EOLPodcast

Ep. 430 Workplace Bereavement: Education for Employers with Mekel Harris PhD and Janet Gwilliam-Wright

Learn about a project to train organizations and employers to provide better support for their employees who are grieving.

This week I’m hosting two guests who have teamed up to address the issue of bereavement in the workplace. Mekel Harris PhD is a licensed psychologist who specializes in coping and adjustment to acute and chronic illness, grief and loss, and health-related trauma. She is the author of the memoir Relaxing Into the Pain: My Journey Into Grief & Beyond along with The Grief Anatomy Toolkit and Re-Imagining Life After Loss interactive course. Janet Gwilliam-Wright is a leader in the grief and loss space who founded the Motherlove Project, a global platform for motherless daughters. Janet has 15 years experience leading large organizational change and working on complex issues. Together Mekel and Janet have created Bloomwell to teach organizations and managers to support employees navigating grief and loss. Learn more at the following websites:

growwithbloomwell.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Mekel and Janet came to focus on grief in their professional lives
  • How grief is not adequately addressed in the workplace in our society
  • The struggle workers face when being required to return to work shortly after the death of a loved one
  • How employers can create a better culture in the workplace
  • What to do to help a grieving co-worker
  • Bloomwell’s framework for managing grief in the workplace
  • The training offered by Bloomwell including the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of grief
  • Why education alone doesn’t lead to behavioral change
  • The importance of creating a sense of belonging for people who are grieving
  • How workplace culture around grief starts at the top

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 and to those who’ve bought me a coffee! Also many thanks to all of you who joined the $10 for 10 Years Campaign! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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Ep. 428 Love and Loss as a Caregiver Dealing with Lewy Body Dementia with Mary Lou Falcone

Learn about Lewy Body Dementia, why it is difficult to diagnose, and the special challenges faced by caregivers.

My guest Mary Lou Falcone has been an advocate for Lewy body dementia awareness since her dear husband Nicky Zann died of the disease in 2020. Mary Lou is internationally known as a classical music publicist who has guided the careers of many celebrated artists such as Van Cliburn, Renée Fleming, and James Taylor. Her communication and strategy skills make her well-suited to be an ambassador for LBD awareness and she is committed to sharing her experience and factual information about LBD with the public. She is the author of the newly published book I Didn’t See it Coming: Scenes of Love, Loss, and Lewy Body Dementia. Learn more at her website:

www.maryloufalcone.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Mary Lou decided to become a crusader for LBD awareness
  • The difference between Alzheimer’s and Lewy Body Dementia
  • The symptoms of LBD and why it is often difficult to diagnose
  • The inspiration for writing this book
  • Why LBD is little known by the general population
  • How to cope as a caregiver with the fluctuating symptoms of LBD
  • Survival strategies for LBD caregivers
  • Helpful resources available for caregivers

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 donors Trina Wacasey and Samantha Potter and to Dianne Feltham for increasing your pledge.  Also thank you to Anonymous for buying me 3 coffees and to Carol Soppe and Samantha Potter for joining the $10 for 10 Years Campaign! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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Ep. 423 Writing as a Tool for Grief with Karen Wyatt MD and Larry George MD

Learn about an inspirational books of stories, poems, essays and reflections that teaches how to use writing during a time of grief.

In this episode I’m joined by my dear husband, Dr. Larry George who is a family physician (now retired) and an expert in Integral Medicine, an application of Ken Wilber’s Integral Model. We engage in a thoughtful discussion about how writing was an essential component of my personal grief journey and the newly published book Stories from the Dark Night, which is a compilation of varied types of writing that helped me survive during the long years of grief after my father’s suicide death. Learn more about the book:

www.eoluniversity.com/books

Get the book here

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Our shared experience of grief after my father’s suicide death
  • How I got started writing during my time of grief
  • How writing can benefit grief
  • Types of writing that are helpful
  • How writing transformed me and how my grief transformed my writing
  • How readers can benefit from this book

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 and to those who’ve bought me a coffee! Also many thanks to all of you who joined the $10 for 10 Years Campaign! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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Ep. 415 End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families with Toula Saratsis

Learn how a grieving mother has been called to offer palliative, end-of-life, and after death care to children and their families.

