EOLPodcast

Ep. 319 At the Bedside: Tools for Caring for the Dying with Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

Learn how this hospice nurse and end-of-life doula is making a difference by sharing the tools she has learned.

My guest Gabrielle Elise Jimenez is a hospice nurse, end-of-life doula and conscious dying educator. She is also the author of three books intended to teach others how to provide care to their own dying loved ones. She talks about the tools she feels are most important for caregivers to learn and she also shares information about her Facebook page that exploded with new members when people started posting about their grief. Learn more about her books and courses at her website:

www.thehospiceheart.net

Get her books here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Gabby ended up becoming a hospice nurse and an end-of-life doula
  • The tools needed to care for a dying loved one at home
  • How to help families with grief in hospice
  • How Gabby tapped into the huge need for grief support that exists in our world right now
  • Advice for healthcare professionals who need to recognize their own grief
  • How to stay in balance while doing emotionally challenging work
  • The impact of COVID on hospice workers
  • 3 things everyone should know about death and dying
  • How to live our best lives by recognizing that we will die one day

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. 317 It’s Your Funeral! A “Fun” Guide to Planning for the End with Kathy Benjamin

Learn about a helpful and humorous workbook for funeral planning.

My guest Kathy Benjamin is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on various sites including Uproxx, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket, and Cracked.com. She is the author Funerals to Die For and the recently released It’s Your Funeral: Plan the Celebration of a Lifetime Before it’s Too Late. She shares how she got interested in writing about funerals and some of the fascinating facts she’s learned over time about the importance of funerals throughout history and across all societies. We also discuss her set-by-step guide to creating a great funeral. Connect with Kathy at her website:

www.KathyBenjamin.com

Get It’s Your Funeral here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Kathy got inspired to write two books about funerals
  • How she did research for the topics in the book
  • Why funerals are important and how it helps to plan one in advance
  • Some of the components of a good funeral to consider in your planning:
    • Venue
    • Funeral roles
    • Theme
    • Eulogy
    • Burial options
  • Interesting funeral traditions from around the world
  • Challenges for funeral planning during the pandemic
  • Why It’s Your Funeral could be a good humorous gift for a milestone birthday
  • How to use the book to get started on planning your funeral now

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Follow Kathy on social media:
    • Facebook: facebook.com/kab18
    • Twitter: @KathyBenjamin

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. 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. 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. 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, 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:

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 Judith Hillyard! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 282 The Beauty of What Remains with Rabbi Steve Leder

Listen as Rabbi Steve Leder shares the wisdom learned through caring for the spiritual needs of his temple members at the end of life.

My guest Rabbi Steve Leder is the senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles and the author of several books including the recently released The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift. His beautifully-written book is based upon his experience providing spiritual care to thousands of temple members and their families as they faced the end of life. Interwoven with dozens of stories he learned as “Rabbi Steve” are the personal stories of “Son Steve”, navigating his father’s illness and eventual death from Alzheimer’s dementia. We share a deep and thoughtful conversation about the challenges of facing death and the beautiful life lessons it teaches us. Learn more about Rabbi Steve’s work at his website:

www.SteveLeder.com

Get the book on Bookshop or Amazon

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Rabbi Steve to write this book
  • The meaning of the title “The Beauty of What Remains”
  • Advice for how to “show up” for the dying
  • Dealing with the character flaws and secrets of the deceased when writing a eulogy
  • The need for greater honesty and authenticity when being with the dying
  • Why we can’t understand deep grief until we experience it ourselves
  • Why funerals during COVID may actually be more meaningful than before
  • How the dead speak to us through our memories
  • Why we must focus on “being a good ancestor” to those who will follow us

“Dying makes perfect sense to the dying, just not to the living; the same way that breathing underwater makes perfect sense to the fish but not to us.”

