EOLPodcast

Ep. 316 “Deep Dive” Part 2: COVID, Self-Care and Meeting People Where They Are with Deanna Cochran RN

Learn why being present and quiet can be the best way to help people at the end of life.

Deanna Cochran, hospice nurse, EOL doula, and founder of the CareDoula® School of Accompanying the Dying returns in this episode for Part 2 of our “deep dive” conversation (check out Part 1 here.) We talk about the impact of COVID on end-of-life work and how it has brought to our awareness the inequities that exist in our society and in healthcare. Caring for ourselves is another important topic of our discussion and Deanna shares how she stays sane while doing incredibly stressful work. Learn more at Deanna’s website:

www.certifiedcaredoula.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The lessons learned from dealing with COVID
  • Why a commitment to self-care is necessary for end-of-life workers
  • The practices Deanna relies upon to maintain physical, emotional and spiritual health while doing this work
  • Choosing language around death and dying that people are comfortable with
  • Allowing awareness of death to unfold for other people on their own time frame
  • Why being quiet and saying nothing is sometimes the most helpful thing we can do
  • The blessing of beginner’s mind vs the challenge of expertise
  • “Guiding from behind” and knowing when to take charge

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 315 “Deep Dive” Part 1: Hospice and EOL Doulas with Deanna Cochran RN

Learn the “long-view” of end-of-life care and how hospice care has changed over time to now include death doulas.

My guest Deanna Cochran is a registered nurse with certification in hospice and palliative care who has served as a private EOL doula since 2005, so she is truly a pioneer in the movement. She is the founder of the CareDoula® School of Accompanying the Dying and the author of “Accompanying the Dying: Practical, Heart-Centered Wisdom for End-of-Life Doula and Healthcare Advocates.” Today we begin a “deep-dive” conversation that covers our experiences in nursing and medical training, hospice of the past vs today’s hospice, and why death doulas are so important right now. Tune in next week for Part 2 of our discussion! Learn more about Deanna’s work and the trainings she offers at her website:

www.certifiedcaredoula.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Deanna was first introduced to sitting vigil by her grandmother
  • The lack of death training in nursing and medical schools
  • Why we have to be aware of our own suffering before we can sit with the suffering of others
  • Why death doulas are needed now more than ever in our busy and understaffed healthcare system
  • How hospice care has changed over the years
  • What to do if you are receiving inadequate care from a hospice
  • How the medical system falls short of whole-person care by focusing primarily on the physical aspect of patients
  • Why personal experience matters a great deal in caring for the dying
  • The value of stillness and being quiet in end-of-life 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 supporters Alix Lutnick and Nancy Kendrick! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 314 Why Death Awareness is the Key to Your Best Life with Kate Manser

Learn why focusing on your mortality opens the door to finding deeper meaning in life.

My guest Kate Manser is the inspiring visionary creator of YOU MIGHT DIE TOMORROW, a movement to help people really live before they die. She is the author of the book You Might Die Tomorrow and The ALIVE Workbook, which she talks about today. She shares what she has learned through her own awakening about living fully by remembering our mortality. Kate’s work has been featured in O Magazine, she has spoken at Facebook HQ, and her book has sold thousands of copies. Most of all, she writes, she is just so happy to be alive. Learn more at her website:

www.youmightdietomorrow.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Kate was inspired to start You Might Die Tomorrow as a movement
  • Why the most important aspect of preparing for death is learning how to live more fully in each and every moment
  • Why accepting suffering in life is the first step to living more deeply
  • Using the “Deathbed Gut Check” as a tool for decision-making
  • Paying attention to the small meaningful moments of life
  • How practice and intention can rewire your brain
  • How to deal with the fear of death
  • The benefits of walking meditation

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 313 Technology and Grief: The Grief Refuge App with Reid Peterson

Learn about an innovative new smart phone app that provides connection and inspiration for people experiencing grief.

My guest Reid Peterson is the creator of Grief Refuge, a website which provides tools, resources and support to help navigate grief’s lonely journey. He has also created the Grief Refuge mobile phone app that provides daily support to people in grief. He discusses how technology can help us overcome loneliness and isolation during the grief process and shares what he has learned about Grief Companioning through his training. Learn more at the website:

www.griefrefuge.com

Get the free app here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Reid was inspired to create Grief Refuge
  • How an app can provide support during the grief process
  • Who can benefit most from using the Grief Refuge App
  • The unique features of the app
    • Journal
    • Intentions
    • Reflections
    • Podcast
    • Ask the Author
    • Daily Refuge (w/ paid subscription)
  • What is Grief Companioning
  • Why Grief Companioning is more helpful to some people than traditional therapy
  • How to get the Grief Refuge App and start using it

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 312 The Wisdom of a Deathwalker for Living and Dying Well with Zenith Virago

Learn the powerful lessons that come from a long career of service to others at the end of life.

