End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 228 Training End-of-Life Doulas for the World with Suzanne O'Brien RN

Learn how you can get involved (for free) as a host for World Training Day and spread the word about how to care for people at the end of life.

My guest today is Suzanne O’Brien RN, hospice and oncology nurse and the founder of Doulagivers.com. She discusses how end-of-life doulas will change death and dying now and in the future and how she started World Training Day in 2019 to meet the needs of communities around the world for end-of-life training. Learn how you can get involved this year and host an event on 4/20/2020. Get more information at the World Training Day website:

www.worldtrainingday.org

Download Suzanne’s handout:

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is an “end-of-life doula”
  • Why death is not a medical experience but a human experience
  • How EOL doulas can help with the current and future caregiver shortage
  • 3 levels of training for doulas
  • How advance planning leads to a good end of life
  • How EOL doula training is useful for everyone, including teachers, navigators and hospice workers
  • Online training available for level 1 doulas through Doulagivers.com
  • Why presence is one of the greatest gifts we can give to patients at the end of life
  • How to get involved (for FREE) in World Training Day on 4/20/2020 – anyone can be a host; sign up by January 20, 2020
  • Where to host a WTD event and how you can benefit from being a host
  • The ripple effect of planting seeds about end-of-life issues

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, especially my newest Patrons: Joyce Miller, Megan Carmichael, and Lynn; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 227 Approaching the Tipping Point: Looking Back at a Decade of Change and Ahead to 2020

Learn how changes that began in the last decade foreshadow future growth in the death-positive movement.

In this final solo episode for 2019 I take a look back at some of the significant events of the past decade that helped to move forward the end-of-life movement. Then I share some tips and insights for continuing the momentum for positive change and increased death awareness in 2020. Find out how you can be part of the future as we move toward better care of the dying and the dead in our society.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Previous events that helped set the stage for the momentum of the past decade (e.g. Five Wishes, Green Burial Council, Suzanne O’Brien’s community training for doulas)
  • Major movements of the past decade that have helped shift the narrative on death and dying:
    • National Home Funeral Alliance
    • The Conversation Project
    • Death Cafe
    • Ask a Mortician with Caitlin Doughty
    • Confessions of a Funeral Director with Caleb Wilde
    • Death Over Dinner
    • Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal
    • Recompose (formerly the Urban Death Project)
    • Brittany Maynard’s quest for death with dignity
    • formation of the EOL Doula Council
  • What we have learned from the natural childbirth movement
  • Tips for continuing the momentum in 2020:
    • Don’t wait – the time is now
    • It will take all of us to create change – form coalitions and collaborations
    • Create a unified message for the cause
    • Education is critical
    • Tailor the message for specific groups
    • Be in it for the long haul (growth takes time)

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Episode 145 and 146: What the EOL Movement Can Learn from the Natural Childbirth Movement
  • Episode 128: Why We Need Death Ed for Everyone Right Now
  • Interview with Deanna Cochran on EOL doula movement
  • Episode 186: How to Bring Death Doulas to the Hospice Team
  • 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 Patron Delana Schneider, your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 225 How to Make Difficult Times Better as a Death-Aware Person

Learn what it takes to bring your compassionate presence more fully to others in challenging circumstances.

In this solo episode I discuss how to be a person who makes every situation better simply by being there. Scientific studies have shown that by cultivating greater coherence in the heart’s energy field we can make a positive impact on the people around us who are going through difficulties. I share some tasks to focus on to help develop your own ability to be fully present with a compassionate heart for the good of everyone in our society.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The heart’s electromagnetic field is the most powerful in the body according to the HeartMath Institute
  • Coherence occurs when there is harmony between body, mind, spirit, and emotions
  • Coherent energy from one person helps create calmer energy for other people
  • End-of-life workers can make a big difference for patients and families by increasing the coherence of their own heart energy
  • 5 tasks to make difficult times better:
    • Be willing to show up when things fall apart
    • Be a safe container
    • Be a deep listener
    • Be a truth-teller
    • Be a way-shower

Heart coherence serves as a facilitator, adding strength and effectiveness to your care, compassion, intentions and actions to help the world.

