End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.lucindaherring.com

Listen here:

Reimagining Death During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This episode includes:

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

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.gatheringus.com

Listen here:

Virtual Funerals and Memorials

This episode includes:

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

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

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

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

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

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

Listen here:

Grief Work for Healthcare Providers

This episode includes:

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.thedyingyear.org

Listen here:

Death Care at Home and at a Distance

This episode includes:

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

Other links mentioned in this episode:

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 5: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

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

Story 5: The Power of Silence

The Power of Silence

Featured Poem:

by John O’Donohue

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 225 How to Make Difficult Times Better as a Death-Aware Person

Learn what it takes to bring your compassionate presence more fully to others in challenging circumstances.

In this solo episode I discuss how to be a person who makes every situation better simply by being there. Scientific studies have shown that by cultivating greater coherence in the heart’s energy field we can make a positive impact on the people around us who are going through difficulties. I share some tasks to focus on to help develop your own ability to be fully present with a compassionate heart for the good of everyone in our society.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The heart’s electromagnetic field is the most powerful in the body according to the HeartMath Institute
  • Coherence occurs when there is harmony between body, mind, spirit, and emotions
  • Coherent energy from one person helps create calmer energy for other people
  • End-of-life workers can make a big difference for patients and families by increasing the coherence of their own heart energy
  • 5 tasks to make difficult times better:
    • Be willing to show up when things fall apart
    • Be a safe container
    • Be a deep listener
    • Be a truth-teller
    • Be a way-shower

Heart coherence serves as a facilitator, adding strength and effectiveness to your care, compassion, intentions and actions to help the world.

Heartmath Institute

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: Raquel Wiltbank-Mateo and Karen Coupe; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 224 How to Help Children With Grief and Talk to Them About Death with Joe Primo

Learn why we need to do a better job recognizing and helping with the experience of grief for our children.

My guest Joe Primo is the CEO of Good Grief, an education and advocacy organization for grieving children. He is the author of the book What Do We Tell the Children: Talking to Kids About Death and Dying and in this interview discusses how the way we talk to children about death can shape their experience of grief throughout their lives. His insights are especially helpful as we approach the holiday season where grief tends to rise to the surface for all of us. Learn more about his work at this website:

www.good-grief.org

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What we are getting wrong in our approach to grief with children
  • How grief can be good
  • How addressing grief openly can help us address other issues in our society
  • Teaching moments for talking about death with children
  • Why cliches and euphemisms about death are not helpful
  • Why teachers and other support people need to be educated about childhood grief
  • Why grief should be revisited with children as they grow and develop over the years
  • Tips for parents to teach children about death
  • Hospice workers and medical personnel should educate themselves about talking to children about death
  • Why attending a funeral can help establish continuing bonds

If you’re old enough to love, you’re old enough to grieve.

Joseph Primo – Good-Grief.org

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: Sherrill Shimek, Linda Read, Elisabeth Cascada Rogolsky, Hilary Walker, and Joanna Brown; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 222 The Benefits of Medical Hypnosis at the End of Life with Roger Moore

Learn how hypnosis can help dying patients, their loved ones, and their medical providers find greater ease and less stress as they cope with the end of life.

podcastMoore

My guest Roger Moore is a medical hypnotherapist who frequently works with patients at the end of life and their caregivers. He’ll discuss how he utilizes hypnosis to help ease symptoms for his patients and share tools that all of us can use to deal with stress. Learn more about Roger’s work at his website:

www.hypnosishealthinfo.com

Download “Orange Blossom” mp3 here

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • What is “medical hypnosis”
  • What happens in a typical session of hypnosis
  • The “wiggle” technique for returning to the present moment
  • How hypnosis benefits both patient and caregiver
  • How hypnosis helps with the fear of death and dying
  • The “flow through” technique to prevent taking on the suffering of the patient
  • How self-hypnosis tools can help healthcare providers deal with stress, grief and guilt
  • Hypnosis as a tool for learning mindfulness
  • When is the best time to recommend hypnosis as an end-of-life tool
  • Hypnosis can help patients reduce their need for pain medication
  • “Orange Blossom” recording for stress relief

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: Gail Clemson, and Kathy Bates; your contributions make all the difference!