Ep. 119 The Dying in America Project with Carolyn Jones

Learn about this documentary film project that examines the dying process through the eyes of nurses, directed by award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Jones.

PodcastCaJones

Carolyn_JonesIn this episode I share an interview with Carolyn Jones, an amazing filmmaker who has turned her attention to the death and dying process here in the U.S. Through interviews with nurses all around the country and by following 4 patients on their end of life journeys Carolyn hopes to demystify the dying process and spur conversation about how to do it better.

Learn more at www.dyinginamerica.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

downloads_wordmark_white_on_coralMany thanks as usual to all of the supporters who have made donations at Patreon.com/eolu! I am forever grateful for your generosity. You can become a patron for just $1 or $2 per month by signing up at Patreon.com/eolu.

I’d also like to thank all the listeners who have written in over the past few months to express their gratitude for this podcast and for the EOL University Interview Series! I couldn’t do this without you showing up to listen in and join the conversation. Thank you to Susan O’Brien, Terry Lindsley, Don Dahlheimer, Karen Britton, Marzette Ellis, and Louise Kelly for your messages of support! 

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Today I welcome Carolyn Jones an award-winning filmmaker who has created the Dying in America Project. Her project consists of interviews with 50 hospice and palliative care nurses, and will follow the journeys of four hospice patients when it has been completed. Carolyn will share her inspiration for the project and the goals she has for the future.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How Carolyn’s past experiences led to this project
  • How Carolyn created the Dying in America videos
  • What can be learned from the Dying in America website
  • How Carolyn hopes this project will help change the way we die in this country

Carolyn Jones is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who specializes in telling stories that shed light on issues of global concern. Her first book, Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS, was published by Abbeville Press and accompanied by shows in Tokyo, Berlin, the USA, and at the United Nations World AIDS Conference. She directed a television series for Oxygen Media called Womenshands as well as Women… on Family, a program for PBS. Carolyn founded the non-profit 100 People Foundation which creates educational films and curricula for school children worldwide. She has spent the last two years interviewing nurses from all over the country for the book and documentary film: The American Nurse. For more information about Carolyn and Dying in America, visit the websites below. The Dying in America website, supported by a grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, is the first phase of the project, which will culminate in a feature length documentary that will seek to change the way Americans confront death.

Websites: www.carolynjones.com

                www.dyinginamerica.org 

Remember to tune in every Monday for a new episode, subscribe on iTunes and leave a review if you enjoy this content!

Until next time …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready          Love Your Life

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Ep. 118 How Travel Helped My Grief

Learn how travel can provide a “safe container” for healing grief and loss.

PodcastGriefTravel

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In this episode I’ll share my own insights into how the experience of travel can help with the process of grief. This is also the subject of the new book I’m writing (I did research for it on my recent trip to Italy) … I’ll share a brief overview here!

You can check out all of my Italy photos on Instagram!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

virtualdeathcafecroppedEach month I host a “Virtual Death Cafe” with fascinating conversations about death, grief and the end of life. Anyone can join by telephone or online. You can learn more about it at www.eoluniversity.com/death-cafe.

Also, if you missed Death Expo earlier this month you can still access the replays at this link: www.eoluniversity.com/de17speakers.

Patreonbecome2xThis podcast is supported through the generous donations of my patrons on Patreon.com/eolu. I’m sending a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my current supporters – your support makes a big difference! Join the fun for just $1 or $2 per month and you’ll receive the “Patrons Only” Q&A recording each month (Hospice Happy Hour!) Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and sign up!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

During several of my travel experiences in the past I have been dealing with grief and have found the process of travel to be helpful. On one trip to Italy, my husband and I learned of the death of our brother-in-law on the day we arrived in Venice. Unable to cancel the rest of our trip and return home immediately, which we wanted to do, we stumbled through the remainder of the vacation and managed to make peace with our pain.