Heartmath Institute

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, especially my newest Patrons: Raquel Wiltbank-Mateo and Karen Coupe; your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 223 The Wild Edge of Sorrow: The Sacred Work of Grief with Francis Weller

Enjoy this thoughtful discussion about grief as we move into another holiday season.

podcastweller

My guest Francis Weller is a psychotherapist and the author of the book The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. He discusses the importance of engaging grief in our personal lives and as a community and shares stories of the power of grief-work to change our lives. Learn more about his work at his website:

www.francisweller.net

Get the book here.

Listen here.

This episode includes:

  • Why we need to honor grief in order to save the planet
  • The capacity of nature to help us heal our grief
  • How to help children establish a relationship with grief
  • How grief has become attached to other emotions like fear and anger
  • The intimate connection between grief and joy
  • How we enter the experience of grief through different portals ( the “5 gates”)
  • A simple ritual for sharing our collective grief (for healthcare workers and others)

The broken heart has the capacity to respond to the sorrows of the world with meaning … and love.

Francis Weller

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, especially my newest Patron: Robinette Williams; your contributions make all the difference!

Why honoring grief is necessary to save the planet.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 217 Living a Death-Aware Life: How to Practice What We Preach

Learn why and how to intentionally develop your personal death-awareness in order to live your best life.

PodcastDeathAware

If you are a death-worker in any field you probably feel that you are highly aware of death and its many facets. But did you know that the human brain has a primal mechanism to protect us from thinking about and acknowledging our own personal death? Yes it’s true. We can be advanced teachers of death for other people and still be in denial that we ourselves are going to die. In this solo episode I’ll talk about how and why we need to strengthen our own death-awareness for the betterment of our lives and our work.

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • A study that shows the defenses against death-awareness that exist in the primitive human brain
  • Why personal death-awareness must be intentionally cultivated
  • How death-awareness can expand and transform our lives
  • Why daily death contemplation is essential to our growth
    • Think about the fleeting nature of life
    • Acknowledge fears of death and dying
    • Recognize barriers to awareness
  • Benefits of increased death-awareness:
    • Enjoy the present moment
    • Find comfort in stillness
    • Experience authentic gratitude for life
    • Experience awe
    • Become less attached to material things
    • Be more inclusive and less exclusive
    • See everything as sacred

Good night Wesley. Good work. Sleep well. I shall likely kill you in the morning.

-from The Princess Bride

Links mentioned in this episode:

BartonWebinarloneliness

FREE webinar (REPLAY provided if you can’t attend live):

The Loneliness Epidemic

Click here to register.

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eoluespecially my newest Patrons Kathryn Mattes, Kristy Lynn, and Astrid Raffinpeyloz, your contributions mean everything to me!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 215 Death’s Big Tent: Making Room for Every Point of View

Learn how culture affects the way people view, talk about, and plan for death and dying. 

PodcastBigTent

As we work to promote death awareness and death positivity in society it is important to remember cultural differences that may influence how others view the end of life. We need to have room in our approach for diverse belief systems and traditions in order to best meet the needs of all members of the communities we serve. 

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

  • The difference between individualistic and collectivistic perspectives on life
  • Cultural reasons why discussing illness and death is frowned upon
  • Different styles of end-of-life decision-making
  • Reasons why minority groups have low rates of completion of advance directives
    • Distrust of healthcare system
    • Past or current healthcare disparities
    • Cultural perspectives on death and suffering (e.g. aggressive treatment equates with love)
    • Spiritual perspectives (e.g. only God determines the end of life)
    • Family dynamics
  • Culturally sensitive approach
    • Be open-minded
    • Be aware of potential cultural/religious/societal differences
    • Consider alternative discussions with family members rather than patient
    • Ask what a “good end of life” looks like to them
    • Ask what hope means to them
  • Sources of hope

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 Patreon.com/eolu, your contributions mean  everything to me!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 213 Making Sense of Death by Planning Ahead with Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante

Learn about educational planning tools that are available for end-of-life navigators and teachers to use with their clients.

