EOLPodcast

Ep. 287 Giving Voice to Grief Through Poetry with Bruce Sterling

Learn how writing poetry helped Bruce express his grief and find a connection with others.

My guest Bruce Sterling is a writer and poet who earned a degree in psychology and worked in the technology sector for decades. As he compiled his first book of poetry he recognized that a significant number of his verses focused on his grief after the death of both of his parents in a tragic auto accident. Because these poems seem to touch others deeply as well he has published his first poetry book Not Enough: Musings on Grief and is currently writing a second book Stories of Grief and Hope. In this conversation he talks about grief, poetry, lessons learned and connecting with others through our shared experiences of pain. Learn more at Bruce’s website:

www.brucesterlingllc.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Bruce’s journey of grief and poetry
  • How the organization of his poetry book reflects his personal process with grief
  • After a sudden traumatic death, shock happens first, grief begins later
  • How Bruce’s process for writing poems includes surrender
  • Why poetry is a good medium for expressing the pain of grief
  • Grief as a tool for acknowledging previously repressed emotions
  • How poetry makes space for the mystery and the unknown

“It wasn’t my parents’ death, but the miracles that came next, that took tragedy and loss and turned it heavenward. I can’t look at all these gifts and synchronicities and think that life is anything less than miraculous; tragic, certainly; wondrous, at times; meaningful, hopefully; but miraculous, even when we’re not looking.”

Bruce Sterling – Stories of Grief and Hope

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

Special Episode: Vigil for Exploring Our Grief

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 the we have been carrying for the past year and help us explore it for the hidden blessings it contains. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Exploring Our Grief
Miracles Abide There by Bruce Sterling 
(from Not Enough: Musings on Grief)
 
We each have loss none escape it. 
Grief,
the healing process that reintegrates feelings and thoughts, desires and regrets, the past and
no future. 
Through life, through living we choose the palate but never
the timing, 
the circumstances or the outcome. 
So there it is,
shock
then sadness,
later
reality,
an unreal reality
the likes of which you've never experienced. 
Like taffy
you're pulled
into shapes
that leave you
in a state
from which you can never return. 
 
Like flying in the clouds you can't tell which end is up even when firmly planted in your seat. 
Like walking the streets on Christmas morning when gifts are exchanged and no one’s outside. 
Like you've walked into the emotional post-apocalypse. 
Like love has filled your heart but the drain plug
is three times the size
it should be,
and the vacuum left collapses everything 
that made sense, everything
that gave you substance, everything. 
Grief,
the humanizing, humbling shape-shifter
that tears
the fabric of you and explodes your heart into newer dimensions you didn't realize you signed up for. 
I don't wish the pain on anybody
I just know the value of the outcome. Miracles abide there,
if you can just see. 
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, Grief

Ep. 279 Grieving What Has Been Lost in 2020

One of the most challenging years of our lives is drawing to a close and it’s time to honor all of the grief we have experienced.

In this final episode of 2020 I share some poems and verses that have helped me give words to the grief I’ve experienced this year. It’s important to grieve what has been lost before we move on to setting goals and making plans for next year so this final week of 2020 is the perfect time to “be” with our grief. Wishing you a blessed ending to this year and a hopeful and meaningful beginning of the new one!

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why we need to make a place for our grief
  • Poem: Talking to Grief by Denise Levertov
  • Why we cannot understand our own grief when we are in the middle of it
  • Quote from Morihei Ueshiba
  • How a non-dual perspective of grief helps us eventually find our own answers within rather than outside of ourselves
  • Verse by Lao Tzu
  • Learn to just “be” in grief rather than “doing” grief
  • Poem: Inukshuk by Rob Jacques
  • Finding grace in little reminders that others have also traveled this road of grief
  • Prayer by Molly Fumia

This is the miracle you already have … and always ask for … in your moments of forgetful suffering.

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • The Conference on Death and Bereavement Studies: A Professional Development Symposium – January 10, 2021 Learn more here
  • Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness Course – with Terri Daniels – starts January 7th Learn more here
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support you 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. 277 Seven Year Summer: A Memoir of Two Life and Death Journeys with Anna Byrne

Learn how a long journey through cancer prepared Anna to be a hospice volunteer and inspired her spiritual growth.

