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, 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, Grief

Ep. 209 How Religion Can Harm the Grief Process with Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel

Learn how our beliefs can become an obstacle to healing and growth during times of trauma and grief. 

PodcastDaniel19

My guest Terri Daniel is an interfaith clinical chaplain, certified trauma specialist, end-of-life educator, and the founder of the Afterlife Awareness Conference. She recently published a new book titled Grief and God, which explores the ways in which religion and “toxic theology” can interfere with the healing process after a profound loss. She’ll share some key takeaways and stories from her extensive research on this important subject.  Learn more at Terri’s website:

www.danieldirect.net 

griefandgod

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • The elements of “toxic theology”
  • How religious beliefs based on toxic theology can increase guilt, fear of death, and complicated grief
  • Types of complicated grief
  • Why platitudes like “thoughts and prayers” no longer suffice after sudden trauma
  • Non-directed vs. directed prayer
  • A “healing prayer” for times of difficulty and trauma
  • Tools for dealing with complicated grief
    • ceremony and ritual
    • art therapy
    • narrative therapy
  • Why talking about grief doesn’t help without ceremony or ritual

Links mentioned in this interview:

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, Susan Glogovac–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, Grief

Ep. 205 Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One with Sarah Neustadter PhD

Listen to a personal and intimate conversation about suicide death and how to cope with the aftermath as a survivor.

PodcastNeustadter

My guest Sarah Neustadter PhD was studying psychology in graduate school when her boyfriend, a fellow student in the program, chose to end his life. Ten years later she has written a book to guide others through the complicated grief that follows suicide. In this conversation we share our own stories of grief and find insights together that we hope will be helpful to others on this path. Learn more about Sarah’s work at her website:

www.sarahneustadter.com

Neustadterbook

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • Why no amount of training can prepare you for the suicide death of a loved one
  • How grief after suicide differs from other types of grief
  • The stigmatization of suicide death in our society
  • How devastating guilt and regret follow a suicide
  • Why suicide survivors need to work on self-forgiveness
  • What might help on the journey of post-suicide grief:
    • Community
    • Physical touch or holding
    • Support with mundane tasks of daily life
    • Frequent check-ins from friends
    • Presence from others rather than words
    • Acknowledgment of the pain – even months and years later
  • Grief has its own timeline and can’t be rushed through
  • How writing can help us process grief and other difficult emotions
  • Sarah’s 3 categories of her own grief process:
    • Despair
    • Shifting
    • Beauty

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. 200 What I’ve Learned from 200 Episodes of the EOLU Podcast

Find out my insights and lessons learned after completing 200 episodes of this podcast.

Podcast200

I’m excited to have reached this milestone of 200 episodes of the podcast! Today I’ll look back at some of the interviews I’ve done and share my “take-aways” so far. Here’s hoping for 200 more episodes. Thank you for your support over the past 4 years.

Learn about End-of-Life University here.

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

Other links from 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!

 

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 198 Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth: Finding Wholeness After Loss with Sherry Cormier PhD

Learn about “post-traumatic growth” and how it is possible to thrive after experiencing loss and grief.

PodcastCormier

My guest Sherry Cormier is a licensed psychologist and certified bereavement trauma specialist. She will share with us her personal encounters with loss and grief and how over the years she has managed to grow through her pain. We will also learn about her latest book Sweet Sorrow: Finding Enduring Wholeness After Loss and Grief. Learn more about her work at her website:

http://sherrycormierauthor.com

sweetsorrowcormier

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How talking about death helps with grief
  • Grief healing is not linear but cyclical
  • How grief survivors can thrive after traumatic loss
    • Find community
    • Self-care practices
    • Spiritual practices
    • Do and learn something new
  • Tips for helping a friend or loved one who is grieving
  • The outcome of  “post-traumatic growth”
    • Increased appreciation for life itself
    • New possibilities
    • Increased personal strength
    • More mindful of relationships
    • Spiritual growth
  • Who can benefit from reading her book Sweet Sorrow

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 Roberts.

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, 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!

 

 

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!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 191 The Power of the Broken Heart: Why Love is the Answer

Learn how love can transform and heal our lives even during our last days.

PodcastLove

In Part 6 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how our broken hearts allow us to expand our capacity to carry and transmit pure Love. Throughout life we are broken open by love in many different ways and must learn to remain open to love rather than hardened and resistant to it so that we can find peace at the end of life. 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- 5 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • The story of my “Love Project”
  • The importance of love for those at the end of life
  • How forgiveness makes room for even greater love
  • The many ways love can break our hearts
  • Why we need to remain open to love even after we have been hurt
  • The “violin metaphor” and why we should allow love to hollow us out
  • Practices for opening to love

Carry your heart through this world like a life-giving sun.

-Hafez

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, Meina Dubetz and Deborah Luscomb!

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.

podcastmegory

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!