PodcastLazarPante2

This week I welcome back to the podcast Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante of WillowEOL.com who will tell us about the free tools they offer to assist with end-of-life planning and a new workbook they have created (available to purchase). We will also discuss the importance of end-of-life planning and sharing our wishes with our loved ones. Learn more at their website:

www.WillowEOL.com

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • Why people should think in advance about the legacy they will leave behind
  • How to create a meaningful legacy for your loved ones
  • What steps baby boomers need to take now to be better prepared for the end of life
  • 9 things to include in an end-of-life plan
  • Free tools for planning ahead available at WillowEol.com
  • A helpful end-of-life planning workbook available for teachers and navigators to use with their clients
  • How to work with Reena and Michelle at a retreat, workshop or speaking event

Your mortality is an opportunity in disguise.

-WillowEOL.com

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new supporter Kathy Breakwellyour contribution means  everything to me!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 212 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 4: Grace

Learn how to cultivate grace in both life and death. 

PodcastGrace

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about grace, which is an essential element of any dance. Learn how the many different of meanings of grace apply to both life and death and discover a daily practice that can help us prepare for the end of life with ease and dignity.  These thoughts are derived from my book: What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

Get the book here.

Get the handout here:

GRACE

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • The many definitions of “grace”
  • That grace is always given freely, not earned or deserved
  • How grace “finds us” during our darkest times of brokenness
  • Forgiveness as an act of grace
  • How I want to live and die with grace and gentleness
  • A daily practice to cultivate grace:
    • G – Gratitude
    • R – Release
    • A – Awareness
    • C – Compassion
    • E – Equanimity

I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.

-Anne Lamott

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new supporters Hilary G. and Debi Schauss, your contributions mean  everything to me!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 210 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 3: Rhythm

PodcastRhythm

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about rhythm, which is an essential element of any dance. Learn how the rhythm of nature and the universe includes both stillness and motion, waiting and movement, and how we can find peace and hope by surrendering to this rhythm as it unfolds in the moment. These thoughts are derived from my book: What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

Art of Dying Author Series_ September 6, 2019 7-8_30 pm

I hope you can join me in New York City at the Open Center for this event and my workshop on September 6th and 7th!!

Learn more here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Why it’s important that rhythm contains both stillness and movement, whether in dance, music, or the written word
  • The power of the liminal space of waiting for an uncertain outcome
  • Why spiritual growth requires learning how to return to the rhythm of nature and the universe
  • How to surrender to the natural rhythm of living and dying and why it benefits us
  • How we can discover our connection to every other being on the planet when we remain in rhythm and open to synchronicity

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.

-Bruce Barton

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons, Colleen Shea and Mary V. Jensen–your contributions mean  everything to me!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 208 Nothing to Do: A Film About Everyday Miracles at the End of Life with Mike Kravinsky

Learn about a feature film that traces the story of a family’s conflict and ultimate resolution as their father reaches the end of life.

PodcastKravinsky

My guest Mike Kravinsky is the writer and director of this feature film that was inspired by his own father’s end-of-life journey. He discusses why and how he created the film and the impact it is having on viewers across the country. You can view this award-winning film, Nothing To Do, on Amazon Prime, iTunes and the Dish Network and it is also available for borrowing from local libraries.

Connect with the film on Facebook.

nothingtodocover

View the film here.

Listen to the podcast:

 

This episode includes:

  • The growing interest in feature films that focus on death and grief
  • How nothing prepares a person for caring for a loved one at the end of life
  • How this film accurately portrays family tension and conflict when dealing with end-of-life decisions
  • The importance of having conversations about these decisions earlier during the end-of-life process
  • How Mike turned real life experiences into a fictional movie
  • What some end-of-life films get wrong about the dying process, which consists of a great deal of waiting and uncertainty
  • How the film portrays the beauty of dying at home with hospice care
  • How being present for the death of a loved one helps us with our own fears of death
  • Why Nothing to Do would be a great choice for an end-of-life film night

Links mentioned in this episode:

Art of Dying Author Series_ September 6, 2019 7-8_30 pm

Join me in New York in September!!

