Vital Conversations: Dialogues on Living and Dying Well

The purpose of these free monthly webinars is to open the door to the conversation and support around end-of-life issues, death and dying. Each month I’ll have a dialogue with an expert on a different topic to discuss information and resources so that we can all make informed decisions regarding our shared universal experience of aging and death/dying. Without knowledge of the options available to us, we are unable to make the best choice for ourselves and support our loved ones to make their own choices as well.

January 21, 2016:
The Death Chicks: Making Death Light Without Making Light of Death
Patty Burgess and Myste Lyn together make up “The Death Chicks!” We had a great call with lots of humor on how to accept the inevitable death of all of us in a way that has meaning. And also what end-of-life and death can teach us about living.
The Death Chicks Show

February 18, 2016:
Marie Manis: Protect and Expand Your End of Life Options
Marie Manis is the MA Campaign Director for Compassion & Choices, the leading nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end-of-life. They do this through Federal and State advocacy by supporting, educating, and advocating for end-of-life options across the US including aid in dying laws so that mentally capable, terminally ill individuals have access to all end-of-life options.

March 15, 2016:
Terri Daniel: Grief Support: Ceremonies, Rituals, and the Afterlife!
Terri Daniel, clinical chaplain, certififed thanatologist and intuitive counselor
assists dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually spacious understanding of death and beyond. We had a great dialogue about finding meaning and healing in grief through ceremonies and ritual practices as well as life beyond death. Terri is also the founder of the Afterlife Awareness Conference where shamans and scientists come together! and

April 28, 2016:
Austyn Wells: Love Doesn’t Die: Proof From a Medium
Austyn Wells, Spiritual Medium and Soul Gardener, shares how we can tap into our own intuitive abilities and mediumship skills to connect with our loved ones who have died. We will discuss afterlife communication and mediumship, and how grief counseling, sacred ceremony and energy medicine can support since love never dies!

June 9, 2016:
Rachel Zeldin: Funeral Homes 101: What You Need to Know At a Vulnerable Time
Rachel is a walking consumer report on funeral planning! We had a great dialogue on the knowing your rights when it comes to funeral homes, the importance of shopping around, and the vitally important piece of planning ahead for your after-death options! Rachel shared lots of resources and dispelled many myths regarding funeral planning.

July 21, 2016:
M. Jane Markley: Advance Directives: A Vital Piece Most People Overlook!

January 21, 2015:
Dr. Karen Wyatt:  What Really Matters at the End of Life
Dr. Karen Wyatt, MD is a family practice and hospice physician. Her work with patients facing the end of their life inspired her to write the book, “What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.” Our dialogue focused on how we live our lives now prepares us for the end.

February 12, 2015:
Kathie Nitz, CSA:  Bridging Generations Through Conversations
Kathie Nitz is a life strategist, Certified Senior Advisor, and caregiver to her mom with dementia. She supports adult children navigate the challenges of eldercare with their eyes and hearts wide open. Our dialogue focused on strategies on how to respectively, proactively, and successfully have crucial conversations with our aging loved ones.

March 12, 2015:
Bart WindrumPrepping Yourself for the Trip: The Voyage to a Peaceful Death
Bart Windrum is a lay person turned end-of-life advocate after proxying through his parents’ 3-week terminal hospitalizations. From his extensive body of end-of-life work, our dialogue focused on Bart’s program “Overcoming the 7 Deadly Obstacles to Dying in Peace.” This is based on his book, “Notes From the Waiting Room.”

April 16, 2015:
Pashta MaryMoon: The Pan Death Continuum and Advance Care Planning
Pashta MaryMoon is the Director of CINDEA (Canadian Integrative Network for Death Education and Alternatives), that provides information and resources on the pan-death process (before, during, and after death.) She is also the founder of Journeying Beyond and our dialogue focused on the importance of Advance Care Planning throughout the entire pan-death continuum. and

May 21, 2015:
Peg Lorenz: Caring For Our Own After Death: Reclaiming An Old Tradition
Peg Lorenz is a home funeral guide, consultant, and founder of Peaceful Passages at Home. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Home Funeral Alliance and chairs the Legislative Committee. Our dialogue focused on the option to care for our loved ones at home after death in a respectful and loving way.

June 11, 2015:
Christine McMichael: The 5 W’s of Hospice
Christine McMichael is the Executive Director of the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts (HPCFMA). In 2013 alone, HPCFM member hospices served more than 21,000 patients and their families. We discussed the who, what, when, where and why of hospice, the many benefits, myths and types of hospice care, and answered all your questions!

July 9, 2015:
Uma Girish: Love, Loss, and Life’s Detours Toward a New Dream
Author of Losing Amma: Finding Home, Uma is a grief guide who shared her story of transformation and finding her life’s purpose through her profound grief after the death of her mother in India shortly after moving to the US. We had a beautiful heart-felt dialogue on being with grief, ways to move through grief, and finding the hidden gifts of grief.

September 16, 2015:
Nina Thompson: The Wake Up to Dying Project
Nina Thompson is the Executive Director of the Wake Up to Dying Project, an awareness and action campaign using the power of story to explore death, dying, and life! We have a wonderful conversation about the importance of talking about death and dying through stories. We listened to some of the recorded stories! Nina also shared their Traveling Exhibit (stories, community resources, workshops) that is set up in communities to encourage dialogue.

October 14, 2015:
Marja Sas: Second Chances: We Don’t Always Get Them
Marja Sas, a licensed therapist and grief coach in the Netherlands, was told by her doctor ‘we cannot cure you anymore’ after being diagnosed with cancer. That was 14 years ago. Marja shared how listening to her inner voice for healing enabled her to uncover her core essence. Marja shared what happens when we ‘play it safe,’ as well as some practical tips on ways to release grief and use the energy of your emotions to move forward.

November 12, 2015:
Michael Bloom: Recharging Your Caregiver Energy
Michael Bloom is a caregiving coach and author of The Accidental Caregivers Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Caregiving Without Regret. We had a wonderful dialogue about the importance of caregivers recharging their energy and creating a caregiver success team. In addition, we shared practical tips and coping strategies for caregivers to live more fully while they do this very important work.

December 10, 2015:
Kim Adams: You Only Die Once: Plan it Well and Live Life Now!
I shared the top 3 reasons people don’t plan for their end of life care and how that can harm them, The 3 P’s for Advance Care Planning: Priorities, Preferences and the Practical, and how to begin the conversation with yourself and family members.