EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 9: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 9: Every Life is Precious

Every Life is Precious

Featured Poem:

Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye

A man crosses the street in rain,

stepping gently, looking two times north and south,

because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.

No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo

but he’s not marked.

Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.

He hears the hum of a boy’s dream

deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able

to live in this world

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

with one another.

The road will only be wide.

The rain will never stop falling.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

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

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

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

www.thedyingyear.org

Listen here:

Death Care at Home and at a Distance

This episode includes:

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

Other links mentioned in this episode:

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

EOLPodcast, Grief, Tragedy

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

On the ninth of each month we have been called to hold space in our communities on life, death and transformation by ObservetheNinth.org. Today’s vigil will honor our loved ones who are sick or injured and with whom we cannot be physically present. May it bring you peace and comfort.

Vigil for Loved Ones

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!