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, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 197 How Grief Unites Us to Stand Together in Love

Learn how to use grief and loss to build bridges with others.

PodcastGriefUnity

In this solo episode I talk about one of the key Mortal Wisdom lessons I’ve learned; everyone is grieving over something and grief can be a factor that unites us. This message is essential today as we face polarization and divisiveness that threaten to tear apart our society. I’ll discuss how to use our own grief to build a bridge toward others who are different from us.

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Why we need to stand together right now
  • How our grief unites us with others
  • What wisdom traditions teach about grief
  • Grief opens the heart to carry more love
  • How to utilize grief as a bridge to others:
    • Embrace your own grief and carry it lightly
    • Notice signs of mourning and grief wherever you go
    • Remember that everyone you meet has suffered loss and pain
    • Before judging another acknowledge that person’s suffering
    • Have conversations about grief and loss with those you conflict with
    • Find harmony with others
    • Share love rather than hatred
  • Beware of “dark forces” that are trying to use our differences to fragment society; find commonality in our grief to heal the wounds of the planet and our communities

Forget the nonsense of there and here, race, nation, religion, starting point and destination. You are Soul and you are love. … Love is the bridge between you and everything.

-Rumi

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 Button!

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 193 The Thorn and the Rose: Pain as a Portal for Grace

Learn how to use challenges as a tool for growth and find grace in the midst of pain.

PodcastSuffering

In Part 7 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how our greatest tragedies can ultimately lead us to growth through the gift of grace. As I prepare for the 30th anniversary of my father’s suicide death this week I share my thoughts on my own journey through grief. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Parts 1-6 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • How my father’s suicide changed the trajectory of my life
  • Why the remedy for pain is found “inside the pain” as Rumi wrote
  • There is no “other side” of the tunnel of grief
  • How our grief journey can only be viewed clearly in retrospect
  • How to “burn our pain as fuel”
  • The meaning of grace and how it arrives as a mystery
  • How sorrow prepares us for joy

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, but 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 Patrons, Robyn Mott and Amy Wallace; and thank you to Christina Ensminger for increasing your monthly pledge!

 

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!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 175 The Highlights of 2018 and What’s New for Next Year!

Learn about the best of EOLU in 2018 and how to catch up if you missed any of these events!

PodcastNewYear

“Death Education for Everyone” was the theme for 2018 and we’ll review all the great educational content that was provided in the past year. It’s not too late to listen in on the best webinars and interviews of the year before we get started on a brand new season of EOLU! Check out the links for the events you’ve missed in the description below.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

BIG NEWS!! Starting in 2019 the EOLU Interview Series will merge with the EOLU Podcast – so all the great interviews you are used to hearing on the interview series will now be available as podcast episodes. This means you can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the interviews on your phone while you are on the go! In addition you’ll be able to hear the solo episodes (like this one) where I share my wisdom, inspiration, and ideas for embracing the end of life and living fully today.

You can subscribe to the podcast at one of the following links (whichever podcast app you use):

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts (Click “View in iTunes” then click “Subscribe”)

Subscribe on Stitcher

You can also listen to the episodes at www.eolupodcast.com.

Thanks for all of your support in 2018! I appreciate you for listening in and encouraging me to keep going. And I’m especially grateful to those of you who have become patrons on my donation page at Patreon.com/eolu: you make my heart sing!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

2018 has been a wonderful year for EOLU that began with a goal of supporting “Death Education for Everyone.”  In support of that goal the following programs were created:

  • A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group; we’ve read one book a month this year and held 9 live book discussions with authors of the books in attendance. Nearly 1,000 readers from around the world have joined together to read the same book at the same time. We’ve all learned a lot about death, dying and the afterlife and have had fun in the process!

View the books and discussions from 2018 here.

Join the reading group here (if you haven’t already signed up!)