My guest Zenith Virago is a respected pioneer and acknowledged expert in the fields of holistic death and dying. With over 20 years of experience she provides comfort, information and guidance to assist people through the natural and the sacred, the inner and outer journeying as they come to the transition at the end of life. She is the subject of the documentary film “Zen and the Art of Dying” and the co-author of the book The Intimacy of Death and Dying. Zen shares the lessons she has learned over the years from life and death and what it means to be a “Deathwalker.” Learn more at the website:

www.naturaldeathcarecentre.org

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Zen first became interested in working with dying and death
  • What has changed in death care over the past few decades since she began her work
  • Why each death worker must do their own work in coming to terms with mortality
  • The importance of being able to sit with the mystery of death and not knowing how to fix things
  • Why every death has an “equation” that is unique and needs to be understood
  • How sadness can become grief or joy and both are acceptable reactions to death
  • The one question to ask each person on their deathbed
  • Dying as an “inside job” and tools for preparing for it
  • Why dying well is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 311 The Conundrum of “Hope” at the End-of-Life

Learn why hope is a powerful tool that can be harmful or helpful at the end of life.

In this solo episode I share some thoughts, concerns, studies, quotes and clips on hope and why it isn’t always a good thing at the end of life. From doctors who refuse to refer patients to hospice and palliative care because they don’t want to take away their hope, to patients who cling to false hopes and resist planning for the end of life, I’ve long been concerned that we are using hope in a toxic way in our medical system. It’s time to look at a better way to help patients find meaning and positive experiences at the end of life than just handing them empty hope.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How hope can be harmful for some people as they approach the end of life
  • Study showing the unrealistic expectations of terminal patients for how long they thought they had to live
  • The consequences of unrealistic hope for individual patients and the medical system
  • How some medical providers use hope as a tool without recognizing the harm it can cause to patients
  • How unrealistic hope can prevent patients from focusing on the present moment
  • Study showing that hope has a spectrum from “miracle cure” to “peaceful death”
  • Most patients want gentle honesty from their doctors but doctors often don’t recognize that
  • How to “dance with death” (per Stephen Jenkinson) rather than fighting against death
  • Why hope can be a superficial disguise for the fear of death
  • How to help people move beyond unrealistic hope to greater acceptance of death

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 supporter John Kuntz for increasing your monthly pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 310 It’s OK to Talk About Suicide: Finding Safety and Hope Amidst Pain with Kevin Hines

Learn how Kevin Hines survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge to become a global speaker on suicide, mental illness, and finding hope in life.

My guest Kevin Hines is a storyteller, best-selling author, global public speaker, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. In the year 2000 Kevin attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and miraculously survived the injuries from his fall. He has dedicated his life to telling his story and helping others survive pain with true resilience. He is the author of Cracked Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt and co-author of The 3rd Rail: [In My Mania I Became]. He has also produced a documentary called Suicide: The Ripple Effect. Learn more about his work at his website:

www.kevinhinesstory.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Kevin’s story
  • Why suicide is a taboo subject in our society
  • Why it’s important to talk about suicide
  • Overcoming our fears of discussing suicide
  • What to say to someone who might be contemplating suicide
  • Information about the Crisis Text Line
  • The NotOK App – a digital panic button
  • Tips for coping with the guilt that follows the suicide death of a loved one

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 309 A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion with Joseph Stern MD

Learn how his sister’s illness and death made this neurosurgeon a better doctor.