My guest Toula Saratsis is a certified end-of-life doula who specializes in prenatal and pediatric palliative, end-of-life, and after death care support. She shares her poignant story of being called to this work after the death of her daughter Angelica from a life limiting condition. Toula’s work and wisdom are remarkable in a field of care that many find too painful and heartbreaking to pursue. She shows us that grief is a powerful transformer and creator of good in the world. Connect with Toula:

toulasaratsis@gmail.com Facebook:  Toula Saratsis Instagram:  @toula_saratsis

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Toula and Angelica’s story
  • How Toula managed to cope with devastating loss and grief
  • Why Toula felt well-suited to provide palliative and end-of-life care to children after facing death on a daily basis
  • How to inspire more end-of-life care providers to work with children even through their discomfort
  • How Toula advocates for patients and families within the healthcare system
  • The need for palliative and end-of-life care for perinatal death
  • How to talk to a child with a life-limiting condition about death
  • The importance of a home funeral after a child dies
  • Self-care while doing this work

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 donor Nadili, thanks to Kim Adams for upping your pledge, Kristin Kennell for your Paypal donation, and to Kathleen Vallee Stein for buying me 10 coffees! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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Ep. 408 Soaring Spirits: Support for Widowed People with Michele Neff Hernandez

Learn about a valuable organization that provides peer support and resources for people grieving widowhood.

My guest Michele Neff Hernandez is the founder and CEO of Soaring Spirits International, a non-profit organization providing peer support programming for widowed people worldwide. Michele has received local, state, and national recognition for her work in founding Soaring Spirits. She is also the author of Different After You: Rediscovering Yourself and Healing After Grief or Trauma. She shares why it’s important for grieving people to be able to connect with others who have experienced a similar type of loss and how the programs offered by Soaring Spirits meet that need. Learn more at these websites:

www.micheleneffhernandez.com

www.soaringspirits.org

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Michele to start Soaring Spirits
  • Why Soaring Spirits uses a broad definition of the word “widowed”
  • How widowhood may differ from other types of loss and grief
  • The timeframe of widowhood and how the needs of grieving people can vary at each juncture
  • Tips for those who are newly widowed
  • How grieving people benefit from being connected to others who have experienced similar losses
  • Programs Soaring Spirits has created to support people experiencing widowhood
  • Michele’s book and how it benefits readers

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 and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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Ep. 403 Death Over Drafts: Meeting People Where They Are with Stefanie Elkins

Learn about creating opportunities in your community for conversations about death.

My guest Stefanie Elkins is a Family Caregiver Consultant, end-of-life doula, founder of Be Present Care, and the creator of Death Over Drafts, a community event held at breweries across the country to spark meaningful conversations around death and dying. She’ll share her experience bringing end-of-life conversations to community spaces where people naturally gather and how we can make a difference in someone’s end-of-life journey by helping them talk about death and grief. Learn more about Stefanie’s work at her website:

www.bepresentcare.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Stefanie helps patients and families at the end of life
  • What inspired Death Over Drafts
  • Who attends Death Over Drafts and examples of the conversations that have taken place
  • Why conversations about death are important
  • Why we need to meet people where they are and bring death education to various venues and spaces
  • How to bring Death Over Drafts to your own community
  • Why end-of-life workers need to do their own work planning for the end of life
  • How families can support the aging and prepare for the inevitable

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 donor Phyllis Wintter and to Don Zacharias for making a Paypal donation! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 401 End-of-Life Visions and Other Experiences with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn about “non-ordinary” end-of-life experiences like deathbed visions and why they are a gift to patients and their loved ones.

