Ep. 83 Caitlin Doughty: The Young Mortician

Learn how Caitlin Doughty is changing the funeral industry one funeral at a time.

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In this episode I share an interview with Caitlin Doughty, a progressive young funeral director in Los Angeles and the founder of the Order of the Good Death and the popular YouTube series Ask a Mortician.

ANNOUNCMENTS:

Suicideblog_On April 10th  an 8-part series will begin on this podcast titled Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath. Each episode will focus on my own personal journey of healing after my father’s suicide death.

I will share my process of learning about my Dad and the factors in his life that led to his death, while also portraying the grief and guilt I suffered as a survivor of suicide. My goal is to share hope with those who are currently on this journey of grief.

suicide lifelineFor anyone who is currently experiencing a crisis and feeling hopeless the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7.

Call 1-800-273-8255 or Text HELLO to 741-741.

Click here to talk to someone now.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a small monthly donation at www.Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I’ll promote your end-of-life related website, business, or organization on this podcast. Thank you to my newest supporter: Adrianne Berry and thanks to all of the patrons who have offered your support over the past year!

THE YOUNG MORTICIAN:

Caitlin_Doughty_in_red_Caitlin Doughty works as a funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people handle their own . Caitlin has created the popular webseries Ask a Mortician, which has 33,500 subscribers and she founded The Order of the Good Death, a web-based membership site dedicated to bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture.

In this interview you will learn:

  • why we need to make death a part of our lives
  • how to take a step toward accepting mortality by planning for a natural burial
  • ways to overcome our fear of death

Caitlin Doughty attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated in medieval history. After graduation, Caitlin moved to California, where she began to apply to crematories in an attempt to put into practice her theoretical interest in death. Her first job in the funeral industry was as a crematory operator, burning bodies by day and reading Ernest Becker by night. Since then, she has worked as a funeral arranger, a body-van transport driver, and returned to Cypress College for her second degree, in mortuary science.

Currently she works as a licensed funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people help themselves (handle a corpse).

The Order of the Good Death was founded in 2011 with the goal of bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture. Caitlin’s webseries “Ask a Mortician” and the Order website have led to features on National Public Radio, BBC, the Huffington Post, Vice, the LA Times, Jezebel.com, Forbes, Bust Magazine, and Salon.

doughtyeternityCaitlin’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, is a New York Times bestseller and will be discussed in this interview.

She has now also authored a second book, which will soon be released: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. 

You can order her books on Amazon.com or find them in bookstores everywhere.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear.                  BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

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Ep. 82: How to Provide Spiritual Care for the “Non-Spiritual” Patient

What can you do when a hospice patient refuses spiritual care? Here’s how to meet the need for a spiritual approach to dying for every patient.

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Wyatt18smallIn this episode I’ll share the story of a hospice patient who refused spiritual care because he was a non-believer and how we discovered what really mattered to him at the end of life.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT:

The online course Step-by-Step Roadmap for End-of-Life Planning is still available. Learn more about it at www.eoluniversity.com/roadmap.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a small monthly donation at www.Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I’ll promote your end-of-life related website, business, or organization on this podcast. Thank you to all of our current patrons – you make this podcast possible!

SPIRITUAL CARE FOR NON-SPIRITUAL PATIENTS:

This episode was inspired by my recent attendance at the Accompanying the Dying Residential Retreat hosted by Deanna Cochran of Quality of Life Care and led by Kirsten DeLeo and Dr. Ann Allegre of the Spiritual Care Program. This retreat provided a deep dive into the task of providing spiritual care to our patients at the end of life and offered an amazing opportunity to explore our own depths of spiritual practice and presence.

In my work in hospice I have long thought about those patients who refuse all spiritual care because they are “not religious” or just not interested. But everyone has a spiritual aspect, whether or not they are aware of it or develop that part of themselves. And every dying patient is entitled to receive the presence and compassion of a spiritual care provider. But how can this care be offered without offending or intruding upon the patient’s own beliefs?

Theologian Paul Tillich has defined spirituality as one’s “ultimate concern” meaning that whatever really matters to a person at the very end of life is the expression of that person’s spiritual nature. So for some individuals the ultimate concern might be a religion or a particular practice, but for others it could be anything … even baseball.

In this episode I tell the story of a hospice patient whose “ultimate concern” was baseball and how we eventually recognized that instead of trying to get him to talk about the meaning of life or his regrets, we just needed to let him talk about baseball. Listening to his stories about his favorite team was the path that ultimately helped him heal some of old regrets and unfinished business.

This story illustrates the need for the following conditions whenever we provide spiritual care to a patient who doesn’t identify as having spiritual needs:

  • Listen. The importance of allowing the patient to talk about the topics of his or her choice cannot be over emphasized. Deep listening with a compassionate heart is essential for honoring the perspective of the patient.
  • Discover the “ultimate concern.” When patients are allowed to guide the conversation they will naturally reveal what really matters to them.
  • Honor the patient’s wisdom and experience. Listen with reverence as the patient talks about his or her values and priorities. Recognize what is sacred to the patient even if it seems ordinary to you.
  • Connect patients to their own feelings of peace and joy. The “ultimate concern” is usually the source of positive feelings and experiences for patients. Help them recall those moments of being connected with something greater by listening to stories or guiding them to re-imagine a previous happy occasion.