My guest Dr. Joseph Stern is a partner in the country’s largest neurosurgical group practice in Greensboro, North Carolina. While he has frequently worked with patients and families facing life-limiting illness, his experiences at the bedside of his sister during her nearly one-year ordeal with leukemia, changed everything for him. He shares how his own medical practice was affected by what he learned about the patient’s perspective on end-of-life care and how he envisions our medical system needs to shift in order to improve the care being offered to all patients. He is the author of Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion. Learn more about his work at his website:

www.JosephSternMD.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The shock Dr. Stern experienced when viewing medical care through the eyes of a terminal patient
  • Why he wished his sister’s doctors had discussed her terminal prognosis with her
  • How to balance hope with reality when facing terminal illness
  • The additional lessons
  • he learned as healthcare proxy for his brother-in-law who suffered a brain aneurysm
  • The definition of “emotional agility” and why it should be taught to all medical students
  • How to improve empathy and communication skills for medical providers
  • Why palliative care should be started much earlier for all patients facing potential life-limiting illness
  • How Dr. Stern has changed his own approach to patients in light of what he has learned
  • How empathy and compassion can actually prevent burnout for medical providers rather than cause it

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 308 Map of Memory Lane: A Grief Book for Children with Francesca Arnoldy

Learn about a new book for children that gently introduces the idea of loss and cherishing our memories.

My guest Francesca Lynn Arnoldy is a community doula and educator who developed the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s End-of-LIfe Doula training programs. She is also a bereavement researcher with the Vermont Conversation Lab, and leads workshops about doula approaches and end-of-life wishes. She is the author of Cultivating the Doula Heart: Essentials of Compassionate Care as well as the forthcoming picture book Map of Memory Lane. She discusses the importance of resources for educating children about death and grief from an early age. Learn more about her doula work and her book at these websites:

www.contemplativedoula.com

www.francescalynnarnoldy.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Francesca was inspired to write a book about grief for children
  • How children grieve differently from adults
  • Why we need to teach children from a young age about the cycle of life and death and how to approach grief
  • How Francesca handled grief with her own children when their dog died
  • Many adults today are still dealing with issues of unresolved grief from childhood
  • Why we need “healthy preparedness” for the end of life at all ages – the education should begin in childhood
  • How the book is a valuable teaching tool for parents/grandparents/teachers/doulas to use with children
  • Why simple and clear information is preferable for children
  • The importance of grief legacy work and how doulas can help families with this process
  • How Francesca is using crowdfunding through Kickstarter to get the book into print

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 307 Life.Death.Whatever: We All Know How This Ends with Anna Lyons and Louise Winter

Learn how an EOL doula and funeral director in the UK have teamed up to creatively shift the conversation around death and dying.

My guests Anna Lyons and Louise Winter are the creative team behind the popular Life.Death.Whatever initiative to redesign the dialogue around death and dying. Anna is an end-of-life doula and Louise is a progressive funeral director in the UK. They share how their partnership has allowed them to address the full spectrum of end-of-life issues from terminal diagnosis to the dying process to after-death care and bereavement–all of which are beautifully covered in their newly released book We All Know How This Ends: Lessons About Life and Living from Working with Death and Dying. Learn more at their website:

www.lifedeathwhatever.com

Follow on Instagram: @lifedeathwhat

Get the book here

Listen here

This episode includes:

  • How Anna and Louise teamed up to create Life.Death.Whatever
  • The inspiration behind writing this book
  • How they developed two projects for public participation: Five Things and Unsaid
  • Why it is important to create links between end-of-life and after-death care
  • Sensitive or “taboo” topics covered in the book like sex during illness and at the end of life and what happens to the body during decomposition and cremation
  • Why they included COVID in their new book and the importance of acknowledging the pandemic when we talk about end-of-life issues
  • How to submit your own writing for Five Things or Unsaid
  • The most surprising things they’ve learned about life through working with death

Eat the gelato – especially if it’s salted caramel.”

from We All Know How this Ends by Anna Lyons and Louise Winter

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Submit your Five Things or Unsaid writing to submissions@lifedeathwhatever.com
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 306 Providing Hospice Care for Those Without a Home with Penny Davis

Learn how a retired hospice director turned a failing hospice home into a thriving charitable organization providing housing for homeless people at the end of life.

My guest Penny Davis is a former hospice nurse who went on to get degrees in business, leadership and wellness management. She served as the executive director of a hospice for a number of years and eventually retired, only to be called to her next “mission” – saving a hospice home that provided care for people dealing with homelessness. She shares with us why it’s important to combine business knowledge with a charitable heart in order to create a successful organization to provide end-of-life care. Penny is also the author of the book PJs, Pearls, and Fishing Poles: Life Lessons of Style and Substance. Learn more at her website:

www.pennydavisbooks.com

Get the book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Penny brought creativity to her work as a hospice executive director
  • Why it’s helpful for hospice directors to have both business knowledge and hospice clinical experience
  • How Penny became involved with a failing hospice home for people who were experiencing homelessness
  • Why community engagement is essential for the success of a charitable hospice organization
  • The “pitfalls” that can undermine a charitable program and how to overcome them
  • Advice for those who want to start a similar hospice home for people without housing
  • Why it is important for other communities to recognize the end-of-life needs of their homeless population
  • How telling stories can help educate the community about the needs of patients and engage their support
  • How to utilize the stories in Penny’s book to inspire staff, volunteers, trainees and community members

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 305 The Death Dialogues Project: Getting Death Out of the Closet with Becky Aud-Jennison

Learn how Becky created The Death Dialogues Project after a lifetime of experiences with death gradually called her to this work.