This week I’m welcoming back my recurring guest Barbara Karnes RN, hospice nurse and international speaker and educator. She is also the author of the “little blue hospice book” Gone from My Sight and the recent book for caregivers, By Your Side. Barbara and I discuss common phenomena that occur during the last days of life that can be upsetting to families if they don’t understand what’s happening. As usual we share lots of stories and experiences along with our own approach to handling these situations. Learn more about Barbara’s work at her website:

www.bkbooks.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The frequency of unexplained phenomena at the end of life
  • What it’s like when a patient experiences a deathbed vision
  • The symbolic language that patients may use prior to death
  • What is terminal lucidity and how to help loved ones understand what is happening
  • How to respond to patients and caregivers when deathbed phenomena occur
  • Why it’s important to validate and normalize these experiences
  • Why we should avoid interjecting our own beliefs and interpretations about these events
  • How to help loved ones find the gift in these experiences rather than be afraid of them

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 latest patron Stefanie Elkins! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 399 Grief Rituals and Transcending the “Five Stages” with Dr. Terri Daniel

Learn how rituals can help us with grief and what the Five Stages model gets wrong about grief.

My guest this week is Dr. Terri Daniel, inter-spiritual hospice chaplain, end-of-life educator, and grief counselor. She shares some of the powerful rituals she uses for grief at funerals and workshops and we dive into the Five Stages model and why it continues to be popular in our society. Terri is also the author of four books on death, grief and the afterlife and the founder of The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief, which focuses on how religious beliefs and cultural ideologies influence one’s relationship with death and grief. Learn more at Terri’s websites:

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Terri’s journey from caring for her son Danny at the end of his life to the work she is doing now
  • Why she started The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief and how to attend
  • Unique and powerful grief rituals Terri has created for people at the end of their lives and also for funerals and workshops
  • How rituals help us with grief and mourning
  • How the Five Stages model initially became applied to grief
  • What the Five Stages model gets wrong about acceptance
  • How the Five Stages model persists in our society
  • What ChatGPT says about why the Five Stages model is popular
  • Other models for personality and “love languages” that have attained widespread popularity in spite of having no evidence of accuracy (and why this happens)

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 latest patron Catherine Paton, and to Anne Jungerman for increasing your pledge, Amrita for buying me a coffee, Suzie Hopkins for your donation on Paypal, and Ray Burleigh for your donation and poem! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 397 Talking About Death with ChatGPT

Learn how the AI language model ChatGPT can be used as a resource for information about death and dying and when caution is required.

My special “guest” this week is ChatGPT an AI language model that can understand and respond to human language. Chat has been trained on a wide range of topics, including end-of-life care, hospice, palliative care, grief and bereavement, and advance care planning, among others. I conducted a written “interview” with Chat to test its knowledge and in this episode I report on my findings. In addition, I’ve compiled all of our correspondence into a book titled Conversations on Death with ChatGPT, which you can access now in ebook format. I hope you enjoy hearing about my adventures with Chat!

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What an AI language model consists of and how to interact with it
  • The amazing depth and breadth of content and resources that ChatGPT was able to generate in a matter of seconds
  • What I learned about euphemisms for death from Chat
  • What Chat got wrong about for-profit hospice
  • How Chat needed better information about talking to children about death
  • Chat’s creative ideas for promoting advance care planning in predominantly Black communities
  • Chat’s thoughts about the 5-stages model of grief
  • A haiku Chat wrote about grief
  • How Chat helped me deal with guilt over my father’s suicide 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 newest patrons Susan Mackey and Colleen Bracken, and to Laura Srygley for buying me a coffee and Fabricio Vasconcelos de Lima for donating on Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 394 You’re Going to Die (YG2D): Creatively Exploring Death and Dying with Ned Buskirk

Learn how YG2D brings diverse communities in to the conversation of death and dying using creativity.

My guest Ned Buskirk is the Founder, Podcast Host, Facilitator and Executive Director for You’re Going to Die (YG2D), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Ned discusses the YG2D movement and how the arts are essential to helping us make meaning out of our mortality. We also talk about the importance of self-care as we try to make changes in how we think and talk about death in our society. Learn more at the website:

www.yg2d.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The need that inspired the creation of the first YG2D open mic
  • How YG2D has responded to the needs of community
  • The paradox between the urgent need for the message to get out and the reality that we also need to let go and relax in the moment
  • How creative arts can be a gentle way to introduce the reality of death and dying
  • The arts are “medicine” for our mortality
  • Writing helps us access unconscious parts of ourselves that have been buried
  • We need places we can go where we are safe enough to be vulnerable
  • How listening to stories is as important as telling our own
  • Grief can be a “rite of passage” in our culture, especially if we can talk about it
  • It’s important to find the right community that can hold you in the way you need to be held
  • Why we need self-care and balance when we are working in the death and dying field
  • The prison work that Ned is engaging in through YG2D

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, and to Barbara Butler for your donation and to Laura for buying me 5 coffees! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 392 The Evolution of the American Funeral with Todd Harra

Learn the fascinating history of some funeral customs in America and how the profession is changing.