  • Teaching Guidelines for a Death and Dying Class – this free pdf was made available to hundreds of people interested in teaching about end of life issues. You can still get the Guidelines here.
  • Workshop on How to Teach a Death and Dying Class successfully helped launch dozens of classes around the country and culminated in 5 students creating online webinars, which you can view here.
  • Promoted Cathy Zheutlin’s new film “Living While Dying” as an excellent tool for teaching community members about death and dying. Learn more about the film here.
  • Co-hosted 3 teaching webinars that were very well received. If you missed these there’s still time to watch:
    • “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers” with Suzanne O’Brien of Doulagivers.com. View the webinar here.
    • “Bridge Time: The Consequences of Change” with Jane Barton of Cardinalife.com; she talks about how caregivers can become more resilient in the face of change. View the webinar here.
    • “Collaborative Care for Caregivers: How to Ask for Help” with Jane Barton. View the webinar here.

The “best” interviews of 2018 (though they were all fantastic!);

  • Hansa Bergwall talking about the WeCroak app he created for smart phones that reminds you of your mortality 5 times a day.  Listen here.
  • Dr. Bob Uslander who has pioneered a new concierge model of end-of-life care, which could be a game-changer for the medical system and how we help patients navigate their last days. Listen here.
  • Alua Arthur of Going With Grace talked about the legal issues that can occur after death and how to prepare for them in advance. Listen here.
  • Deanna Cochran RN and Suzanne O’Brien RN both talked about the creation of the End-of-Life Doula Council by the NHPCO and the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, which now provides certification training for doulas. Listen to Deanna’s interview here. Listen to Suzanne’s interview here.
  • Cheryl Jones of Good Grief Radio Show talked about end-of-life issues and the LGBTQ community. Listen here.
  • Jonathan Bartels RN discussed The Medical Pause which he initiated to show respect after the death of a patient at his hospital and has now spread around the world! Listen here.
  • Michael Hebb talked about founding Death Over Dinner. Listen here.
  • Joe Primo of Good-Grief.org discussed helping children with grief and how to include them in the experience of death and dying. Listen here.

For 2019 I’ll still be focusing on education as the primary goal of EOLU along with collaboration with other change-makers and this unifying message:

Let’s do dying and death better!

  • A Year of Reading Dangerously will continue! View the book list here.
  • There will be another workshop on How to Teach a Death and Dying Class (stay tuned to future podcasts for more information)
  • More webinars (TBD)
  • Speaking engagements (announcements coming soon)

Thank you for listening to the podcast and for leaving reviews on iTunes (they make a big difference!)

Tune in every week for a new episode! Until next time remember:

Face Your Fear         BE Ready          Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 174 Finding JOY in Times of Darkness – Christmas Eve 2018

 Learn some ways to navigate the holidays if you find yourself short of joy and overwhelmed with darkness this year.

PodcastJoyDarkness

The holidays are not always joyful, particularly when we are dealing with grief or loss. Watching others celebrate can be painful if we are feeling lost and alone in our suffering. Here are some suggestions for coping with dark times and finding the way to joy. 

 

 

This episode includes:

  • Why times of darkness are essential for life and growth
  • How major holidays near the winter solstice include light as part of the celebration
  • Why we need to embrace the darkness rather than resist it
  • How to bring in the light 
  • How to redefine joy as joie de vivre (the joy of being alive)
  • Discovering that joy is already within you
  • Why stillness is essential to cultivate joy
  • Overcoming the obstacles to joy
  • The importance of giving to others even when you are going through difficult times

Dark times provide an incubator for the soul to grow in creativity, love and joy.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

karen-signature

 

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 172 Coping with the Death of a Pet with Wendy Van de Poll

Learn how to navigate grief during the dying process and after the death of a beloved animal companion.

PodcastVanDePoll

 

Wendy Van de Poll has felt a connection with animals since a very young age and then learned about the grief associated with the death of a pet after her own dog Marley died of cancer. She serves as an End-of-Life and Pet Grief Support Coach to help provide a safe place for people to grieve the loss of their animal companions. She shares her tips for surviving grief and also ideas for creating an end-of-life plan for our pets.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Join our online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously for 2019 by signing up here. Or learn more at this webpage: eoluniversity.com/yearofreading 

If you’re already on the mailing list you can download the 2019 book list below:

A Year of Reading Dangerously 2019

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

(This interview previously aired on the End-of-Life University Interview Series.)