My guest Becky Aud-Jennison is the creator and host of The Death Dialogues Project and Podcast, which she created to help bring conversations surrounding death, dying and the aftermath out of the closet. Trained as a nurse and a therapist Becky served as a death doula and home vigilist during the deaths of two of her loved ones, which sparked her passion for facilitating broader conversations. Her love of “verbatim theatre” inspired the original concept for The Death Dialogues Project, which became a podcast over time. She is also the author of two books, forthcoming in 2022: and then the stars spoke: a memoir through the lens of death and Death and Its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Beautiful Lessons. Learn more at the website:

www.deathdialogues.net

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Becky’s life experiences drew her to work with and talk about death
  • How the video and training from Zen and the Art of Dying helped Becky be present for her loved ones’ deaths and have non-traditional funerals for them
  • How The Vagina Monologues helped inspire The Death Dialogues Project
  • How timing plays a role in the unfolding of our life’s purpose
  • Why the medical profession needs to have greater compassion for people who attempt suicide
  • Why we need to stop “clenching” against death and grief and be more open
  • Grief is different for each person and also for each death that we experience

Death has torn me apart and it’s put me back together again differently.”

Becky Aud-Jennison

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 304 How Men Grieve: The WE GRIEVE Community with Karl Shackelford

Learn how men grieve differently than women and about an online community where men can find support.

My guest Karl Shackelford is a board-certified chaplain who spent many years working with hospice patients. He is also a certified HeartMath® trainer who helps those struggling with the effects of stress, anxiety and adversity to build resilience. Karl is the founder of We Grieve, which is an online community where grieving people come together to heal. Today he’ll share how he created that community and why he went on to start a grief group specifically for men. Learn more at the website:

www.wegrieve.net

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How COVID became a catalyst for the formation of the online We Grieve community
  • Why Karl decided to start a grief group for guys
  • How men grieve differently than women
  • How our society has shamed men for their emotions and failed to support them in their grief
  • Why men benefit from a men-only grief group
  • How HeartMath® tools help people who are grieving
  • A simple HeartMath® exercise to use in the moment
  • Weekly free grief workshops offered online by We Grieve
  • How to “gift” a membership in We Grieve to someone who is grieving
  • How to become a facilitator for We Grieve

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 303 Anam Cara: Soul Companion for the Dying with Judy Hilyard

Learn how a “soul companion” for the dying helps ease the fear of death.

My guest Judy Hilyard worked as an ICU nurse during her 47-year career and now serves as an Anam Cara, or “soul friend” to the dying. In addition she also fulfills the role of an Anam Aira by accompanying people through the process of death to “the other side of the Veil.” She shares her experiences and how this work helps free people from the fear of death and resolve their spiritual pain. Judy is the author of Soul Companion: A Memoir which chronicles her training and work on both sides of the veil. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.anamcaracompanion.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Judy became an Anam Cara/Aira
  • What is the difference between an Anam Cara and an Anam Aira
  • The 4 Spiritual Pains of the dying according to Richard Groves
  • How Judy developed her skill in accompanying the dying
  • How a soul companion can help ease the fear of death
  • How Judy’s experiences showed her there is no hell
  • How this work has changed the way Judy lives her life
  • What to do if you feel inspired to become an Anam Cara

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 302 Life Centered Therapy for Trauma, Grief and Dying with Andrew Hahn PsyD

Learn new tools for dealing with the pain of trauma, loss and grief through an innovative therapy process.