My guest Todd Harra is a 4th generation funeral director, embalmer, post-mortem reconstructionist, and creationist who works for the family funeral business in Wilmington, Delaware. He is also an author of several books including his latest book Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral. He discusses the fascinating history of many funeral customs here in the U.S. and why funerals are important. Learn more at his website:

www.toddharra.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Todd to work in the family business as a funeral director
  • How this career provides lessons in grace and humility
  • Common myths and stigmas about the profession of funeral director
  • How the funeral industry continues to evolve
  • How and why the practice of embalming the dead began in the U.S.
  • The history of viewing the body before burial and why it may be helpful for mourners
  • The discovery at a Neanderthal burial site of evidence for early funeral practices
  • Why funerals are important and a vital step in the grieving process
  • When and why to include children in funerals
  • How technology will change funerals in the future
  • What we need to remember about the history of funerals as we move into the future

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 Heather Capuano! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 385 End Well: Shifting the Culture Around End of Life with Tracy Wheeler

Learn how End Well brings together fresh and diverse perspectives on the end of life from art, design and other non-medical fields.

My guest Tracy Wheeler is the executive director of End Well, an organization dedicated to transforming how the world views end of life. Tracy has a background in art, education, culture and politics, which inform her commitment to shining a light on how we might make end of life a part of life. She discusses the mission and work of End Well since its founding and what lies ahead in the future, including the new End Well Podcast. Learn more at the website:

www.endwellproject.org

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why the end-of-life movement needs to expand beyond the perspective of the healthcare industry
  • Why End Well is working with Hollywood to get more stories written about the end of life
  • How the Netflix series From Scratch portrayed very accurately a true story of serious illness and end of life
  • What the first season of the End Well Podcast consists of
  • About Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, the founder of End Well, and what inspired her to create this organization
  • Why end-of-life care issues cannot be fixed within the medical system that helped create those very issues
  • The End Well Conference planned for 2024 and how to sign up for the mailing list
  • Why psychedelic assisted therapy will be part of the wave of the future
  • The fear of death that exists within the medical profession
  • The impact of COVID on how healthcare approaches 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, especially my newest patrons Michele Duncan King, Arianna Workman, and Katrina Marcuse-Sharratt! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 383 The Good News of 2022 with Karen Wyatt

Learn some of the positive developments around end-of-life issues that took place in 2022.

This is the last episode of 2022 and I’m sharing some of the best “good news” stories I’ve seen this year about progress we’ve made around care at the end of life. Every month I curate end-of-life news stories for my supporters on Patreon and I’ve made note of some encouraging developments that I present to you today. Watch this on YouTube if you’d like to see slides or enjoy listening to the audio. Meanwhile, farewell to 2022 and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death calls for a global paradigm shift on death and dying
  • NHPCO works to improve equity in death and dying and decrease racial disparities in care
  • Studies document inequities in end-of-life care
  • Plan to train community workers to do outreach in underserved areas
  • Recognizing the emotional and spiritual aspects of the dying process
  • Federal legislation to create a national strategy on grief and to expand advance care planning
  • Studies on caregiver stress and model for paying family caregivers
  • Best and worst places to die in the US
  • Studies on use of psychedelics to decrease anxiety at end of life
  • Virtual reality similar to psilocybin in reducing anxiety
  • “Death Tech” and media coverage of death both on the rise
  • Human composting now legal in 5 states

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 and to those who have made a donation through Paypal or bought me a coffee! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 382 Dear Death: Finding Meaning in Life and Peace in Death with Diane Button

Learn how to create a meaningful life and prepare for death with tools to help death doulas, hospice staff, and loved ones navigate the end of life.