Rabbi Steve Leder

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get The Beauty of What Remains here
  • Check out “10 Days to Activate Revolutionary Love” here
  • 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, especially my newest supporter S. Robertson! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 256 The Live Well Die Well Tour: Death Education Meets the Road with Kimberly Paul

Learn the inside story of this groundbreaking tour across America to promote conversations about death and dying.

My guest Kimberly Paul last appeared on End-of-Life University 2 years ago as she was preparing to embark on a courageous adventure: traveling across the US in an RV and teaching and talking about death and dying with people she met along the way. Today she returns to the podcast to share her inside stories of the Live Well Die Well Tour and the lessons she learned on her extraordinary journey. She is also the host of Death by Design Podcast and the author of the book Bridging the Gap: Life Lessons from the Dying. Learn more at her website:

www.deathbydesign.com

Listen here:

The Live Well Die Well Tour with Kimberly Paul

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Kimberly to create the Live Well Die Well Tour
  • How she planned and prepared for her journey
  • The ups and downs of a 2-year road trip in an RV
  • Stories of Kimberly’s memorable experiences on the journey (including a special tow truck driver)
  • How COVID-19 impacted her journey
  • How she hopes to use the stories she’s gathered from across the country to inform Congress about changes needed to improve end-of-life care in the US
  • What’s next for Kimberly in her quest to make a difference in how we approach death and dying

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. 251 Insights Into the Experience of Dying with Jennie Dear

Learn about current research into the experience of dying as a physical, emotional and spiritual process.

My guest Jennie Dear, who has been a journalist, English professor and hospice volunteer, was curious about the question “what does it feel like to die?” so she conducted her own research project. After interviewing doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other experts about the passage between diagnosis and death, she wrote a book (What Does it Feel Like to Die?) to share the hopeful insights she gained. She discusses what she learned from that project and what most people don’t know and need to know about the dying process. Learn more about her work at the website:

www.jenniedear.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why and how Jennie wrote this book
  • How knowing about the physical process of dying can help people prepare better for the end of life
  • Why some dying patients’ pain is not alleviated
    • Fear of opioid abuse
    • Other untreated symptoms
    • Mental/emotional suffering of the dying process
  • Neuroscience experiments with patients in a vegetative state show patients are more aware than they appear to be
  • How do we know that “hearing is the last sense to go” for a dying patient
  • The 4 trajectories of dying (according to Dr. Joanne Lynn) and why it’s helpful to understand them
    • Sudden death
    • Terminal illness
    • Chronic illness
    • Frailty
  • Most common reasons for choosing medical aid in dying:
    • Fear of pain
    • Not wanting to be a burden to family
    • Not wanting to prolong the dying process

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Course: Racism in Death Care – Confronting Bias, Ignorance and Prejudice taught by Joel Anthony and Anita Grant
  • Get Jennie’s book here: What Does it Feel Like to Die?
  • Get Karen’s book here: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying
  • Dr. Joanne Lynn discusses 3 Trajectories of Death – video
  • The Five Trajectories pdf by Jennifer Moore Ballentine
  • Jennie’s 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 Patron: Heather Capuano. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 12: 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 12: There’s something greater than us

There’s something greater than us

Featured Verse from The Tao of Death by Karen Wyatt

Verse 25

There is something greater than all the laws of Nature –

greater even than the Universe itself.

It exists outside of time,

perfect in its serenity, emptiness and wholeness.

It will never change and never die.

It is the source of all creation and all creativity.

We have no name for this infinite source and so we call it

The Way of Death.

The Way of Death exists within all things,

gives Life to all things, and

returns everything back to the original source.

The ancients say that there are four great powers in existence:

the Creative Force,

the Universe,

the Earth,

and Humankind.

Humankind must yield to the laws of the Earth.

The Earth must yield to the laws of the Universe.

The Universe must yield to the laws of the Creative Force.

The Creative Force operates through the Way of Death.

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 11: 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 11: To everything there is a season

To everything there is a season

Featured Verse: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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

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, 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!