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. 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. 157 “Journey’s End”: Stories for Everyone About Death with Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster

Learn about a helpful book of stories dealing with death, dying and the end of life and how you can contribute your own story to the next book in the series.

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In this episode I present my conversation with the co-editors and co-curators of the book Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life – Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster

Learn more about the book at journeysendbooks.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

SpCare-AuthPresence-EoL-UnivThis episode is sponsored by Authentic Presence training for healthcare providers from the Spiritual Care Program.  You can receive a certificate in contemplative end-of-life care by completing this series of three courses, including an 8-day residential immersion retreat. Highly recommended!

Learn more here.

 

FEATURE PRESENTATION:
Today Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster join me to talk about their book journeysendcoverJourney’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, which is a compilation of quotes, stories and resources that look at death from various perspectives. In our conversation we discuss:

  • How Julie and Vikki ended up collaborating on this book
  • How the stories in the book are organized:
    • Personal Stories of Professionals and Lay People
    • Professional Support and Caregiving Perspectives
    • Funeral Home, Post-Death and Alternative Burial
    • Grief and Bereavement
  • How they chose the contributors for the book
  • The feedback they’ve received from readers
  • How this book of stories can be useful in many settings for both professionals and lay people
  • How to submit a story for the next book in the series which will feature various cultural, ethnic and religious perspectives on death and dying

Read more about the book here.

Get the book here!

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! If you enjoy this content please share it with others  and consider leaving a review on iTunes!

Until next week:

Face Your Fear            BE Ready           Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 151 How to Include Children in Funerals (and Why You Should)

Learn about some helpful resources for talking to children about death and funerals.

podcastchildrenfuneral

EbookyouthfuneralsIn this episode I’ll share some tips from a recent panel discussion I watched about Youth and Funerals. It’s important to teach adults how to talk to children about death and how to invite them to participate in mourning rituals when a loved one dies.

Get the eBook from Funeral Services Foundation here.

Watch the video:

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

obrienwebinarOn July 24th I’ll be hosting Suzanne O’Brien RN for a free webinar titled: “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers.” Join us if you’re interested in learning more about the work of end-of-life doulas to see if further training might be of interest to you. You’ll learn valuable skills for caring for those at the end of life no matter what type of work you do. Sign up at the link below:

Doula Training Webinar

Thank you to my new supporter on Patreon.com/eolu: Joshua Zoppi! I’m grateful to you and all the other patrons who are helping to keep this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series on the air! If you’d like to join the team (and get special bonuses) go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and sign up (for as little as $1 per month!)

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

There’s no denying the importance of teaching children about death and dying from a young age to help them have a healthy attitude toward a normal part of life. Part of that teaching includes involving them in funerals for loved ones and providing appropriate support and information during the process.

In this episode I’ll talk about:

  • My own story of attending a funeral without understanding anything about death or knowing what to expect at a funeral
  • How I taught my children about death and funerals
  • The panel discussion from the Nation Funeral Directors’ Association Leadership Conference that inspired me to talk about this subject (speakers I watched and quote from include Joe Primo of Good Grief, Vicky Jay of National Alliance for Grieving Children, and Brad Speaks from Speaks Family Legacy Chapel)
  • Why children should be taught about funerals and allowed to participate
  • Why we need to teach parents how to include their children in funerals and support them in the process
  • Ways to involve children in funerals:
    • Create a music playlist for the funeral
    • Help make a poster board of photos of the loved one
    • Draw pictures of the loved one
    • Tell a story or sing a song for the funeral
    • Be a pallbearer or escort
    • Place flowers on the casket or urn or in the grave
  • Books:

Links from this episode:

Ep. 140: The Silent Grief of a Young Child with Rachel Stephenson

Good Grief Organization

National Alliance for Grieving Children

Funeral Service Foundation

There will be a new episode every Monday! If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Until next week …

Face Your Fear         BE Ready           Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast

Ep. 83 Caitlin Doughty: The Young Mortician

Learn how Caitlin Doughty is changing the funeral industry one funeral at a time.

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In this episode I share an interview with Caitlin Doughty, a progressive young funeral director in Los Angeles and the founder of the Order of the Good Death and the popular YouTube series Ask a Mortician.

ANNOUNCMENTS:

Suicideblog_On April 10th  an 8-part series will begin on this podcast titled Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath. Each episode will focus on my own personal journey of healing after my father’s suicide death.

I will share my process of learning about my Dad and the factors in his life that led to his death, while also portraying the grief and guilt I suffered as a survivor of suicide. My goal is to share hope with those who are currently on this journey of grief.

suicide lifelineFor anyone who is currently experiencing a crisis and feeling hopeless the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7.