My guest Diane Button is a founding partner of the Bay Area End-of-Life Doula Alliance in Northern California and an instructor for the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine End-of-Life Doula Professional Certificate Program. She is also the author of Dear Death: Finding Meaning in Life, Peace in Death and Joy in an Ordinary Day and she shares insights she gathered from research she did for her masters degree and from working with hospice and doula clients over the past decade. Learn more at the website:

www.dianebutton.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What led Diane to become a death doula
  • The inspiration behind Dear Death
  • The 4 pillars of a meaningful life and how Diane gathered this information
  • Why legacy projects are important and how to create one
  • What does it take to have a “good death”
  • Why Diane created The Doula’s Final Checklist
  • The “Mint Jelly” exercise for talking about death
  • Where to get Dear Death and the companion workbook

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 Lyn Canale and Donelle Dreese and thank you Joy for increasing your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 380 Heartwood: The Cycle of Life and Loss with Barbara Becker

Learn about a beautiful new book that explores how death teaches us, through many varied experiences of loss, how to truly live.

My guest Barbara Becker is an interfaith minister and a strategic communications consultant specializing in strengthening the voice of the non-profit community, working with the United Nations, Human Rights First, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. She is also the author of the book Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind and she shares the important lessons she has learned from death and loss throughout her life. Learn more about her work at the website:

www.barbarabecker.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Barbara to become an interfaith minister and to volunteer in hospice
  • How her work in hospice informed her own feelings about death
  • What is “heartwood” and why it is a fitting title for the book
  • How Barbara turned to her own book for guidance when she faced a health crisis of her own
  • The one question we should ask ourselves to live a more purposeful life
  • What we can learn about coping with death and grief from religious traditions outside of our own
  • Advice to help family caregivers cope with caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s
  • How to cope with the first holiday season while grieving the death of a loved one

Links mentioned in this episode:

EOLPodcast

Ep. 378 Surviving Grief with Humor with Laurie Burrows Grad

Learn how this television chef and blogger used humor to help her navigate life as a widow.

My guest Laurie Burrows Grad is a cookbook author and television chef who began blogging about grief, widowhood, and survival after the death of her husband Peter. She shares how she used humor to help her navigate life as a widow and offers some practical tips for others facing widowhood. Laurie is the author of the book The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now: How this Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.lauriegrad.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Laurie felt demoted socially after the death of her husband
  • How writing blogs helped Laurie get through her grief
  • Why you have to get through the pain of grief in order to come out on the other side
  • Laurie’s experiences with grief counselors and with Our House Grief Support Center
  • How finding meaning within loss can help you feel better
  • How Laurie has used humor in her writing and throughout her grief process
  • The challenges of trying to date as a widow in later life
  • The trauma of experiencing a loved one’s death while traveling in an unfamiliar place and how the Neptune Society helped
  • Top ten things not to say to someone grieving and what to say instead
  • How cooking for others was also helpful for Laurie in her grief
  • How to get through the holidays and anniversaries by preparing in advance
  • The most important things Laurie has learned on her grief journey

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 and to those who have made a donation through Paypal or bought me a coffee! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 375 Touching Two Worlds: Finding Hope After Loss with Sherry Walling PhD

Learn how our grief touches the two worlds of sorrow and joy and how we can navigate these turbulent times.

My guest Dr. Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author and mental health advocate. She helps entrepreneurs and leaders navigate transition, loss, and complex human experience. Sherry is the author of Touching Two Worlds: A Guide for Finding Hope in the Landscape of Loss, a poetic exploration of grief informed by two very personal losses in her own life. She discusses the presence of both sorrow and joy within grief and how her own life has been reshaped by the grief she has experienced. Learn more at her websites:

www.sherrywalling.com

www.touchingtwoworlds.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Sherry to write this book
  • The experience of compound grief and “death by heartbreak”
  • The “two worlds” of grief
  • How grief changes us and why it’s important
  • How Sherry’s two grief experiences differed – after cancer and after suicide
  • The guilt experienced by medical professionals when a loved one dies
  • Coping with a suicide death
  • Parenting children while going through grief and teaching them about loss
  • How various forms of movement can help us with grief
  • The art of crying on airplanes
  • Grief requires us to rewrite our assumptions about the world

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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, and to Marsha for buying me a coffee! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 367 Increasing Death Awareness in Japan with Masatoshi Shoji

Learn how this man’s experience with grief led him to start a Death Café in Japan and become a death doula and Willow EOL educator.