 

 

 

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patron, Jean Berman–your contribution means  everything to me!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 207 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 2: Balance

PodcastBalance

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about balance, which is an essential element of any dance. Learn how to balance dying while living and living while dying! These thoughts are derived from my book What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • Thoughts on coping with tragedy and 5 tips for spiritual survival
  • Why we cannot live fully (and in balance) if we ignore death
  • How the medical system perpetuates the separation of death from life
  • How being mindful of death helps us let go of attachments and live with equanimity
  • Practices for bringing death awareness into daily life:
    • Morning gratitude practice
    • Mantra: This day is a gift
    • Notice death around you – including tragedies in the world
    • Observe the “little deaths” each day
    • Practice getting back into balance
  • Discover joie de vivre (the joy of living) and practice love through your final breath

Links mentioned in this episode:

Art of Dying Author Series_ September 6, 2019 7-8_30 pm

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patron, Heather Thomas–your contribution means  everything to me!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 206 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 1: Timing

PodcastDanceTiming

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about timing, which is one of the essential components of any dance! These thoughts are derived from my book What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

WRM@flatcover

Get the book here.

Art of Dying Author Series_ September 6, 2019 7-8_30 pm

Join me for the Art of Dying Author Series on September 6th at the Open Center in New York City. I’ll be discussing What Really Matters and signing books! Learn more here.

Also check out my workshop September 7th: Earth Lessons for the Soul here

Life and Death, two partners holding one another closely, swaying eternally to the music of the Universe. 

Karen Wyatt MD from What Really Matters 

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters to the bereaved
  • Why death and life are locked in an inseparable dance
  • How we learn slowly about death through life’s experiences
  • How to cope with the unique timing of life’s events when it doesn’t fit our hopes and expectations
  • Why even our mistakes and failures turn out to be perfect

We must live in both, be intimately at home in both [life and death.]

– Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Dark Interval

darkinterval

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons, Michelle Wilkinson and Sandy Lemen–your contributions mean everything to me!

 

EOLPodcast, Hospice, Spirituality

Ep. 196 The Doctor Who Became a Doula to Improve End-of-Life Care with Jackie Yeager MD

Learn how death doula training helped this physician find more meaning and fulfillment in her end-of-life medical practice.

PodcastYeager

My guest Dr. Jackie Yeager is a hospice and palliative care physician who has also trained as a death doula in order to provide the best possible care to her patients. She discusses her passion for slow medicine, especially at the end of life, and describes a new course she is launching on medical information for caregivers and death doulas. Learn more about the Informed Caregiver Course at her website:

www.informedcaregiver.com

Listen here:

 

This interview includes:

  • Why Dr. Jackie decided to become a death doula
  • What is “slow medicine” and why it is important
  • How mindfulness and spiritual practice help her be a better doctor
  • How death doulas augment traditional hospice care
  • How physicians struggle with grief over the deaths of patients
  • The scope of practice for a death doula
  • What is included in Dr. Jackie’s Informed Caregiver Course

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patrons: Kimberly Ogle, Linda McCarthy and Sherilee Bakken!

 

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 192 You Might Die Tomorrow: A Global Movement for Living Fully with Kate Manser

Learn how this grassroots movement is helping to promote mortality awareness around the world.

PodcastManser

My guest Kate Manser is a writer and motivational speaker who created the You Might Die Tomorrow movement in response to her own grief experiences. She will discuss how she overcame her own fear of death and how she has spread You Might Die Tomorrow globally.

Learn more at her website.

zrCyG7%9RVGdHqcd6zWe4g

Get stickers here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How You Might Die Tomorrow got its start
  • The psychology of mortality awareness
  • How having a provocative message is helpful to promote death awareness
  • The benefits of Deathbed Meditation
  • How to mitigate the fear of death
  • How to create urgency around end-of-planning planning
  • How acknowledging mortality helps us find happiness
  • How to get You Might Die Tomorrow stickers to display

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patrons, Judith Kubran, Laura Stanger, and Cole Imperi.

 

EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 188 Nurturing the Heart of Hospice: Tools for the Workplace with Brenda Clarkson RN

Learn how administrators and managers can better support their staff in providing heart-based care to hospice patients. 