Call 1-800-273-8255 or Text HELLO to 741-741.

Click here to talk to someone now.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a small monthly donation at www.Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I’ll promote your end-of-life related website, business, or organization on this podcast. Thank you to my newest supporter: Adrianne Berry and thanks to all of the patrons who have offered your support over the past year!

THE YOUNG MORTICIAN:

Caitlin_Doughty_in_red_Caitlin Doughty works as a funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people handle their own . Caitlin has created the popular webseries Ask a Mortician, which has 33,500 subscribers and she founded The Order of the Good Death, a web-based membership site dedicated to bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture.

In this interview you will learn:

  • why we need to make death a part of our lives
  • how to take a step toward accepting mortality by planning for a natural burial
  • ways to overcome our fear of death

Caitlin Doughty attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated in medieval history. After graduation, Caitlin moved to California, where she began to apply to crematories in an attempt to put into practice her theoretical interest in death. Her first job in the funeral industry was as a crematory operator, burning bodies by day and reading Ernest Becker by night. Since then, she has worked as a funeral arranger, a body-van transport driver, and returned to Cypress College for her second degree, in mortuary science.

Currently she works as a licensed funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people help themselves (handle a corpse).

The Order of the Good Death was founded in 2011 with the goal of bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture. Caitlin’s webseries “Ask a Mortician” and the Order website have led to features on National Public Radio, BBC, the Huffington Post, Vice, the LA Times, Jezebel.com, Forbes, Bust Magazine, and Salon.

doughtyeternityCaitlin’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, is a New York Times bestseller and will be discussed in this interview.

She has now also authored a second book, which will soon be released: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. 

You can order her books on Amazon.com or find them in bookstores everywhere.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear.                  BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief, Hospice

Ep. 65 Changing the Perspective on Death: Highlights from Death Expo 2016

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In this episode Dr. Karen Wyatt shares her favorite “take-aways” from the 12 presentations of the recent Death Expo event. If you missed Death Expo you can still purchase the recordings from the event for just $36 (which is a great price for 12 hours of education.)  Go to this link to learn more. The speakers she highlights are:

Enjoy these highlights! If you feel inspired, consider purchasing the Collection!

Also visit the Patreon.com/eolu page if you’d like to become a supporter! As always:

Face Your Fears.                   BE Ready.                     Love Your Life.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 46 Art and the End-of-Life with Irina Jordan

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Irina Jordan, Founder and Owner of ARTISURN, an online marketplace for handcrafted cremation urns, jewelry and keepsakes made by talented artisans. We will discuss the role of the creative arts in remembering our loved ones or beloved pets at the end-of-life and in healing grief. According to Irina Jordan, ARTISURN craftsmen are sensitive to the deep emotional component required in creating sacred objects and we will learn how they do this work. In this interview you will discover:

  • how cremation urns are created and measured
  • why a handmade cremation urn is preferred
  • how cremation jewelry is made, using ashes fused with glass
  • stories of grief healing through sacred art

Learn more about Irina’s work at www.artisurn.com

You can download and print Irina’s gift: Coloring Through Grief – a beautiful adult coloring book – at this link:  http://tinyurl.com/artisurn  You’ll receive a promo code for a 10% discount you can use on any Artisurn handmade cremation urn.

Thanks for tuning in! Remember to support this podcast and the EOLU interview series at www.patreon.com/eolu !! Thanks to Irina Jordan and Artisurn for their support of EOLU!!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 37 Creating a Support Community as an End-of-Life Worker

 

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses some ideas for building a support community for end-of-life workers and people interested in death and dying. Working in this field can be rather lonely at times as our society still fears and avoids the subject of death. But we need a network of support around us in order to do this challenging work. So here are some ideas for creating our own community of support:

  • Attend a Death Cafe. Learn more and out if there is a Death Cafe in your area by searching the Death Cafe website: www.DeathCafe.com
  • If there is no face-to-face Death Cafe in your area consider calling in by telephone to the Virtual Death Cafe, which generally meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Learn more at www.eoluniversity.com/death-cafe
  • Start your own Death Cafe. If you feel inclined to become a Death Cafe host (no specific training is required) you might want to start your own and truly benefit your community. Get completes Guidelines for starting a Death Cafe at www.DeathCafe.com/how
  • Use Social Media sites to get connected with others:
    • On Facebook search for these pages or public groups (then “Like” the page or ask to become a member of the group): Slow Medicine, Afterlife Awareness, Death Cafe, Death Midwifery in Canada, End-of-Life University, Death Expo
    • Linked-In: search for groups based on interests such as Hospice, Palliative Care, Chaplain Services, Grief, End-of-Life
    • Twitter: follow hashtags like #EOL #hpm #eolchat #dwd #eolcare #funeralplanning #deathcafe #hospice (depending on your interests)
  • Start a death and dying Meetup Group. You can create your own curriculum for a meetup (unlike Death Cafe that has no agenda) and include films, speakers, panel discussions, field trips. Go to www.Meetup.com to see if there is already a meetup in your area or to start one of your own.
  • Teach a class in your community. Consider teaching a death and dying class at a local community college if you have the credentials for it, or offer a class at your local senior or community center. Read this blog for some tips for teaching such a course HERE.
  • Join an organization. I highly recommend that you look into joining the National Home Funeral Alliance, which offers free registration, monthly conference calls and an annual face-to-face conference. You don’t have to be a home funeral guide to join and you will find many, many like-minded people there! Learn more about the NHFA at www.homefuneralalliance.org
  • Listen to educational interviews like this podcast or the interviews on the End-of-Life University Seminar Series. Click HERE to subscribe to the podcast and HERE to sign up for the seminar series.

Remember to support EOLU at patreon.com/eolu, tune in every Monday for a new episode, and leave your comments and reviews!

Face Your Fears.      BE Ready.      Love Your Life.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 31 March End of Month Update on the End-of-Life with Dr. Karen Wyatt

Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses what’s new and noteworthy in the end-of-life arena this month:

  • Medscape article reveals that 1/3 of all people in the US with advance directives actually request more medical intervention at the end-of-life, rather than choosing to limit medical intervention; question: What is “futile” care?
  • Helsinki, Finland project allows young people to live at low cost within senior living centers in exchange for interacting with the elderly residents
  • PEACH program in Toronto provides mobile palliative care to the homeless
  • France has a “deep sleep bill” allowing terminal sedation that has passed the lower house of parliament
  • National Geographic article shows interesting death customs of Torajan people of Indonesia
  • Demonstration project for curative care occurring simultaneously with hospice care may be doomed because criteria for participation is too narrow and numbers are too small
  • Video game “That Dragon, Cancer” has been released
  • Stanford Letter Project is an interesting resource for creating advance directives in the form of a letter to physician, family members
  • Parting.com has an interactive map that shows funeral costs in each state of the US; discussion about living funerals
  • Tribute to 13 yo Delaney Clements who died this week and left us with a beautiful , joyful video expressing her wishes for her funeral
End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 28 Action Steps for Improving End-of-Life Care in Your Community with Karen Wyatt MD

Click here to get the handout for this talk!

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses several “Action Steps” you can take in your own community to help improve end-of-life care. Change begins with the individual and if you want to ensure that your own dying is handled with respect and dignity then you should start now to help implement change. This podcast offers tangible steps you can take–some are easy, some will require a lot more effort–to get your community talking about and making changes in how death and dying are managed. Some of the tips include:

  • Starting a Death Cafe
  • Creating an End-of-Life Book Club
  • Presenting a film series on the end-of-life
  • Volunteering for hospice
  • Teaching a death and dying class
  • Hosting a Death Over Dinner event
  • Facilitating a 5 Wishes workshop

Get the handout for this talk at http://tinyurl.com/eolaction

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 15 Home Funerals and Natural Burials with Merilynne Rush, RN

This interview with home funeral guide Merilynne Rush, RN will discuss after-death options for home funerals and natural burial.

You will learn:
-What options are available for home funeral or visitation after death
-How to plan a “green” or natural burial
-State regulations regarding burial
-Why “Death Cafes” are sweeping the country and how to join or lead one

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 02 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cremation

Interview with Pam Gehrs and Colby Hitchcock

Tune in to this interview with two funeral home directors, Colby Hitchcock and Pam Gehrs, as we discuss the pros and cons of cremation as an alternative for after-death disposition. Whether you need to know about cremation in your personal or professional life, this interview will enlighten and inform you, and hopefully, dispel your fears about this increasingly common practice. Become aware of the facts about cremation so that you can advise your loved ones, patients and friends with accurate information and insights.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 01 How to Have a “Green” Burial

Interview with Esmerelda Kent of Kinkaraco

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Esmerelda Kent, owner and founder of Kinkaraco – Green Burial Products for this fascinating discussion about shrouds. Esmerelda designed and created the first secular shroud specifically for green burial back in 2005 and that prototype shroud was featured in the final episode of the popular HBO series “Six Feet Under.”  She will tell us what inspired her work and share her knowledge about the use of shrouds in all types of after-death disposition.