

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is Death Over Dinner
  • Consequences of the lack of meaning in our society and how Death Over Dinner is making a difference
  • New editions of DOD: Jewish, Australian, Indian, Brazilian with more to come
  • The universality of death and grief and how they can bring us together
  • When we face our mortality we have an increased capacity and opportunity for love and connection
  • The impact of Death Over Dinner for healthcare providers
  • The power of deep communication to transform medical teams and increase human-centered care and empathy
  • Why now is the time to “double down” on our conversations about death
  • The 6-step process for planning and hosting a Death Over Dinner event
  • The Pause app for smart phones and how to access it
  • About the Love and Death event in April
  • The End-of-Life Collective project and its future goals

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 Patron June Caler, your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

Ep. 231 How to Prepare for the Unimaginable as a Death-Aware Person

Learn what steps you can take now to be ready for whatever life brings you in the future.

NOTE: This episode is dedicated to the memory of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and 7 others who died in a helicopter crash on the morning of January 26th – an unimaginable tragedy.

In this solo episode I share my thoughts on ways we might begin now to prepare ourselves for the inevitable challenges of life–when disaster strikes and death comes for those we love. Though we can never be fully prepared for the uncertainties of life there are things we can do to increase our resilience and improve our chances of surviving “the unimaginable.”

Listen here:

This episode includes:

There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is suffering too terrible to name …

We push away what we can never understand

We push away the unimaginable

From “HAMILTON”

Related episodes:

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! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, your contributions make all the difference!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes!

Aging, End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 230 SAGE: Meeting the Needs of LGBT Elders at End of Life with Tim Johnston

Learn how to provide culturally competent care to the LGBT community at the end of life.

My guest Tim Johnston is the Senior Director of National Projects at SAGE, a non-profit organization that advocates for LGBT community members as they face aging and the end of life. He will discuss the unique needs of the LGBT population at the end of life and explain how SAGE offers training and education for service providers, including hospice staffs, who want to provide appropriate care for LGBT patients. Learn more about SAGE:

www.sageusa.org

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Explanation of LGBT acronym
  • Unique stresses faced by LGBT individuals in later life
  • Challenges for LGBT community in receiving appropriate medical care
  • The importance of advance care planning for LGBT individuals to ensure that receive the care they want and are with the people they choose to be near at the end of life
  • Why we should be asking patients “Who are the most important people in your life?”
  • Special issues facing LGBT individuals with dementia
  • Caregiving challenges for the LGBT population
  • How to be an LGBT “ally” in your workplace
  • How to utilize SAGECare training in your organization
  • Agism as an issue within the LGBT community and resistance to end-of-life education

When surveyed, 9 out of 10 LGBT people feared discrimination in care settings if providers knew their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Sageusa.org website

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, Amy Cunningham and Raven Butterfly; your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 229 How to Create a Mini-Pilgrimage as a Ritual for Grief

Learn how to incorporate the ritual of pilgrimage into your daily life, especially as a tool for grief.

In this solo episode I discuss the benefits of pilgrimage for spiritual growth and for helping with grief. I’ll share with you how I’ve created “mini”-pilgrimages in my own community that have helped me on my own grief journey to shift my energy, honor my loved ones, and deepen my own transformation. You’ll learn how and why you might want to try this ritual for yourself.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why pilgrimages are beneficial
  • Characteristics of sacred spaces that inspire pilgrimages
  • How a pilgrimage can help with grief
  • How to choose a time and place for a mini-pilgrimage
  • Planning for the journey
  • Tips for getting the most from a mini-pilgrimage
  • Rituals during the journey
  • The Sacred Sites Meditation Technique from Martin Gray
  • Returning from a pilgrimage

The sacred sites, the pilgrimage places … are where people most passionately give praise and prayer to God. Go there, be present in that divinity, be in love with that love.

– Martin Gray

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Special offer on Patreon: Autographed copy of What Really Matters! (Offer lasts through 1/27/2020)
  • Sign up for the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class
  • Martin Gray’s websiteSacred Sites
  • 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, Richard Schneider; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 228 Training End-of-Life Doulas for the World with Suzanne O’Brien RN

Learn how you can get involved (for free) as a host for World Training Day and spread the word about how to care for people at the end of life.