Whether you live with an animal companion yourself or you know someone who loves a pet dearly, you need to be prepared for the day when that animal reaches the end of life. Wendy Van de Poll helps people prepare in advance for pet loss and also helps them deal with the grief that follows the death of a beloved animal friend.

The impact of the loss of a pet can be more significant than the loss of a human companion.

In this interview you will learn:

  • Why it’s important to create an end-of-life plan for pets
  • What to include in a pet’s end-of-life plan
  • How to make the dying process easier for a pet
  • Common myths surrounding grief after the death of a pet
  • Advice for those experiencing pet loss grief
  • How to support a loved one dealing with grief over the death of a pet
  • Suggestions for helping a child cope with pet loss grief

Wendy Van de Poll is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets.

Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer.

She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker.

She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.

Learn more about her work: centerforpetlossgrief.com

Support this podcast by becoming a Patron at Patreon.com/eolu, sharing this episode with others who might find it helpful, and leaving a review on iTunes!

Until next week …

Face Your Fear         BE Ready         Love Your Life

karen-signature

 

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 160 Writing About Death, Dying and Grief: Dr. Karen Wyatt on “The Creative Penn Podcast”

PodcastTCPKW

 

 

CreativePennPodcastButton_1400x1400-300x300In this episode I share an interview I did with Joanna Penn on her podcast for authors “The Creative Penn.” We talk about why it’s important for authors to address death and grief in their writing and I’m sharing it with you to illustrate how we can talk about death with other people who don’t necessarily share our knowledge or interest. Learn more about Joanna’s awesome podcast here: www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

This episode is sponsored by generous contributions on my page at Patreon.com/eolu. This week I’d like to thank my new patrons Mary Wilkinson, Joan Bretthauer, and Diane Adams! Your support means everything to me! To join the team and receive special bonuses go to Patreon.com/eolu.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Today I’m sharing with you an interview Joanna Penn did with me for her podcast The Creative Penn. A few weeks ago in Episode 156 I discussed about how to talk to strangers about death and dying. My point was that we need to be bold enough to strike up conversations with people about death.

My interview with Joanna is an example of talking with someone not well-versed in end-of-life issues to show that it can be productive and inspirational at the same time. Joanna let me know that many of her listeners wrote to saw how much they enjoyed our interview and that it was very helpful to them personally and as writers. So let’s go have more conversations about death with people in all walks of life!

We discuss:

  • Lessons learned from working with those close to death
  • Paying attention to our inner passion for writing
  • Tips for dealing with death and grief in our characters and our writing. Joanna talks about some of the issues she tackled in her book Desecration.
  • Why we are able to write about grief that we might not have experienced personally
  • Why it’s okay to be comfortable with the subject of death
  • Changes in death culture as boomers age

There will be a new episode each Monday so be sure to tune in again! If you enjoy this content please share it with other 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. 157 “Journey’s End”: Stories for Everyone About Death with Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster

Learn about a helpful book of stories dealing with death, dying and the end of life and how you can contribute your own story to the next book in the series.

PodcastJulieVikki

 

 

julievikkicollage

In this episode I present my conversation with the co-editors and co-curators of the book Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life – Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster

Learn more about the book at journeysendbooks.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

SpCare-AuthPresence-EoL-UnivThis episode is sponsored by Authentic Presence training for healthcare providers from the Spiritual Care Program.  You can receive a certificate in contemplative end-of-life care by completing this series of three courses, including an 8-day residential immersion retreat. Highly recommended!

Learn more here.

 

FEATURE PRESENTATION:
Today Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster join me to talk about their book journeysendcoverJourney’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, which is a compilation of quotes, stories and resources that look at death from various perspectives. In our conversation we discuss:

  • How Julie and Vikki ended up collaborating on this book
  • How the stories in the book are organized:
    • Personal Stories of Professionals and Lay People
    • Professional Support and Caregiving Perspectives
    • Funeral Home, Post-Death and Alternative Burial
    • Grief and Bereavement
  • How they chose the contributors for the book
  • The feedback they’ve received from readers
  • How this book of stories can be useful in many settings for both professionals and lay people
  • How to submit a story for the next book in the series which will feature various cultural, ethnic and religious perspectives on death and dying

Read more about the book here.