Here are some of my “takeaways” about how travel can help with grief:

  • Permission to wander aimlessly. On our Venice trip we canceled all of our sightseeing plans and activities. We started each day with a totally clean slate and just wandered the streets and canals of the city all day long. By following our intuition and our broken hearts we were able to enter into our grief without distraction or attachment. Had we been at home with family we would have felt obligated to “do something” and “be somewhere” but because we were traveling we were free of all expectations.
  • Seeing the big picture. Because we were freed up from the details of our daily life at home, we found more space to explore grief from a “trans-personal” perspective, as something bigger than just our own individual lives. Experiencing grief in another country allowed us to:
    • Recognize that all people, everywhere, experience the death of loved ones. Our mortality and the grief it causes us is the interconnecting thread that binds us to all of humanity.
    • Go deep into history. By visiting ancient ruins we can see that all of humankind, throughout history has dealt with the pain of loss and struggled to make peace with death. Our experience of grief is just one part of a vast “whole” picture of human loss.
  • Surrendering to grief to find joy within. As travelers “stuck” in another country even though we wanted to be home, we had no choice but to surrender to the pain that engulfed us. When we allowed grief to find a home within (and even “became” a living embodiment of grief) we also discovered a startling capacity for simple joy over the beauty of being alive. I’ve written this before: suffering hollows us out so that we can contain an even greater measure of joy … and also love.
  • Understanding impermanence. Strolling through cemeteries, relics and ruined structures of the past illustrated to me perfectly that everything that exists in the physical realm is impermanent and will one day dissolve away. Only love and the energy of life persist eternally. And it is the depth of the love we experience for others that causes the magnitude of pain we feel upon their deaths. Grief is one of the visible manifestations of love in the physical realm.
  • Learning how to navigate in unfamiliar territory. On our “grief trip” in Venice we simply wandered every day until we were hopelessly lost. We took in everything around us along the way–noticing all the colors and sounds and fragrances of life. And when we felt ready to return “home” we studied our maps to figure out where we were and to slowly find our way back to more familiar territory. This skill of navigating in the unknown will prove to be very helpful to us throughout life and especially during our own dying process as we struggle to get back to a home we can’t remember.

I hope you will take the opportunity to travel some day, even when you are experiencing grief, to experience the profound benefits it can offer!

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! If you enjoy this content, please share it with others and leave a review on iTunes! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear            BE Ready            Love Your Life

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Ep. 117 Grief Yoga with Paul Denniston

Learn how the practice of yoga can help heal acute and chronic grief.

PodcastDenniston

ALDennistoncroppedIn this episode I share an interview with yoga teacher Paul Denniston who has created a special workshop for healing grief using yoga and movement. He’ll share stories of his own journey through grief and how his workshop is helping others.

Learn more about grief yoga.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The Thanksgiving Holiday is approaching in the U.S. and I want to wish everyone a week of gratitude and generosity as we reflect on all that life has given us. My family will be celebrating with our Annual Thanksgiveaway: handing out care packages to the homeless. This is just a small gesture of kindness as a way of expressing our thankfulness for all of our blessings of the past year. I hope you too find a special way to share with others on this holiday!

downloads_wordmark_white_on_coralI am especially grateful for all of my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu! Your generosity helps me feel connected to my audience and lets me know that you like the content I am creating. If you would like to become a patron you can sign up to contribute just $1 or $2 per month at Patreon.com/eolu.

Barbara McAfee has generously offered to share the following music video with all of us! She wrote the song Living Dying Man for her friend Jamie Showkeir as he faced the end of his life from ALS. Learn more at Barbara’s website: http://barbaramcafee.com

I hope you enjoy listening! Thank you Barbara for sharing with us!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

In this interview yoga teacher Paul Denniston will discuss:

  • his use of yoga as therapy for grief
  • how various types of yoga can help release grief that has been stored in the physical body
  • tips and strategies for moving through grief
  • why laughter yoga is especially healing.

Paul Denniston teaches Grief Yoga to bereavement groups in one of the largest hospices in Los Angeles, and has taught for several years at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He offers techniques and exercises to therapists, counselors and health care professionals in the United States, England and Australia. Paul has studied with some of the world’s leaders in grief work, including David Kessler, William Worden and Elisabeth Kubler Ross.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! If you enjoy this podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes – it will be greatly appreciated!

Until we meet again remember …

Face Your Fear                 BE Ready               Love Your Life

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Ep. 116 Past Life Regression as a Tool for Grief with Dr. Linda Backman

Learn how this unconventional therapy can help us heal from grief and trauma.

PodcastBackman

lindabackmanIn this episode I share an interview with Dr. Linda Backman, a psychologist and regression therapist who helps people access information from previous lives and between lives. Whether or not you believe in multiple lifetimes you’ll find her work and experiences fascinating.

Learn more and register for her upcoming webinar on Nov. 18th.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Death Expo 2017 is coming!! 