My guest Anna Byrne holds a combined degree in Psychology and Gerontology, is a certified teacher, and has been a coordinator for a hospice society in British Columbia. She survived 4 cancer diagnoses in her 30’s and then worked as a volunteer for an elderly hospice patient throughout one entire summer. She is the author of the book Seven Year Summer which tells the story of her own journey through cancer and her days of sitting at Eleanor’s bedside, discussing life and the approach of death. Learn more at her website:

https://annabyrne2.wixsite.com/mysite

Get the book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Anna’s perspective on cancer changed throughout her 4 diagnoses
  • The “hero’s journey” of cancer treatment and how it fell apart for Anna
  • The spiritual tools and support that helped Anna navigate her illness and losses
  • The use of “battle” metaphors in medicine and how they cause harm
  • The difference between curing and healing
  • How Anna’s suffering prepared her to be a hospice volunteer for Eleanor
  • The difference between chronos and kairos time
  • How caregivers can better support patients who are facing the end of life
  • How writing the book helped Anna heal some of the trauma of her cancer journey

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • The Conference on Death and Bereavement Studies: A Professional Development Symposium – January 10, 2021 Learn more here
  • Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness Course – with Terri Daniels – starts January 7th Learn more here
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support you 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. 268 Death Nesting: Bringing Together Ancient and Modern Death Care with Anne-Marie Keppel

Learn how to utilize ancient techniques in caring for the dying in this modern world.

My guest Anne-Marie Keppel is a death doula and home funeral guide who will share with us some of the ancient techniques of death care that she utilizes in her work as a community death care provider. She is the author of the books Death Nesting: Ancient & Modern Death Doula Techniques, Mindfulness Practices and Herbal Care and The Death of Faefolk, a book for teens. Learn more at her website:

www.stardustmeadow.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Anne-Marie became interested in being a death doula
  • The two doula paths: ancient and modern and why we need both
  • How to create a “death nest” for a dying loved one
  • The use of herbs in doula practice
  • Creative tips for helping children deal with death
  • Suggestions for “moving with grief”
  • Why death doula training for teenagers is a good idea
  • How to use the book Death Nesting as a resource

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • View the cover of my next book (The Journey from Ego to Soulhere
  • Get Anne-Marie’s book Death Nesting here (Commission link*)
  • Read Yes! Magazine article on death doulas by Dr. Cynthia Greenlee here
  • Books by Victoria Sweet: God’s Hotel and Slow Medicine (Commission links*)
  • Community Deathcare Training with LaShanna Williams: www.asacredpassing.org
  • Find Death Doula Training for Teens here
  • 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, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 267 Holding All the Joy and All the Sorrow

In this solo episode I share my thoughts on the fact that joy and sorrow are interwoven throughout our lives just as life and death are inextricable connected. Using stories and poetry I discuss how to carry both joy and sorrow without denying or repressing the pain of our personal and collective grief.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How current events are requiring us to learn to hold joy and sorrow at once
  • Why we need a strong spiritual core as we go through life in 2020
  • How to strengthen our spiritual core:
    • Go deep within
    • Assessment the alignment between your inner values and outer behavior
    • Practice being in the present moment
    • Gratitude
    • Lovingkindness Blessing
  • Why we need to mourn our losses (personal and collective) on a daily basis and how to do it
  • The importance of “finding the good” within our pain and sorrow
  • Poems shared:
    • “Joy and Sorrow” by Kahlil Gibran
    • “Love Sorrow” by Mary Oliver
    • “In Lieu of Flowers” by Shawna Lemay

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • View the cover of my next book (The Journey from Ego to Soul) here
  • 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

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, Hospice

Ep. 258 The Heart of Hospice: Supporting the End-of-Life Journey with Helen Bauer and Jerry Fenter

Learn about the issues facing hospice care in the US and how the “heart” of hospice is essential for end-of-life care.

My guests today, Helen Bauer RN and Jerry Fenter, are the hosts of the popular podcast The Heart of Hospice. Having worked as a hospice nurse and hospice chaplain, these two are passionate about offering education and support to anyone who needs information about end-of-life care. Their projects include advance care planning, resources for professional and personal caregivers, and consultations with hospices about staff education. Learn more about their work at their website:

www.theheartofhospice.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why Helen and Jerry started The Heart of Hospice
  • The challenge of educating the public and medical professionals about the benefits of hospice care
  • How COVID-19 is impacting hospice care right now
  • Other difficulties facing hospice care in the US
  • Reasons to be hopeful about the future of hospice
  • Self-care tips for professional and personal caregivers
  • The importance of memorial services for hospice staff to process grief
  • Resources available from their website

POEM: Compassion by Miller Williams

"Have compassion for everyone you meet 
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit, 
bad manners or cynicism is always a sign 
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. 
You do not know what wars are going on 
down there where the spirit meets the bone.”