In the podcast you will hear how Warren’s story came to a close as an example of finding a path to healing by going through the ultimate concern of baseball. Enjoy listening!

Remember to tune in every Monday for a new episode. Until then:

Face Your Fears.               BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

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Ep. 81 Let’s Talk About It: The Conversation Project with Dr. Jessica McCannon

Find out how The Conversation Project is helping families talk about planning ahead for the end of life.

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Jess McCannon HeadshotIn this episode we’ll hear about the work of  The Conversation Project from an advisor to the organization, ICU physician Dr. Jessica McCannon. Learn how to utilize this excellent tool to get your own conversations started.

Get more info at TheConversationProject.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

COLORADO LISTENERS!! You can download a special version of The Conversation Starter Kit that has been customized just for Coloradans. This version is a little shorter and includes a place where you can name your Medical Durable Power of Attorney. Visit this website to download your copy now:

http://TheConversationProjectinBoulder.org

death-afterlifesummit

You can still sign up for the Death & Afterlife Summit, which takes place March 16-18, 2017. You’ll be able to learn from 10 experts about dying, death and beyond in this series of online interviews–and it’s totally FREE! Go to eoluniversity.com/afterlife to learn more and register.

slide01If you’d like some guidance in completing your own advance directives, check out the Step-by-Step Roadmap to End-of-Life Planning–my NEW online self-directed course that will help you prepare and plan for your later years.

Learn more and sign up here.

 

IN THE NEWS:

The Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville AL has started a unique pilot program that places a hospice nurse in the Emergency Department 3 days a week. The RN meets with patients and families and educates them about end-of-life options to help in their decision-making processes. She also helps them complete advance directives and other documents needed for their hospitalization.

THE CONVERSATION PROJECT:

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her special guest Dr. Jessica McCannon, ICU physician and advisor to The Conversation Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. They will discuss The Conversation Project, the history and goals of this organization, and how their resources can benefit you, your loved ones or your patients when making plans for the end-of-life.

You will learn:

  • How and why The Conversation Project was started
  • The value of telling stories about the end-of-life
  • Benefits of The Conversation Starter Kit and The Pediatric Starter Kit
  • How doctors might utilize The Conversation Starter Kit

Dr. Jessica McCannon is board-certified in internal medicine, and completed Harvard’s Clinical and Research Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. After completing her internal medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, she began providing care to adults at the Mass General Hospital Down Syndrome Program. Prior to starting medical training she received her BA from Cornell University. Dr. McCannon currently practices clinical medicine as an ICU physician and serves as an advisor to The Conversation Project.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776Tune in each Monday for a new episode. If you are interested in supporting the podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series you can make a small contribution of just $1 or $2 a month and help keep us on the air! Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more!

Until next week remember ….

Face Your Fears.                 BE Ready.                    Love Your Life.

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Ep. 80 Dissolving the Veil Between This World and the Next with Dr. Sue Morter

Hear how this alternative practitioner teaches people to connect with their highest selves and heal their deepest grief.

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almorterDr. Sue Morter is a practitioner of bio-energetic and quantum field medicine who utilizes the embodiment of high frequency energy patterns to activate full human potential. She is an internationally known authority on bridging science and spirit and she provides excellent tools for grief counselors and healers, as well as anybody working through personal grief or loss.  

“There is only one thing happening here … and it is good.” – Dr. Sue Morter

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

slide01Check out the new course Step-by-Step Roadmap for End-of-Life Planning by going to www.eoluniversity.com/roadmap. You’ll receive guidance and advice for completing your advance directives once and for all!

Learn more here!

 

death-afterlifesummitDon’t miss out on the Death & Afterlife Summit coming up March 16-18, 2017. Sign up for FREE to hear 10 expert speakers on dying, death and beyond. You’ll benefit a great deal from these presentations and also get a preview of the upcoming Afterlife Awareness Conference in Portland OR June 1-4. Learn more and register for the Summit here!

DISSOLVING THE VEIL:

In this interview Dr. Sue shares her wisdom with us about the changes happening in the world and why we should not lose faith. She reminds us that for a baby chick who is breaking out of its shell, the whole world appears to be falling apart. But a new life awaits on the other side.

Dr. Sue Morter is an internationally known authority on bridging science, spirit and human possibility. Through her seminars, retreats and presentations she illuminates the relationships of quantum thoughts and energy medicine; the elevation of human consciousness and life mastery; the sole purpose and practical living.

In addition to her private practice, Morter HealthCenter, she is founder and visionary of the Morter Institute, an organization committed to teaching individuals self-healing techniques and a new approach to life based on Quantum Science. She also founded Soulful Science Productions, a production company focused on providing support for autistic and differently-abled children through guided meditation and affirmations.

Learn more about Dr. Sue’s work at www.drsuemorter.com

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776Remember you can help support the EOLU Podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a tiny donation ($1 or $2 per month) at our page: Patreon.com/eolu.

 

Until next week remember to:

Face Your Fears.                  BE Ready.                 Love Your Life.

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