DENew

November 16-17 I’ll share with you a series of presentations on end-of-life issues with a variety of speakers, like Caleb Wilde of Confessions of a Funeral Director, oncology nurse and author Meina Dubetz RN, Carla Fernandez and Lennon Flowers of The Dinner Party and Larry Wildemuth, who’ll talk about the end-of-life planning game Go Wish! You’ll also be able to listen to Encore Interviews from previous Death Expo events with Stephen Jenkinson, Jerrigrace Lyons, and Kate Kalanick of The Green Burial Council.

All you have to do to join in is make sure you are on the End-of-Life University mailing list:

Click here to sign up!

 


PastLives_intro_rectangleDr. Linda Backman will be offering a FREE webinar on November 18th: How to Heal Through Past Life Exploration. In this webinar you’ll learn:

  • Why unresolved karma may be the hidden cause of chronic health issues in particular parts of your body

  • How you can heal chronic health issues through understanding your past lives and relationship patterns

  • How to heal relationship patterns and bring more love and intimacy to key relationships by discovering your past life karma and its patterns

  • What past life regressions can reveal about your potential lives on other planets and how these experiences may be causing you illness or emotional issues now

    Reserve your spot here for this FREE event.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

This interview will introduce you to Dr. Backman’s work and you will understand how powerful this type of therapy can be. You will learn:

  • The difference between past-life and between-life regression
  • How regression therapy can benefit people
  • When a regression is recommended as treatment
  • How regression can help with unresolved grief

Remember that there will be a new episode every Monday so be sure to tune in next week! Meanwhile go to Patreon.com/eolu if you’d like to become a patron for $1 or $2 per month and click here to leave a review on iTunes!

Until next time …

Face Your Fear.           BE Ready.         Love Your Life.

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Ep. 115 End-of-Life Book Showcase: What’s on My Bookshelf in 2017

Here are some books you may not have heard of

but might want to read!

PodcastEOLUShowcase

41020587 - stack of old books, vintage styleIn this episode I’ll share with you some books that have come across my desk in the past year. While these books didn’t become New York Times bestsellers they each contain valuable wisdom and information that you will enjoy. Check these out and find something new to read this Autumn!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

DENew

Death Expo 2017 is coming soon! If you’ve signed up for the End-of-Life University mailing list you’ll automatically receive access to this special series on November 16-17, 2017. You’ll hear presentations from popular speakers such as Caleb Wilde, author of Confessions of a Funeral Director, Stephen Jenkinson and Jerrigrace Lyons and you’ll learn about grassroots movements like The Dinner Party: Life After Loss and Go Wish, the end-of-life planning game.

Sign up here!

Patreonbecome2xSupport for this podcast comes from your generous donations through my page at Patreon.com/eolu. This week I’d like to thank my latest patron Libby Gallaher! Thank you Libby and all of the other patrons out there who are helping to defray the financial costs of this podcast and also offering me your emotional and support! You are greatly appreciated! To become a patron go to Patreon.com/eolu.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Here are the books I’m featuring this year. Listen to the podcast to hear a brief description of each book or click the link to read more:

Happy Reading!

Join me next week for another new episode. If you enjoy this content please consider subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes! Thank you!!

Until next time remember ….

Face Your Fear.            BE Ready.           Love Your Life.

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Ep. 114 Dia de los Muertos: Celebrating the Dead

Learn about the history and cultural traditions behind Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebrations.

PodcastDia

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In this episode I’ll share what I’ve learned from online research and a conversation with a friend about Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrations, which will be taking place this week in Mexico. Join me in an inspirational look at this beautiful cultural perspective on death!

Learn more here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

DENewI’m getting ready for the 5th Annual Death Expo which will take place November 16-17! This year I will feature 5 brand new Keynote Interviews along with several Encore Interviews that represent the best of past Death Expos. If you are already on the EOL University mailing list (and receive emails each time a new EOLU interview is posted) you will automatically receive the Death Expo access information. But just in case … you can sign up here if you’d like to join us for Death Expo:

Click here to register!

 

positanoAlso, I recently returned from an incredible month-long trip to Italy and I wanted to remind you that you can check out all my photos on Instagram if you are interested!

Click here to see the photos!

