End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 150 Die Wise: A Call for Wisdom in the Approach to Death with Stephen Jenkinson

Learn about Stephen’s teachings on death phobia in our society and how palliative care and the medical system fail to address this problem.

PodcastJenkinson

DieWiseIn this episode I share an excerpt from an interview with Stephen Jenkinson, author of the book Die Wise, founder of Orphan Wisdom and subject of the documentary Griefwalker. Stephen discusses some of the problems with our approach to death in modern society, including the medical system.

Learn more about Stephen’s work here.

Get Die Wise here.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Thank you to my latest supporter on Patreon.com/eolu: Bernadette Koch. I appreciate your willingness to contribute to this podcast and the End-of-Life University Series to keep them on the air. If you’d like to join the team, support this work, and get awesome bonuses at the same time, go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and sign up!

 

obrienwebinar

On July 24th I’m hosting Suzanne O’Brien RN for a free webinar where she’ll be teaching “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers.” If you’d like to know more about the work of end-of-life doulas and learn important skills for caring for the dying, this webinar will be valuable for you.

Learn more at: eoluniversity.com/obrien.

Click here to sign up for the webinar (it’s free and you’ll receive the replay if you can’t attend live.)

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

StephenJenkinson2My guest Stephen Jenkinson is a palliative care consultant, teacher, author and ceremonialist who is “revolutionizing grief and dying in North America.” As the author of Die Wise he teaches that “Dying well is a right and responsibility of everyone.”

Dying well is a right and responsibility of everyone. – Stephen Jenkinson

In this interview we discuss:

  • The origin of death phobia in our society
  • How the fear of non-existence is the greatest fear of most people
  • Why “lost” and “loss” are not helpful terms to use when discussing death
  • The danger of the “fighting illness” mentality of modern medicine
  • Why dying and grief are things that we “do” rather than events that “happen to us”
  • Why palliative care should be dying-centered rather than relief-centered

(This is an excerpt from the interview with Stephen. The full interview can be found at Patreon.com/eolu as a bonus for Platinum level supporters ($5 per month.))

Tune in every Monday for a new episode and if you like this content please share it with others or consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Until next week:

Face Your Fear         BE Ready          Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 149 How Theatre Can Inspire End-of-Life Awareness with Judith Gantly

Learn about a humorous one-woman play that inspires audiences to discuss their fears about dying and death.

PodcastGantly

JudithgantlysmIn this episode I share an interview from the archives with actress Judith Gantly who presents a one-woman play titled “Waltzing the Reaper.” We discuss the benefits of compelling theatre for inspiring an audience to talk about end-of-life issues.

Learn more about Judith’s work and “Waltzing the Reaper” here.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

suzannebrightOn July 24th I’ll be hosting a free webinar with Suzanne O’Brien RN on End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers. She will share the Level I training she offers to community members who want to learn how to care for their families and neighbors at the end of life. There will be a Q&A session with Suzanne following the webinar and you will receive the replay if you can’t attend live. Stay tuned for registration information!

Thank you to my latest supporter on Patreon.com/eolu: Nancy Walker! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. If you’d like to join the team of patrons who are chipping in each month to keep End-of-Life University on the air go to Patreon.com/eolu to sign up and learn about the bonuses you’ll receive as a supporter.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Judith Gantly presents the one-woman play “Waltzing the Reaper” for hospices, medical schools, and communities all around the country. She is available to travel to your event if you would like to incorporate theatre as a way to inspire your community to engage in conversations about dying and death.

You will learn:

  • The story portrayed in Waltzing the Reaper
  • Why theatre is a powerful tool for inspiration
  • How the hearts and minds of the audience members are opened during a live performance on stage
  • Why the content of this play stimulates discussion
  • How audiences come together through the shared experience of viewing a play
  • How to contact Judith about bringing Waltzing the Reaper to your community

View video excerpts from the play, read testimonials, and contact Judith at her website: http://judithgantly.com.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode. If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Until next week…

Face Your Fear          BE Ready            Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 148 Lessons Learned from Dame Cicely Saunders: Founder of the First Modern Hospice

Learn about the life of Cicely Saunders and what we can discover from her quest to change the way that people died.