My guest today is Suzanne O’Brien RN, hospice and oncology nurse and the founder of Doulagivers.com. She discusses how end-of-life doulas will change death and dying now and in the future and how she started World Training Day in 2019 to meet the needs of communities around the world for end-of-life training. Learn how you can get involved this year and host an event on 4/20/2020. Get more information at the World Training Day website:

www.worldtrainingday.org

Download Suzanne’s handout:

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is an “end-of-life doula”
  • Why death is not a medical experience but a human experience
  • How EOL doulas can help with the current and future caregiver shortage
  • 3 levels of training for doulas
  • How advance planning leads to a good end of life
  • How EOL doula training is useful for everyone, including teachers, navigators and hospice workers
  • Online training available for level 1 doulas through Doulagivers.com
  • Why presence is one of the greatest gifts we can give to patients at the end of life
  • How to get involved (for FREE) in World Training Day on 4/20/2020 – anyone can be a host; sign up by January 20, 2020
  • Where to host a WTD event and how you can benefit from being a host
  • The ripple effect of planting seeds about end-of-life issues

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: Joyce Miller, Megan Carmichael, and Lynn; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 227 Approaching the Tipping Point: Looking Back at a Decade of Change and Ahead to 2020

Learn how changes that began in the last decade foreshadow future growth in the death-positive movement.

In this final solo episode for 2019 I take a look back at some of the significant events of the past decade that helped to move forward the end-of-life movement. Then I share some tips and insights for continuing the momentum for positive change and increased death awareness in 2020. Find out how you can be part of the future as we move toward better care of the dying and the dead in our society.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Previous events that helped set the stage for the momentum of the past decade (e.g. Five Wishes, Green Burial Council, Suzanne O’Brien’s community training for doulas)
  • Major movements of the past decade that have helped shift the narrative on death and dying:
    • National Home Funeral Alliance
    • The Conversation Project
    • Death Cafe
    • Ask a Mortician with Caitlin Doughty
    • Confessions of a Funeral Director with Caleb Wilde
    • Death Over Dinner
    • Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal
    • Recompose (formerly the Urban Death Project)
    • Brittany Maynard’s quest for death with dignity
    • formation of the EOL Doula Council
  • What we have learned from the natural childbirth movement
  • Tips for continuing the momentum in 2020:
    • Don’t wait – the time is now
    • It will take all of us to create change – form coalitions and collaborations
    • Create a unified message for the cause
    • Education is critical
    • Tailor the message for specific groups
    • Be in it for the long haul (growth takes time)

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Episode 145 and 146: What the EOL Movement Can Learn from the Natural Childbirth Movement
  • Episode 128: Why We Need Death Ed for Everyone Right Now
  • Interview with Deanna Cochran on EOL doula movement
  • Episode 186: How to Bring Death Doulas to the Hospice Team
  • 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 Delana Schneider, your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 226 The Afterlife of Billy Fingers and Learning About Life and Death with Annie Kagan

Learn how Annie Kagan received after-death communications from her brother that showed her how to navigate life with joy and love.

My guest Annie Kagan is a singer/songwriter and former chiropractor who began receiving communications from her brother Billy shortly after his death. Even though Billy had lived a troubled and colorful life he revealed to Annie that he had tapped into great spiritual wisdom in the afterlife and wanted to write a book with her. She shares her story and Billy’s wisdom in this interview as we discuss the book The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved To Me There’s Life After Death. Learn more at the website:

www.afterlifeofbillyfingers.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Billy provided Annie with proof of his contact
  • Annie’s journey through grief and guilt as guided by Billy
  • How Annie’s life was changed through Billy’s messages
  • How Annie’s intense meditation practice prepared her to receive communication with Billy
  • Tips for enhancing afterlife communication with a loved one
    • Speak as though they can hear you
    • Trust your own inner knowing
    • Trust the signs you see
  • Why it is important to accept the mystery of life and death and how the medical system denies mystery
  • Billy’s lessons for life and why we have to train ourselves to focus on loving the life we have
  • Why we shouldn’t fear grief or try to avoid it

See life through your own eyes not through the lens of another.

– Billy fingers

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: Michelle Scott and Marjorie Williams; your contributions make all the difference!