EOLPodcast

Ep. 294 Virtual Funerals and Memorials: How and Why to Hold Them with Merilynne Rush

Learn best practices for creating a meaningful and powerful funeral or memorial service online.

My guest Merilynne Rush is an EOL Doula Mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Death Cafe host, former hospice nurse, and former home birth midwife. Today she shares her personal experience planning and hosting a virtual memorial service for her father, including all of the challenges and benefits of taking on such a task. She offers helpful advice to anyone who feels called to plan a virtual ceremony and explains why this new way of being together after a loved one dies is likely here to stay. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.thedyingyear.org

Read her blog post on Virtual Memorials here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The importance of funeral and memorial rituals and why they should happen sooner rather than later after a death
  • Why a virtual ceremony can be just as effective as in-person
  • Why good planning and organization is essential for conducting an online event
  • Getting outside help from a tech assistant and an “MC” to manage the flow of the ceremony
  • Creating an effective “script” for the event
  • Why breakout rooms are helpful at the end of the ceremony
  • Tips for creating a slide show to use during the event
  • How virtual gatherings can “carry all the love” we want to share and help with our grief
  • Why virtual funerals and memorials are likely to continue even after the pandemic

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 supporter Heather Capuano! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 291 The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business with Eric Layer

Learn how the funeral business needs to evolve to meet the needs of our changing society.

My guest Eric Layer grew up around funeral homes and cemeteries where both of his parents worked. Now as a partner in a marketing advisory firm he has taken a critical look at the funeral business and analyzed what has gone wrong and what is still right within this necessary service industry. He is the author of the book The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business to Its True Calling and shares his insights with us. Learn more at his website:

www.therightwayofdeath.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How the funeral industry has failed to evolve with the rest of society
  • Research on ceremonies and rituals for death around the world
  • Why death rituals are important
  • Dr. J. William Worden’s 4 “tasks” of grief and how funeral homes should help with those tasks
  • Direct cremation and why is it a concerning practice (in light of the tasks of grief)
  • The challenge for funeral directors (and other end-of-life care providers) in dealing with people who are facing the worst crisis of their lives
  • How to legitimately build a business out of work that is also a service to others
  • What is “the right way of death”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get Eric Layer’s book here
  • Book: Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy by J. William Worden
  • 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 Toni Marie Van Aernum! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 289 Echobox: Preserving the Story of Our Lives with Tim Roberts

Learn about an innovative new app for storing and sharing image and stories of our lives and those of our loved ones.

My guest Tim Roberts is an artist, musician, app developer, idea our and dreamer who lives in Calgary Canada. He created the digital legacy project Echobox Memory Vault™ and worked with a developer to turn it into an app. Today he will tell us how the app works and why it’s important for us to save and share our memories as stories and images for our loved ones. Learn more about Echobox Memory Vault™ at the website:

https://echobox.ca

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Tim was inspired to create Echobox
  • Who can benefit from using Echobox and how it works
  • How privacy and security are maintained in the Echobox app, unlike many social media sites
  • Why it can be helpful to preserve memories digitally
  • The importance of stories to help us makes sense of the past and inspire future generations
  • The positive response of the healthcare world for Echobox
  • How Echobox helps connect people who can’t be together because of COVID
  • How Echobox can help with grief and bereavement

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 supporter Carrie Andrews! Your contributions make all the difference!

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. 281 Your Grief, Your Way: A Daily Guide After Loss with Shelby Forsythia

Learn about a book of simple wisdom and tools for grief that can change your entire day.

My guest Shelby Forsythia is an author and podcast host who shares a combination of practical tools and intuitive guidance to help grieving people find peace of mind after devastating loss. She discusses her latest book Your Grief, Your Way which provides brief inspirational passages for each day of the year to support the grieving process for anyone who is dealing with loss. This is just the book we all need in 2021! Learn more about her work, podcasts and books at her website:

www.shelbyforsythia.com

Get the book on Bookshop or Amazon

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Shelby’s personal journey with grief
  • How grief is universal but also unique to each person
  • What inspired her to write Your Grief, Your Way as a daily guide
  • Why we can’t find meaning in grief until we are looking back at it from a later time in life
  • Why the whole world needs to do some grief work right now in 2021
  • Some practical and simple tools from the book to get through the day
  • Why we need to share the story of our grief over and over and how the story changes with time
  • How Shelby has stayed in touch with her Mom after her 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! 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, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 269 Disenfranchised Grief and Sacred Rituals for Healing with Joél Simone Anthony

Learn how to restore sacredness to grief and embrace those who are often excluded from the shared grief experience.