 

PodcastSaunders

cicelysaundersyoungIn this episode, recorded just after the celebration of what would have been Cicely Saunder’s 100th birthday, I talk about how she became interested in caring for the dying, what inspired her to create St. Christopher’s Hospice, and what we can learn from her determination to improve care at the end of life.

Read more about the life and work of Dame Cicely Saunders at:

cicelysaundersinternational.org.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

downloads_wordmark_white_on_coralThanks as always to my devoted supporters at Patreon.com/eolu who make small contributions each month to keep this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series on the air. I’m so grateful for your financial, emotional and spiritual support!

If you’d like to join A Year of Reading Dangerously, our online reading group for 2018, there’s still time! Check out the reading list here and start reading along with 1,000 other people around the globe!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Cicely Saunders first began working with dying patients when she was training to be a nurse in the early 1940’s in London. She went on to become an Almoner (medical social worker) and a volunteer nurse at a hospice for the dying poor where she recognized the great need for better pain management and comfort care at the end of life.

When she was told that the medical system would not be interested in her ideas because she wasn’t a physician she accepted the challenge and went to medical school. One revolutionary contribution to end-of-life care was her concept of “Total Pain,” which included emotional and spiritual pain as well as physical.

As a doctor Cicely received a research grant where she studied pain management and wrote many articles. She took “before and after” photos of each patient so that she could show the transformation that occurred when pain was alleviated. Eventually her dream of creating a hospital dedicated to care of the dying was fulfilled when St. Christopher’s Hospice opened 10 years later.

From her story we can take much inspiration for today’s ongoing struggle to improve care at the end of life:

  • Follow your heart – Cicely stayed true to her heart and passion throughout her career as she dedicated herself to care of the dying, even when others discouraged her.
  • Be willing to change course to achieve your dream – Cicely was unable to pursue her original dream of being a nurse after a back injury and shifted to medical social work as a way of continuing her work with dying patients.
  • Be persistent – Cicely’s determination to do whatever it took to bring her dream to fruition led her to become a doctor.
  • Patience is essential – Cicely had to wait for many years to see her dream of a hospice become a reality: first while she studied to be a doctor, then did several years of research, and finally raised the funds to build St. Christopher’s. Change rarely happens overnight so stay the course!
  • Be credible before you can be incredible – Cicely demonstrated this throughout her career as she diligently worked through her own education and her research to gain credibility in the eyes of the medical system she was trying to change
  • The importance of teamwork – Cicely found likeminded individuals in her community and in the U.S. to sustain her inspiration and her enthusiasm for her goal. We can accomplish more as a team than as individuals.
  • Flexible models are necessary for optimum care – Cicely resisted standardizing her model of hospice care and instead chose to help others create their own unique solutions for the needs of their communities.
  • Have a big vision but humble expectations – Cicely sought to change care of the dying across the world with her vision of hospice but was content to make a difference to just one patient at at time.

“If one man from a poor village in India dies without pain because of what I have done, it will all have been worthwhile.” – Dame Cicely Saunders

Today we would be advised to remember her Total Pain concept as we struggle to deal with an opioid crisis in the U.S. Neglecting the contribution of emotional and spiritual pain to physical pain has led to over-reliance on drugs as the answer to suffering.

cicelyhospice1

Happy Birthday Dame Cicely Saunders!

Thank you for inspiring us to carry on your big vision of helping every person find comfort, peace and love at the end of life.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! If you enjoy this content please share with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes. Until next week:

Face Your Fear           BE Ready             Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 147 Green Burial: A Will for the Woods with Amy Browne and Brian Wilson

Learn about a beautiful documentary film that you can include in a community workshop on home funerals and green burial.