PodcastClarkson

My guest Brenda Clarkson, with over 40 years of nursing experience in hospice, truly understands the mystery that surrounds the dying process and how best to support patients and hospice staff as they journey together through the end-of-life experience. She shares her model for returning to the roots of excellent hospice care while navigating today’s regulatory challenges as outlined in her book “The Heart of Hospice: Core Competencies for Reclaiming the Mystery.” Contact Brenda at:

bclarkson@virginiahospices.org

heartofhospicecover

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Registration is now open for the 8-week online course Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness. Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel and I will be co-teaching the class, which is offered by the Applied Wisdom Institute in partnership with the University of Redlands. CEU’s will be available! Learn more here.

Mark your calendars now for the event of the year!!! Announcing the Beautiful Dying Expo, which will be held in San Diego CA on November 2-3, 2019. I’ll be there as a facilitator for the event and registration is open now for workshop presenters, vendors, sponsors, authors, filmmakers. Go to www.beautifuldyingexpo.com to learn more. Contact Michele Little at info@beautifuldyingexpo.com if you are interested in being a presenter.

This interview includes:

  • Why honoring “the mystery” of dying and death is important
  • How the modern hospice movement has strayed from from the original heart of patient care
  • A new “mystery model” of hospice care that overcomes some of the challenges faced by hospices today
  • Core competencies of the hospice staff
  • The 4 phases of growth experienced by hospice workers
  • How to decrease the turnover rate of hospice workers
  • Tools for administrators and managers to choose the best staff for hospice work and support them emotionally and spiritually

Links mentioned in this episode:

PatreonMugShot

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patron, Martha Turner!!

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 183 How to Let Go of What You Thought Should Happen

Learn how to let go of expectations and your bitterness over life’s disappointments.

PodcastSurrender

This is Part 2 of the Mortal Wisdom Series and I’ll discuss the lesson of Surrender and why we need to learn to let go in order to experience joy in life. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Part 1 first if you haven’t heard it yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • How suffering increases when we believe that things should have been different
  • How clinging to the need to control the events of life can lead to bitterness and regret
  • Life flows like a river and we cannot control or stop the flow by resisting it
  • Why staying attached to our expectations keeps us from experiencing what life is offering us in each and every moment
  • How to reframe disappointments by being curious about what life is bringing
  • Journaling practice to identify attachments and resentments so that they can be reframed
  • Bridge ritual for letting go of attachments and receiving the flow of life
  • Untying the knots as a practice for letting go (Thank you to our beloved angel Megory Anderson and her book Sacred Dying)

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons Alive & Mortal, Phyllis Nickel, JoAna Dwyer, and Seth Edelman.

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 182 When You Die … You Will Not Be Scared to Die with Lindsay Tunkl

Learn how art and the written word can be a powerful tool for confronting our mortality.

PodcastTunkl

My guest Lindsay Tunkl is a conceptual artist and writer who explores subjects such as death, heartbreak, and the apocalypse. Her work has been shown at galleries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Today she will talk about her book “When You Die You Will Not Be Scared To Die” and her workshop Parting Practice: Rituals for Endings and Failure. 

Learn more at Lindsay’s website:

http://lindsaytunkl.com

Tunklcover

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How Lindsay’s fear of death inspired her to approach it through her art
  • Why the fear of death should not be shamed
  • How both death and emotionality are banished in our society
  • Description of Lindsay’s book of meditations
  • How the book can be used for a contemplative/journaling practice
  • The importance of both the mundane and the profound in life
  • How to reframe death by writing lists similar to the book
  • The ability to plan ahead for death is actually a luxury that is not afforded to everyone
  • How to use the book as a tool for exploring mortality in conversation

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patron Diane A. Kelly!

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 181 Why It’s Good to be Mortal and How to Celebrate It

Learn the lesson of impermanence and why it is essential for life.