My guest Joél Simone Anthony is a licensed funeral director and sacred grief practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia. She utilizes spirituality that is deeply rooted in ancient wisdom in her work guiding families toward healing after a death has occurred. Joél is also a leader in the movement to expose and heal systemic racism in death care and teaches cultural competency courses for funeral professionals. Learn more about her work at her website:

www.thegravewoman.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Joél’s calling to become a funeral director
  • How her upbringing exposed her to ancient African culture that informs her work today
  • Definition and examples of disenfranchised grief
  • How ignoring grief has emotional and mental health consequences
  • How COVID interferes with funeral rituals and ideas for creating a sense of community during a time of isolation
  • Simple rituals to help with grief
  • “The Grief Kit” as a tool for dealing with loss
  • How systemic racism in death care can occur due to a lack of education
  • Joél’s courses:
    • Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm (in collaboration with others)
    • Self Care for Death Professionals
    • Racism in Death Care
    • Cultural Competency for Funeral Professionals

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • 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. 266 Leave Your Light On: The Life and Afterlife of Ryder Buck with Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis

Learn about the journey of a remarkable young musician through cancer, death and the afterlife and how he continues to inspire people.

My guests Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis are the co-authors of the book Leave Your Light On, which details the journey of Shelley’s son Ryder through cancer and his subsequent death in a terrible accident. They discuss the process of writing this book as a healing practice for grief, the spiritual transformation experienced by Ryder after his cancer diagnosis, and how people around the world have been inspired by his story both before and after his death. They have turned a tragic story into transcendence that lights the way for all of us who are feeling lost in the darkness right now. Learn more at these websites:

www.ryderbuckmusic.com and www.kathycurtisink.com

Get the book Leave Your Light On here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How writing can help us heal grief, illness and loss
  • Ryder’s story and how music became a medium for him to share his message with the world
  • How his cancer journey accelerated Ryder’s spiritual growth
  • The challenges of being a mother to a young adult facing cancer and wanting his independence
  • How Shelley negotiated being “cancer mom” and also caring for her two younger sons at the same time
  • The amazing and synchronistic ways Ryder has communicated since his death and how those experiences have helped his parents with their grief
  • Tips for using writing as a healing medium
  • Three mantras for navigating these times of darkness from songs Ryder wrote or inspired

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Register for FREE Level 1 Doula Training here
  • Register for Certified End-of-Life Doula Training here
  • Find Ryder Buck’s music here
  • Get the book Leave Your Light On here
  • Gia’s song for Ryder: Ryde This WaveListen here
  • Song from Frozen 2: The Next Right ThingListen 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, 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

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

Ep. 248 The Human Journey: A Game for Families Facing Change with Sara Schneider PhD

Learn about an innovative game that helps families improve communication and face grief and change together.

My guest Sara Schneider is trained as a performance anthropologist and also has a background in writing and directing for the theatre. She is the creator of a unique game titled The Human Journey® which helps families and support groups develop the capacity for meaning-making and communication skills in the heart of change. Sara will discuss how this game can help families deal with grief in the face of change and loss. Learn more at her website:

www.the-human-journey.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How games and storytelling can be helpful for healing
  • How the Hero’s/Heroine’s Journey informs our personal and societal storytelling
  • The 3 “acts” of The Human Journey:
    • I: the struggles and strengths dealt to us in life
    • II: the hard decisions we have had to make in life
    • III: re-imagining the future
  • How COVID-19 may be calling all of us to a “Hero’s Journey” to rediscover our interconnectedness
  • How families can play The Human Journey game in person and virtually to help them communicate and heal
  • How the game can benefit families with a loved one in hospice and who are distant from one another
  • Why a facilitator or “conductor” is necessary for the game
  • How to get training to be a conductor for the game and lead people through it

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

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, 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!