PodcastBrowneWilson

WillWoodsTeamIn this episode I share a “legacy interview” with two of the directors of the documentary film “A Will for the Woods” – Amy Browne and Brian Wilson. This is one of my favorite films and I encourage you to consider bringing it to your community for a screening and discussion about home funerals and green burial.

Learn more about the film here. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Sign up for A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group for 2018 here.

Patreonbecome2xThis episode is sponsored by my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu. Thank you today to Holly Randall for increasing your monthly pledge! I appreciate all of the donors who have been chipping in over the past year-and-a-half to keep this podcast on the air! You can join the team for as little as $1 per month at Patreon.com/eolu.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Filmmakers Amy Browne and Brian Wilson  discuss their award-winning film, A Will for the Woods, the story of a man near the end of his life who prepares for his own green burial. This film has been named “One of the 9 documentaries you must see this year” by the TED blog and has won numerous awards at film festivals around the country. In this interview you will learn:

  • what inspired 4 young filmmakers to spend 4 years filming this end-of-life journey
  • what the movie teaches us about death and burial customs
  • how this film can change the funeral industry
  • how to plan your own green burial and create a “green will”

Co-Director/Producer, Amy Browne, grew up in Australia and moved to New York City to study theater at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and film at The New School University. Her film credits include Associate Producer for Crazy & Thief (LA Film Festival 2012) and I Used to be Darker (Sundance 2013), as well as work on The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (Berlinale & Tribeca 2011). She also recently commenced work as the Producer on upcoming documentary As Worlds Divide. When her sister Sophie introduced her to the concept of green burial, which connects the profundity and beauty of nature with the cycle of death and life, Amy was inspired to further explore the idea through film.

Co-director/Editor, Brian Wilson, graduated from Brown University with a degree in Comparative Literature and History, and works as an editor in New York. Passionate about the natural world and its protection and restoration, he is pleased to be exploring and raising awareness about green burial with A Will for the Woods. He became interested in developing deeper insight into death after his mother died in 2008, and has been grateful to find it through working on this project, which he hopes will offer similar comfort and understanding to many viewers.

Website: www.awillforthewoods.com 

Remember there’s a new episode every Monday! If you enjoy this content please consider leaving a review on iTunes. Until next week –

Face Your Fear          BE Ready          Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 146 What the End-of-Life Movement Can Learn from the Natural Childbirth Movement – Part 2

Learn about the obstacles facing the end-of-life movement as we try to improve our approach to death and dying in society.

 

PodcastMovement

Slide1In Part 2 of this discussion I’ll look at the major “threats” to the advancement of improved care for the dying and dead in our society and how we might overcome them. Be sure to listen to Part 1 and download the original article below if you want to know more.

What the EOL movement can learn from natural childbirth

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The links mentioned in this episode include:

A Year of Reading Dangerously reading group – http://eoluniversity.com/yearofreading

Episode 128: Why We Need Death Education for Everyone Right Now

Episode 129: How to Teach Death-Ed to College Students with Stacy Smith

Episode 130: How Death Awareness Can Change the World

Episode 132: What it Takes to be a GREAT Death-Ed Teacher

Slide01Get the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class if you are interested in teaching your own class. You’ll be on the mailing list for the next Work Group for Death & Dying Class Teachers.

Sign up for the guidelines here.

Learn about our upcoming Work Group here

 

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Today we will discuss the potential threats or obstacles to advancing the end-of-life movement in our society:

  • Lure of technology that attracts people to seek more and more treatment at the end of life rather than seeking out alternatives.
  • Desire for convenience
  • Fear of pain

Take-away messages from this 2-part series include:

  • We need a unified message for the cause of improving our society’s approach to death and dying.
  • Educate, educate, educate.
  • Create public-professional coalitions in every community
  • Be in it for the long haul

Remember to tune in every Monday for a new episode and if you enjoy this content consider leaving a review on iTunes. Until next week …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready          Love Your Life

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