Get the book here!

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

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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EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 140 The Silent Grief of A Young Child After the Death of a Parent with Rachel Stephenson

Learn about the impact of unspoken grief on a young child after the death of a parent and why we need to do a better job addressing grief with children.

PodcastStephenson

Stephenson RachelsmIn this episode I share an interview with Rachel Stephenson, an author, speaker and educator, who shares the story of her mother’s sudden death when she was 5 years old and the lasting impact it has had on her and the lives of her family. Rachel’s TEDx Talk on the same subject has attracted a lot of attention and points out why we need to address grief and loss with children.

Watch Rachel’s TEDx Talk:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Sign up for A Year of Reading Dangerously reading group here and join us to read books about death, dying and the afterlife all year long!

Tune in to the 4-part webinar series Demystifying Palliative Care here and learn all about the palliative care team members and their roles.

This episode is being sponsored by Gia’s Healing Chants Album – you’ll hear a selection at the very end of this episode. Click here to learn more and purchase the album.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

My guest is Rachel Stephenson, whose blog “Dear Dead Mother” and recent TEDx Talk have captured a great deal of attention online. We explore the process of grief, particularly for a young child who loses a parent, and how childhood grief differs from that experienced by adults. Rachel is passionate about opening the conversation about grief and loss.

In this interview you will learn:

  • the dangers of grieving in silence as perceived by Rachel
  • the experience of suddenly losing a parent through the eyes of a young child
  • what needs to change in our societal conversation about death
  • how to talk to a child about a death in the family

Rachel Stephenson is a writer, speaker, educator, and university administrator who is living fully with grief. She is currently the University Director of the CUNY Service Corps at The City University of New York, and her professional experience includes designing and implementing innovative experiential education programs in civic engagement, workforce development, and youth development; writing interactive curricula; facilitating/emceeing professional development workshops and special events; fundraising; and more at a range of educational institutions and non-profit organizations in New York City. She is married with three daughters. Though Rachel has not spent her career in the world of grief and bereavement, she has spent her life thinking about her own grief – her mother died suddenly when Rachel was five – and knowing that she would one day revisit her own story to connect with others about navigating loss.

Website: https://deardeadmother.wordpress.com/

Remember to tune in every Monday for a new episode and please consider leaving a review on iTunes!

Until next time:

Face Your Fear            BE Ready            Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 134 The Hidden Grief of Life’s Transitions with Rev. Terri Daniel

Learn how grief over the death of loved one is compounded by other losses that occur simultaneously.

podcastdaniel

ALDanielcroppedIn this episode I share a conversation with Rev. Terri Daniel about the “other grief” that occurs throughout life with or without the death of a loved one. We’ll talk about this hidden grief and why it is important to acknowledge it as an important part of life.

Learn more about Terri’s workshop at http://spiritualityandgrief.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

It’s not too late to sign up for A Year of Reading Dangerously and join us in reading books about death, dying and the afterlife throughout 2018! Learn more and sign up here.

Thank you to all of the donors who are contributing to my page at Patreon.com/eolu each month! It makes a huge difference and I’m very grateful! Thank you to Suzanne O’Brien RN and Doulagivers.com for being a “legacy supporter” for the past 18 months!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

In this interview Rev. Terri Daniel and I talk about the big picture of grief throughout life’s transitions and how it often goes unnoticed as we focus primarily on grief after a death occurs. We talk about:

  • Continuing Bonds Theory
  • “Other” types of loss
    • Material loss
    • Relationship loss
    • Intrapsychic loss
    • Functional loss
    • Role loss
    • System loss
  • Four additional types of grief
    • Relinquishment grief
    • Tribal/National grief
    • Vicarious grief
    • Collective grief
  • The need for ritual and ceremony to process grief
  • Are there avoidable vs. unavoidable losses?

