End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

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

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

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

www.kirstendeleo.com

Listen here:

Practices for Loss and Grief

This episode includes:

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

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

John O’Donohue

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • FREE course on Advance Directives: www.eoluniversity.com/roadmapcourse
  • Kirsten’s book: Present Through the End
  • Ep. 214: Present Through the End – Spiritual Care of the Dying with Kirsten DeLeo
  • John O’Donohue poem: A Blessing for the New Year
  • Elgar’s Nimrod by Sheku Kanneh-Mason: YouTube video
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest Patrons:  Jo Anna Dvorak and Emily Eliot Miller. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

BONUS 2: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

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

Story 2: Love is the Purpose

Love is the Purpose

Poem by Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

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