My guest Andrew Hahn is a psychologist who has long sought to help people live more contented and healthier lives by blending Eastern and alternative philosophies with his traditional training. He developed Life Centered Therapy based on research on violence and loss trauma, kinesiology, and energy psychology in addition to Buddhist and Eastern psychology. He shares how he works with people dealing with trauma, grief and the dying process. Learn more at his website:

www.lifecenteredtherapy.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is Life Centered Therapy (LCT)
  • Trauma is basically something that happens in life that can’t be handled
  • Healing is to help others master what they haven’t been able to handle in the past
  • Why medications alone are not sufficient for helping people heal trauma
  • How LCT differs from traditional psychotherapy
  • How physical symptoms can be clues to something deeper going on
  • How muscle testing (kinesiology) is a communication method for the soul
  • Why allowing ourselves to grieve is the way out of suffering
  • We need to feel the pain itself rather than feeling pain about the pain
  • The core experience of loss is inner emptiness
  • We have to grow to certain stages of development before we can fully handle the traumas of life
  • Why we shouldn’t deny our traumatic experiences but also shouldn’t identify with them – we simply have to be with our emotions about them

Life is trying to evolve through us by creating more love … and we’re trying to evolve by realizing who we really are, which is unity.

Andrew Hahn PsyD

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 301 Grief Dreams and What We Learn From Them with Dr. Joshua Black

Learn how dreams can be a powerful source of healing during grief.

My guest Dr. Joshua Black is considered one of the world’s leading academic experts on grief dreams. He is on a mission to raise awareness about the prevalence of impactful dreams during grief and why we should pay attention to them. In this conversation he shares how he got interested in this research and what he’s learned that can benefit all of us. Learn more about his work and podcast at his website:

www.griefdreams.ca

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The common forms of grief dreams
  • Who is likely to have a grief dream and how common they are
  • How people benefit from having grief dreams
  • How dreams evolve as the grief process progresses
  • The effect of the pandemic on grief dreams
  • How to increase the likelihood of remembering a grief dream
  • Unanswered questions about grief dreams
  • The Grief Dreams Podcast and online course

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 300 Training EOL Educators to Change the World with Michelle Pante and Reena Lazar

Learn why and how to become an EOL Educator through a new program offered by WillowEOL.

My guests Michelle Pante and Reena Lazar are co-founders of Willow End of Life Education and Planning and co-authors of 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death, the workbook and the self-study online program. They have also created the Willow EOL Educator™ Program, which we discuss in this interview. They share the importance of providing education to both the public and healthcare providers in order to change the way we manage the end of life and to find the greatest meaning in life. They are offering a $200 discount to their EOL Educator™ Program for listeners who sign up before the end of May 2021. Learn more and sign up with the coupon code EOLU200 at this link:

educators.willoweol.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How COVID accelerated the development of the EOL Educators Program
  • Why EOL education is so important right now
  • What inspired Michelle and Reena to create this program
  • Who can benefit from becoming a Willow EOL Educator
  • What the program includes
  • How participants can tailor their own workshops using Willow’s materials
  • How this program augments other training programs and does not compete or preclude any other system

To change the world we need a global network of heart-centred, end-of-life educators.”

Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast

Ep. 299 Embodied Grieving for Ancestral Trauma and Loss with Oceana Sawyer

Learn some tools for experiencing grief in the physical body and moving it through to promote healing of ancestral trauma.

My guest Oceana Sawyer is a death doula and funeral celebrant who utilizes earth-based spirituality, expressive arts and integral counseling psychology in her work. She teaches about the need to feel our emotions in the physical body in order to get “unstuck” from grief and how grief can be a portal for healing our own trauma from the past and that of our ancestors. Through her own life experiences as a Black woman she has explored the pain of racialized trauma in our society and how it effects all of us regardless of our own skin color. Learn more about Oceana’s work at her website:

www.oceanaendoflifedoula.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Oceana was called to work with death, dying and grief through her father’s death
  • Why grief needs to be experienced and expressed through the physical body
  • Ways to practice embodied grieving
    • Breath work
    • Body work
    • Yoga
    • Hiking
    • Running
    • Dancing
    • Laughter
  • How grief can be a great opening for self-exploration and healing to occur
  • Why everyone in our society needs to do grief work right now
  • Why “if you don’t transform your pain you will transmit it”
  • How the pandemic and the racial violence in our society have led to massive unresolved grief
  • Oceana’s own exploration of healing racial trauma in the physical body
  • Your body already knows how to heal itself
  • Grieving is the first step of forgiveness

The capacity to move through big emotions is our capacity to grow … it’s how you’re going to become a full human being.”

Oceana Sawyer

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest supporter Suzanna Brown and thank you Sandy Jane Stacy for increasing your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

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

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

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

www.JenniferMathews.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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EOLPodcast, Grief

Special Episode: Vigil to Honor and Grieve Our Mothers

On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will help us grieve the deaths of our own mothers on this Mother’s Day. May it bring you peace and comfort.

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