My guest Masatoshi Shoji is a licensed acupuncturist, health communicator and medical translator in Sendai Japan. He started Death Café Sendai in his hometown in 2015 and since then has trained as a certified grief counselor, death doula and Willow EOL Educator. He shares why he first became interested in working with grief and death and his experiences with Death Café in Japan.

Visit his website

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Masatoshi’s experience with grief as a young widower in Japan
  • What inspired him to create Death Café Sendai
  • How he organized and promoted his first Death Café
  • Resources that Masatoshi is using to further his own death education
  • The gradual growth in popularity of Death Café in Japan
  • The obstacles to talking about death in his community, including the use of implicit language
  • How Masatoshi felt socially marginalized as a young widower in his community
  • His goal to bring acupuncture to hospice and end-of-life care

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 Merlin Murdock, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.

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Ep. 364 What to Do When I’m Gone: Mothers and Daughters on Loss and Grief with Hallie Bateman, Suzy Hopkins, and Gia Snyder

Learn about a charming book of wisdom shared by a mother to her daughter and how it touches on the universal experience of loss and grief.

In this episode I’m welcoming my daughter Gia Snyder as my co-host. Gia is a spiritual teacher and musician, who is currently in nursing school to become an RN. Our special guests are also a mother and daughter pair: Suzy Hopkins and Hallie Bateman. Suzy is a retired journalist who worked for four Northern California newspapers and founded a community magazine in the Sierra Foothills. Hallie is a writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Buzzfeed and many others. Together Suzy and Hallie created the book: What to Do When I’m Gone: A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter. The four of us will discuss the book, our mother-daughter relationships, and how we are all dealing with loss and grief as we navigate life and its changes.

Learn more about Gia’s work at: www.divinelygia.com

Learn more about Hallie’s work at: www.halliebateman.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Suzy and Hallie decided to write this book
  • The anxiety mothers feel over the prospect of leaving children behind when they die
  • Anticipatory grief experienced by daughters as their mothers age
  • The complicated nature of the mother-daughter relationship
  • The importance of wisdom passed on by mothers to their daughters
  • How we grieve the loss of our mothers differently than others
  • Afterlife communication with our mothers
  • How sharing food together helps us heal
  • Why recipes are a valuable part of the legacy we leave for family members

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EOLPodcast

Ep. 362 The Grief Cruises™: Travel to Heal Grief and Honor Loved Ones with Linda Findlay

Learn about an innovative cruise that focuses on grief support and memorialization of loved ones.

My guest Linda Findlay is an Aftercare Coordinator for funeral homes and a hospice bereavement support group facilitator. She is also the founder of The Grief Cruises™ and has escorted four groups on special cruises for the purpose of healing grief and honoring loved ones. She discusses her inspiration for this work and what to expect on a “grief cruise.” Learn more about her work at her websites:

www.thegriefcruises.com

www.mourningdiscoveries.com

Watch on YouTube

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Linda’s own grief journey that inspired her current work
  • What is a grief cruise and who is it for
  • The benefits of getting away from ordinary life when dealing with grief
  • Activities included on the cruises: workshops, memory wall, candlelit memorial walk, night of remembrance
  • These experiences help people go home with a coping “toolbox”
  • How families can benefit from taking a grief cruise together
  • How burial at sea for cremated remains is possible during a cruise
  • Feedback from attendees on past cruises
  • How participants learn that grief and joy can coexist
  • How COVID impacted Linda’s work as a bereavement coordinator

Links mentioned in this episode:

Buy me a coffee

Donate on Paypal

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 Sharon, and to those who have bought me a coffee and made a donation through Paypal! Your contributions make all the difference.