From -  Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection - 
edited by James Crews

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, Spirituality

Ep.254 A Call for Greater Kindness in a Suffering World

Three steps for increasing your capacity for kindness in a world that is polarized, divided, and suffering right now.

In this episode I’ll share some poems, stories and philosophical musings about our polarized world, which is filled with suffering, and how we can rise above our difference and our pain to show compassion and kindness to one another.

Listen here:

Featured poem from this episode:

SMALL KINDNESSES 

by Danusha Laméris 

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk 

down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs 

to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” 

when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons 

from your grocery bag, someone else will help you 

pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other. 

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, 

and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile 

at them and for them to smile back. 

For the waitress

 to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, 

and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass. 

We have so little of each other, now. So far 

from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange. 

What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these 

fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, 

have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.””

— from Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection by James Crews, Ted Kooser

Links from this episode:

  • Get the poetry book here: Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection
  • 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. 250 Anti-Racism: The Inner and Outer Work

Listen here:

Special Event Hosted by Alua Arthur of Going with Grace:

“Sayin it Louder: A Conversation about “A Good Death” in a racist society”

Wednesday June 10th – 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern

An online panel discussion with Alua Arthur and five Black leaders in the end-of-life space. Don’t miss this important conversation. Register at the link below:

https://mailchi.mp/59f0d3f361c8/panel-discussion

My commitments:

Recognize that racism is everywhere, including within me, no matter how liberal or educated or conscious or caring I am.

Racism in America is like dust in the air: It seems invisible–even if you’re choking on it–until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Listen and learn from people different from me.

It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. 

Michelle Obama

Be “un-fragile” and hold myself accountable for my unconscious bias and racism.

It is white people’s responsibility to be less fragile; people of color don’t need to twist themselves into knots trying to navigate us as painlessly as possible.”

Robin DiAngelo

Be “anti-racist” rather than “not a racist.”

The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.”

Ijeoma Oluo

Shine light on the shadow of racism and bring love to every situation.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Resources for Anti-Racism:

Podcasts:

“Dismantling White Fragility” from The Goop Podcast (Stitcher / Apple Podcasts / Spotify)

“Let’s Talk about Whiteness” from On Being with Krista Tippett (On Being / Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Stitcher)

“Why The Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities Hardest” from NPR’s Code Switch (NPR / Stitcher / Apple Podcasts / Spotify)

“Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment” Season 2, Episode 3 of Revisionist History (Stitcher / Apple Podcasts / Spotify)

Articles:

Racism Defined” by Dismantling Racism Works

Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed” by Ijeoma Oluo

Why the CVS Burned” by Louis Hyman 

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change” by Barack Obama 

A Very Abbreviated History of the Destruction of Black Neighborhoods” by Gabrielle Bruney

The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy” by Yawo Brown 

Amy Cooper, White Spaces and the Political Project of Whiteness” by Lara Witt

The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle 

Books:

Passed On: African American Mourning Stories – a memorial by Karla FC Holloway (Amazon)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD (Amazon / Bookshop

How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi (Amazon / Bookshop)

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson (Amazon / Bookshop

Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines by Jenna Arnold out June 23, 2020 (Amazon / Bookshop

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele (Amazon / Bookshop

How To Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M Fleming (Amazon / Bookshop

So You Wanna Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Amazon / Bookshop

EOLPodcast

BONUS 13: 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 13: These tricky roads of grief

These tricky roads of grief

Featured Poem by Meggie C. Royer

Color of Grief

As a child I was constantly sticking my fingers in sockets

and trying to figure out if grief had its own color

so my mother sat me down on the sofa and took out the Pantone book,

paged through it for an hour until we found the blues.

There, I said, that one, and pointed to cerulean.

Oh honey, my mother replied, That’s not grief. That’s just a paint swatch

and it will never amount to all the pain in your heart.

