EOLPodcast

Special Episode: Vigil for Times of Uncertainty

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 hold space for love and compassion for all of humankind and for the planet itself. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Times of Uncertainty

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. 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!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

BONUS 10: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Tims

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 10: What Life is Bringing Me Now

What Life is Bringing Me Now

Featured Quote:

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning pp. 98-99

What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. … Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. … When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”

Viktor Frankl
EOLPodcast, Grief

Special Episode: Vigil for Those Who are Grieving

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 honor those who are grieving. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Those Who are Grieving
EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 9: 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 9: Every Life is Precious

Every Life is Precious

Featured Poem:

Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye

A man crosses the street in rain,

stepping gently, looking two times north and south,

because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.

No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo

but he’s not marked.

Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.

He hears the hum of a boy’s dream

deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able

to live in this world

if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing

with one another.

The road will only be wide.

The rain will never stop falling.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.gatheringus.com

Listen here:

Virtual Funerals and Memorials

This episode includes:

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

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

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

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

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

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

Listen here:

Grief Work for Healthcare Providers

This episode includes:

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

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.thedyingyear.org

Listen here:

Death Care at Home and at a Distance

This episode includes:

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

Other links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast, Grief, Tragedy

Special Episode: Vigil for Our Ailing Loved Ones When We Can’t Be Together

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 honor our loved ones who are sick or injured and with whom we cannot be physically present. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Loved Ones

EOLPodcast, Grief, Tragedy

Ep. 241 Life in Italy During the Pandemic: Coping with Loss and Isolation with Claire Duiker PhD

Learn how people in Italy are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and what they would like us to know as we follow a similar path.

For the past few weeks we’ve been hearing heartbreaking reports from Italy about the devastation caused by COVID-19 and the efforts there to stop the spread of the virus. My special guest this week is my friend Claire Duiker who lives in Florence, Italy and will give us a personal view of day-to-day life under lockdown in her community. She shares her own coping process and what we can learn from Italy’s long history of suffering due to wars, plagues and invasions. Claire is a tour guide who is usually traveling this time of year in her job with Customwalks.com.

Listen here:

Life in Italy During the Pandemic

This episode includes:

  • The current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
  • What life is like for Claire under lockdown
  • How she is coping with her own stages of grief and loss while being isolated
  • The magnitude of this global event and why it is a privilege to witness history-in-the-making
  • How Italy’s long history of suffering through wars, plagues and invasions has led to a legacy of resilience
  • How the family-centered people of Italy are coping with being separated from dying loved ones
  • How isolation can help us confront our own egos and gradually become better people

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination …”

Mary Oliver – Wild Geese

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, 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.