Rev. Terri Daniel is a clinical chaplain and end-of-life educator certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. Her work focuses on assisting dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually-spacious understanding of loss and trauma.

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

Until next time remember …

Face Your Fear          BE Ready           Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief, Grief Travel, Tragedy

Ep. 118 How Travel Helped My Grief

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

PodcastGriefTravel

kwadriatic.jpg
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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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

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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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 106 Hospice Care for Animal Companions with Ella Bittel

Learn how this holistic veterinarian cares for animals as they reach the end of life.

PodcastPetHospice

Ella002In this episode I share an interview with Ella Bittel, a holistic veterinarian who specializes in helping animal companions at the end of life. She’ll share tips for caring for our own pets when they become terminally ill.

Learn more about her work and classes at www.spiritsintransition.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

IMG_0266My trip to Italy is coming up in just 2 weeks! You can check out my Pinterest board to see where I’m planning to go and then keep track of my travels by following me on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll be writing, walking, eating, biking, and tasting some wine as we work our way through Italia!

 

Patreonbecome2xBecome a patron of this podcast by making a donation of just $1 or $2 per month at Patreon.com/eolu! You’ll receive the Top 10 Interviews from EOLU, access to the exclusive Hospice Happy Hour Q&A session each month, and a chance to promote your work on this podcast. A huge THANK YOU to all my current patrons for your support! Join them if you wish at Patreon.com/eolu.

The following interview references a video named Denali that is a “must-see”! Here is the link to watch it on Vimeo:

 

FEATURED PRESENTATION:

Ella Bittel teaches us how to care for our animal companions so that they can fully live out their lives. She uses holistic and complementary medicine to keep animals comfortable at the end of life and encourages us to provide this loving care to our own pets. In this interview she discusses:

  • What it takes to give hospice care to an animal family member including dogs and cats
  • How we can create conditions to allow for a peaceful hospice assisted natural transition of our pet
  • How we can prepare so that giving hospice care to our animal companions becomes possible
  • Tips for assuring the comfort of our pets
  • The hotline available for questions regarding hospice care for pets on her website

Tune in each Monday for a new episode! If you enjoy this podcast, please leave your reviews on iTunes. Until the next time ….

Face Your Fears.                       BE Ready.                       Love Your Life.

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 97 Tribute to Jon Underwood, Founder of the Death Cafe Movement

In memory of Jon’s contributions to positive conversations about death through Death Cafe.

PodcastUnderwood

deathcupThis episode is dedicated to the memory of Jon Underwood who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 44 on June 27, 2017. I share an interview with Jon from 2015 about Death Cafe, why he started the movement, and his dreams of creating an actual Death Cafe in London. Thank you Jon for changing how the world talks about death! Learn more at DeathCafe.com.

 

A crowdfunding campaign has been started to help support Jon’s family and you can learn more about it at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jon-underwood

Watch a video about the campaign here: https://youtu.be/o6-6LyUf2do

Please consider making a donation as a way of thanking Jon posthumously for his work!

Patreonbecome2xThis podcast is supported through generous donations at Patreon.com/eolu. Thank you to my latest supporter John Wadsworth who is the founder and creative director of Art of Dying Magazine (go to ArtofDying.net to learn more.) If you would like to become a donor go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more.

About the 2015 interview with Jon Underwood:

When Jon Underwood and his Mom, Sue Barsky Reid, hosted the very first Death Cafe in his home in London in September 2011, they had no idea they were creating a movement that would sweep across the world.

In this interview Dr. Karen Wyatt and Jon Underwood will talk about the past, present and future of Death Cafe. You will learn how you can be part of the Death Cafe movement whether you would like to attend a Cafe, start your own, or support Jon’s future dream of opening a real Death Cafe in London!

We can learn from Jon’s story that it is possible for one person with a simple idea to create big changes in the world!

Thank you Jon creating those big changes for all of us! We wish that we had more time to be inspired by you but you have always taught that life is fleeting. You enjoyed each moment just as each of us must learn to do.

If you want to learn more about the new textbook The Death Cafe Movement go to this link: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319542553

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! Until the next time:

Face Your Fears.                     BE Ready.                      Love Your Life!