Sometimes I feel the urge to go wade out into the lake

after filling my pockets with stones,

but then I remember my father and how he wore his grief

like a too-tight sweater, something given to an awkward child

by a grandmother who doesn’t even know the right size,

so I take the stones back out of my pockets

and I place them on his grave instead. 

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, Grief

Ep. 246 Mother’s Day Grief Dialogues for Motherless Daughters with Elizabeth Coplan

Learn how stories heal grief in this special episode for Mother’s Day.

My guest Elizabeth Coplan is a playwright, educator and speaker who created the non-profit Grief Dialogues where she uses theatre as the artistic expression to open new conversations about dying, death, and grief. Today, on Mother’s Day, we will talk about the grief experience of motherless daughters and she will share some stories from Grief Dialogues: The Book. Stories of Love and Loss. Learn more at her website:

www.griefdialogues.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Elizabeth used writing to work through her own grief issues
  • How stories help us heal grief
  • The unique grief of motherless daughters
  • How Grief Dialogues is reaching out to healthcare professionals to address grief
  • Two stories from the book Grief Dialogues:
    • I am a Marionette by Megan Vered
    • Grief is Like Swimming in the Middle of the Ocean (and I hate the ocean) by Alica Forneret
  • How to submit your own story to Grief Dialogues

Out of grief comes art.”

Motto of GriefDialogues.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!

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
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!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 244 Creative Tools for Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Claudia Coenen

Learn how creativity can help us process our feelings of grief and sadness to become more whole during times of difficulty.

My guest Claudia Coenen is certified in grief counseling and thanatology and is also a musician, dancer, writer, and chef who utilizes creative process and somatic therapy in her work with clients. She is also the author of two books – “Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again” and “The Creative Toolkit for Working With Grief and Bereavement: A Practitioner’s Guide”. Today Claudia shares how creativity can help all of us deal with our grief and sadness as we cope with the global pandemic and some specific tools for fostering resilience and healing in a time of distress. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.thekarunaproject.com

Listen here:

Creative Tools for Grief with Claudia Coenen

This episode includes:

  • How creativity can help us deal with trauma, loss and grief
  • Why everyone is creative – even if they don’t know it
  • Creative activities for addressing fear during the pandemic
    • Fear and Action Worksheet
    • Shield Collage
    • Resilience basket
  • How various models for grief can help us get in touch with our emotions
    • Shattering of the Assumptive World
    • Meaning-making
    • Dual Process
    • Companioning Model
  • A daily ritual for acknowledging the current collective grief of humankind: Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

May we be at peace.

May we be healthy and strong.

May we be open-hearted.

May we remember we are all connected.”

from Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-Order 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying here
  • Claudia’s Website: The Karuna Project
  • Get Claudia’s Book here: Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again
  • Pre-Order Claudia’s new book here: The Creative Toolkit for Working with Grief and Bereavement
  • View Karuna Cards here
  • Shattering of the Assumptive World grief model – Ronnie Janoff-Bulman book
  • 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!
  • SUBSCRIBE to the podcast here

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. 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!

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!

EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 229 How to Create a Mini-Pilgrimage as a Ritual for Grief

Learn how to incorporate the ritual of pilgrimage into your daily life, especially as a tool for grief.

In this solo episode I discuss the benefits of pilgrimage for spiritual growth and for helping with grief. I’ll share with you how I’ve created “mini”-pilgrimages in my own community that have helped me on my own grief journey to shift my energy, honor my loved ones, and deepen my own transformation. You’ll learn how and why you might want to try this ritual for yourself.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why pilgrimages are beneficial
  • Characteristics of sacred spaces that inspire pilgrimages
  • How a pilgrimage can help with grief
  • How to choose a time and place for a mini-pilgrimage
  • Planning for the journey
  • Tips for getting the most from a mini-pilgrimage
  • Rituals during the journey
  • The Sacred Sites Meditation Technique from Martin Gray
  • Returning from a pilgrimage

The sacred sites, the pilgrimage places … are where people most passionately give praise and prayer to God. Go there, be present in that divinity, be in love with that love.

– Martin Gray

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Special offer on Patreon: Autographed copy of What Really Matters! (Offer lasts through 1/27/2020)
  • Sign up for the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class
  • Martin Gray’s websiteSacred Sites
  • 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, Richard Schneider; your contributions make all the difference!