End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

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

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

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

www.kirstendeleo.com

Listen here:

Practices for Loss and Grief

This episode includes:

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

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

John O’Donohue

Links mentioned in this episode:

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

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

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 239 Rethinking Advance Directives in the Time of Coronavirus

Learn why it is important right now to revisit your own advance directives and those of your loved ones.

In this solo episode I share some resources for surviving and thriving during the coronavirus quarantine. Then I discuss some important issues to consider regarding your own advance directives and those of your loved ones as we face a medical crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. This is a difficult conversation to have but one that is of utmost importance right now. Thanks for tuning in and spending some of your time with me! Take good care of yourselves this week! 💖

Listen here:

Rethinking Advance Directives

This episode includes:

  • Tips for surviving quarantine:
    • Walk every day
    • Connect with nature
    • Spend time alone in contemplation or meditation
    • Bring beauty into your life (art, music, poetry, literature, film)
    • Connect with friends and loved ones
    • Be kind to others and yourself
  • Journal prompt for this week: Write a story about a time in your life when you feel you were at your best or you acted from your highest self. Describe the event in detail as best you can remember it. Then make a list of the best qualities you exhibited on that day. Reread the story throughout the week and add to you list as you recognize other positive qualities. Or write more stories as you recall them.
  • Make sure your elderly loved ones have advance directives (including POLST forms) and make sure you understand their wishes
  • If you are a healthcare proxy for a loved one make sure you are prepared to carry out their wishes, particularly if they choose comfort care only
  • Think of creative ways to connect with a loved one who may be in isolation – (e.g. an iPad + Skype)
  • Be prepared that you may not be able to be at the bedside of a hospitalized loved one with coronavirus
  • Rethink your own advance directive regarding mechanical ventilation, since ventilation is part of the treatment for this virus

This is a remarkable time, when washing our hands and staying at home are radical acts of global compassion and service.

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!