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 94 Finding Joy in the Midst of Grief

How I got joy back into my life after my father’s suicide death.

podcastjoy

Wyatt18smallThis episode is a follow-up to the 8-part series I presented on my father’s suicide death (episodes 85-92). I will look at the factors involved that helped me eventually find joy in my life once again.

You can read the companion blog for this podcast at www.eoluniversityblog.com.

 

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series by making a donation at my Patreon page: www.Patreon.com/eolu. This week I would like to thank my newest supporters: Melissa Neeley and Jozie Rabyor. You are awesome! Your support means everything to me. Also last week’s supporter Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs has asked me to promote Death Cafe as a thank-you for her donation. Go to DeathCafe.com to learn more about the movement, download a guideline for starting your own Cafe, or find a Death Cafe near you to attend!

Finally as promised, the Patreon donations have reached $50 per month so I am scheduling the first Hospice Happy Hour for Patreon supporters! It will take place on Friday June 23rd at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern. We’ll “hangout” together, talk about death, offer support to one another, and answer questions. If you are a current donor you’ll receive the call-in information by email. If you are interested you can become a donor too by going to Patreon.com/eolu!

Today I’ll be sharing with you my insights on how I moved through the pain of grief and guilt and managed (over many years time) to recover a quiet joy in my life. Here’s the list of factors that helped me:

  • Patience. I needed to recognize that grief has its own timing (and its different for everyone.) I had to let me grief follow its own path and unfold in its own way.
  • Stillness. Over time I developed my capacity to experience stillness within through a practice of contemplation and meditation. I discovered that joy arises in the stillness so this step was essential in order for me to ultimately feel joyful again.
  • Facing emotions. For many years I repressed all of my negative emotions about my father’s death because they were too frightening and dark for me. But it was necessary for me to face up to those emotions and embrace them with love in order to make room for joy to return.
  • Allowing change. I learned that I had to allow my grief and pain to change everything about me in order to move through it and discover joy again. My resistance to change kept me stuck in grief for many years and unable to move on.
  • Letting go of expectations. I had to alter my assumptions about how joy would show up in my life and recognize that it would arrive as one tiny droplet at a time. Joy for me now is quiet and serene.

Thanks for tuning in to the podcast! Send me a message or your questions for the Happy Hour at my email address karen@karenwyattmd.com or Tweet me at @spiritualmd!

Until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.                         BE Ready.                        Love Your Life.

Love,

karen-signature

 

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EOLPodcast

Ep. 92 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 8

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 8: The Fire Ceremony

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suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • What I’ve learned about my Dad through my investigations
  • The “Tapestry Dream” that changed how I saw everything in my life
  • The hard lessons I learned through hospice work
  • How I recognized that Dad had been my silent partner through all of my grief journey including writing the book What Really Matters
  • The Fire Ceremony: A ritual for healing my Dad’s trauma and my own
  • The song The Sun is Shining for You by Gia (used by permission)
  • Closing comments about this podcast and farewell
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

Highest blessings and deepest love to you!

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 91 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 7

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 7: Omaha Beach

omahabeach

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Exploring Dad’s memorabilia from World War II
  • How indigenous cultures hear the stories of their warriors in order to share in their pain
  • My travels to Iceland and Normandy to retrace Dad’s steps in World War II
  • What I learned about the pain of war on my journey
  • A healing dream about my Dad
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 90 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 6

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 6: The Purple Heart

purpleheart

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • How hospice work help me get “unstuck” on my grief journey
  • How I uncovered my anger at my Dad and my need to forgive him for taking his life
  • The “secret” my Aunt Lena told me about Dad and World War II
  • What I learned from psychiatrist Dr. Jeff Black who treats war veterans for trauma and “soul loss”
  • The RAIN formula from Jack Kornfeld for healing trauma:
    • Recognize the effect the trauma has had on your life
    • Acknowledge and accept the pain you are experiencing
    • Investigate the patterns
    • Non-attachment to the “story” of the trauma
  • Poem: “Griefwork”
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.