 

 

Patreonbecome2xThis week I would like to thank my latest supporter on Patreon.com/eolu: Shannon Calvert! A HUGE THANK YOU to Shannon and all of the other donors who are helping to keep this podcast on the air! If you would like to become a patron and receive the “Hospice Happy Hour” Q&A recording each month visit Patreon.com/eolu to learn more!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

I intended to record an interview about Dia de los Muertos with my friend Alex Sánchez whose family is from Guadalajara, Mexico and who currently lives in Barcelona. Due to technical difficulties we were unable to record our conversation but I did gather a lot of helpful information from him that corroborated the online research I had completed.

Here are some of the interesting facts I learned (listen to the recording to hear all of the details):

  • Current Dia de los Muertos celebrations derive from Aztec traditions influenced by Catholicism. They are practiced most elaborately in the indigenous parts of Mexico (from Mexico City to the south.)
  • The celebrations occur on November 1st (All Saints’ Day) and November 2nd (All Soul’s Day).
  • Families build elaborate altars (ofrenda) in their homes with candles, marigolds, food, sugar skulls, clay skeletons, favorite items of the deceased, and even toys
  • Plates of the deceased’s favorite foods are placed on the altar – eating those special foods is a big part of the celebration
  • There is a belief that the “gates of heaven” open at midnight on October 31st (All Hallow’s Eve), allowing spirits to return to the land of the living to join in the celebration
  • On November 2nd the celebration moves to the cemetery where gravesites and tombs are cleaned and decorated with flowers, candles and skulls. Music, food, dancing and storytelling are all part of the day.
  • In Mexican culture death is considered a normal part of life–to be welcomed rather than dreaded. Skeletons and skulls are decorated with bright colors and smiles as they represent the joy of living in the face of death.
  • In many cities altars are placed in public squares and there are community parties and parades to celebrate the occasion but these events are less traditional and have been commercialized to appeal to tourists.

I loved learning about Dia de los Muertos because the celebration matches my own beliefs: that life is to be celebrated and death reminds us to make the most of every day. Whatever traditions and celebrations you enjoy this week I hope you take a moment to appreciate life and acknowledge that it is precious because it is limited.

Tune in next week for another episode. If you enjoy this podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes. (Click here to learn how to leave a review.)

Until next time …

Face Your Fear.           BE Ready.          Love Your Life.

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Ep. 113 How to Write a Book About Death and Dying with Joanna Penn

Learn why you should write your story and Joanna’s tips for getting it done and out to the world.

PodcastPenn

JoannaPennNew24In this episode I interview Joanna Penn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, about why and how we should each feel empowered to tell our own stories, even when they focus on difficult subjects like death and dying. Joanna’s website TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.

Read about Joanna’s work at www.thecreativepenn.com and listen to her excellent podcast too!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

LKFlorenceI’ve recently returned from my amazing month-long trip to Italy and have so many great photos and stories to share with you!

Check out my Instagram feed to see lots of photos from our journey and soon I will begin posting stories on my blog at www.eoluniversityblog.com where you can read about some of our adventures. The purpose of this trip was to gather information for my next book: A Grief Pilgrimage Through Italy. Stay tuned for more information!

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I’ve created a workshop on “Resilience for Death-Care Workers,” which I just presented to the entire field staff of Denver Hospice. It was a profound experience to talk about the mindset and self-care practices that help us avoid burnout in our work. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop contact me at karen@karenwyattmd.com for more information or use the form below:


Patreonbecome2xThis podcast is generously supported through your donations at Patreon.com/eolu. When you contribute just $1 or $2 per month it not only helps defray the costs of creating this podcast but it also lets me know that you appreciate this content and would like to see and hear more! A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been supporting the podcast for the past year! Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Joanna Penn writes thrillers under the name J.F. Penn and she also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors. She is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker who talks with us today about how to write the stories that we are carrying inside of us so that we can help others with our words.

If you have been wanting to write a book (as most Americans say they want to do) then this interview will help you get started – especially if you want to write about the difficult subjects of death, dying and grief.

In this interview we’ll talk about:

  • How writing our stories can change us
  • How to overcome self-doubt as a writer
  • How to actually finish what you’ve started
  • How to handle the vulnerability that comes with telling your own story
  • How to get started writing your book

Joanna is an excellent resource for information on writing and self-publishing which she shares through her blogs, podcasts, books, and courses. Check out her website TheCreativePenn.com to learn more and connect with Joanna.

Remember there will be a new episode every Monday! If you enjoy this podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes – I would greatly appreciate it!

Until next week….

Face Your Fears.                    BE Ready.                    Love Your Life.

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