PodcastImpermanence

This week begins a series I’ve titled Mortal Wisdom that will explore the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Today is the lesson of impermanence … the fact that nothing lasts and everything changes, which is the ultimate reality of our mortal existence here on planet Earth, but also the reality of the entire Universe. I hope you enjoy the series!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

TaoThe TAO of Death is an adaptation of Lao Tzu’s 2000 year-old book of wisdom, the Tao Te Ching. In these simple yet profound verses you will learn to see death as a normal process in the cycle of life and discover how to live fully and fearlessly.

Find more joy, love and meaning in your life throughThe TAO of Death!

Available on Amazon in print and digital format.

 

 

Why It’s Good to be Mortal and How to Celebrate It

This episode includes:

  • The Buddhist concept of impermanence
  • How everything that is fleeting becomes more precious to us
  • Entropy – the 2nd law of thermodynamics – from the Greek word entropia, which means a turning toward or transformation
  • How life moves from order to disorder, structure to non-structure, physical form to energetic form or Soul
  • The benefits of mortality:
    • Creativity, growth and transformation are made possible
    • Even our suffering and pain will not last (“this too shall pass”)
    • This is the unifying characteristic of all humans on the planet: we all will die one day and we all grieve over our loved ones who have died
  • Rituals for getting comfortable with and honoring our impermanence
    • Contemplation and journaling using books like The Tao of Death
    • Observation of nature
    • Mandala creation
    • Flowing water ritual
  • We are here to dissolve into love, our ultimate destiny

My mandalas:

IMG_0146  IMG_0145

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 Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons John Milloy, Victoria Jenkins, and Joanna D!

 

EOLPodcast

Ep. 180 Living Funeral Ceremonies: How to Die Before You Die with Emily Cross

Learn how experiencing a “living funeral” ceremony can help with fears of death and reconnection with what’s important in life.

podcastCross

My guest, death doula Emily Cross, has a remarkable level of death awareness for her young age and has been inspired to help others get comfortable with death by leading “living funerals.” She will share where her inspiration came from and how she conducts these unique experiences for confronting and preparing for death. Learn more at her website:

www.steadywaveseol.com

EmilyCross

 

This interview includes:

  • What a “living funeral” is and how it differs from a celebration of life
  • How Emily was inspired to work with death and create living funeral ceremonies
  • How a living funeral tradition began in S. Korea to combat the high suicide rate
  • What a living funeral ceremony consists of
  • The benefits of preparing and practicing for our own death
  • Who such a ceremony is right for and when it might be too triggering
  • How to offer living funeral ceremonies as part of an educational experience

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 Patreon.com/eolu!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 178 Poems and Rituals: A Tribute to Mary Oliver and Megory Anderson

This special episode is to honor the memories of two very special women who changed the world around them in different ways throughout their lives and died on the same day.

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maryoliverOn Thursday January 17, 2019 we learned of the deaths of two women who have contributed much to our understanding of the sacred in nature and in death. Mary Oliver is a beloved American poet whose love of nature inspired her beautiful verses. Her poems reveal the heart of humanity through the natural cycle of life and death she observed during her time spent in the out-of-doors. She authored many books of poetry including Blue Iris, Wild Geese,  At Blackwater Pond, and Why I Wake Early and was honored with numerous awards throughout her career.

megoryandersonDr. Megory Anderson trained in comparative religions and theology and founded the Sacred Dying Foundation in 1996. She is the author of the books Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life and Attending the Dying. Megory trained many end-of-life caregivers and professionals from diverse medical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Megory’s presence will be deeply missed by everyone who has been touched by her love and compassion.

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • A reading and discussion of Mary Oliver’s poem In Blackwater Woods
  • How Mary Oliver’s poetry helped me through times of grief
  • A Q&A session with Megory Anderson about her book Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life; recorded for A Year of Reading Dangerously on May 30, 2018
  • Megory’s thoughts on making even mundane moments of life sacred
  • How to incorporate sacred ritual into the practice of medicine
  • How rituals help us become more present to life
  • The grounding provided by sacred objects
  • How to vigil with a dying loved one
  • A ritual for healing grief and guilt over a suicide death
  • Creating a Sacred Dying Journal to tell others what brings meaning to our lives
  • An excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem When Death Comes

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 Patreon.com/eolu!