The Heart of a Pastor

By Stacey Grossman | PAS•TOR - late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pastour, from Latin pastor 'shepherd', from past- 'fed, grazed', from the verb pascere.

Many faith leaders are unprepared to help people make peace with death

Confronting sickness and death is part of a faith leader's job description. Members of the clergy sit with congregants during chemotherapy treatments …

When Patients Refuse The Hospice Chaplain

Sometimes We Wear Different Hats<p>by Lizzy Miles<p>As part of the admission process for a hospice patient, the admission team will ask the patient about …

Being Mortal

Season 33: Episode 6<p>FRONTLINE follows renowned <i>New Yorker</i> writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with …

Medicine

How to mourn your own death

We all know it: Sooner or later, each of us is going to die. In Buddhist traditions, meditating on death awareness is one of the oldest practices. …

I AM HERE

STILL I RISE<br>Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014<p>You may write me down in history<br>With your bitter, twisted lies,...<br>You may trod me in the very dirt<br>But still, …

'When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression'

I've never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I'm not much of a fighter, I suppose... more of an "arguer." I don't think I'm "scared" to get into a fight, necessarily -- there have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical fight could easily have …

furious

Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it.

Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it.<p>This thought has been weighing heavy on my heart since my diagnosis. I’ve …

Cancer

Creating A Safety Net for Isolated Older Adults

<i>(This article appeared previously on Kaiser Health News.)</i><p>Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do. But like many of her peers, the 71-year-old …

Baby Boomers

One Man’s Quest to Change the Way We Die

First, the back story, because, B.J. Miller has found, the back story is unavoidable when you are missing three limbs.<p>Miller was a sophomore at Princeton when, one Monday night in November 1990, he and two friends went out for drinks and, at around 4 a.m., found themselves ambling toward a …

Thich Nhat Hanh

World Economic Forum

Students living in nursing homes - a solution to our ageing populations? Read more: http://wef.ch/2hRpY91

Medicine

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse - but the rest of the world isn’t listening - Hack - triple j

It’s a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an …

I Know You Love Me — Now Let Me Die

(<i>This piece appeared previously on Dr. Louis Profeta’s LinkedIn page</i>.)<p>In the old days, she would be propped up on a comfy pillow, in fresh cleaned …

Mount Rainier

The Doctor Who Wants to Change How You Think About Dying

<b>Timothy Ihrig, 47<br>Palliative-Care Doctor<br>Des Moines, Iowa</b><p>I came to this industry very late. I started medical school in my early 30s. I wanted to be a …

Health Care

The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice

When my mother went into a nursing home not long before she died, my wife and I were told that, for a modest increase in the monthly fee, the staff …

Mind

A Long Goodbye: When Dementia Takes Someone You Love

Grief and dementia are strange partners. The person you love is dying in pieces, so you end up grieving in pieces too.<p>In the weeks before his death, …

Gifts to Adult Children, While the Parents Are Still Alive

<b>To the Editor:</b><p>In the June 10 Wealth Matters column, Paul B. Brown discusses why he and his wife have chosen to dispense some of their hard-earned wealth to their four children while he and his wife are still alive. My husband and I understand their decision.<p>First, Mr. Brown says that because he and …

Parenting

The Symptoms of Dying

You and I, one day we’ll die from the same thing. We’ll call it different names: cancer, diabetes, heart failure, stroke.<p>One organ will fail, then another. Or maybe all at once. We’ll become more similar to each other than to people who continue living with your original diagnosis or mine.<p>Dying has …

Medicine

How Social Isolation Is Killing Us

My patient and I both knew he was dying.<p>Not the long kind of dying that stretches on for months or years. He would die today. Maybe tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the next day. Was there someone I should call? Someone he wanted to see?<p>Not a one, he told me. No immediate family. No close friends. He …

Psychology

What It Feels Like to Die

Science is just beginning to understand the experience of life’s end.<p>“Do you want to know what will happen as your body starts shutting down?”<p>My mother and I sat across from the hospice nurse in my parents’ Colorado home. It was 2005, and my mother had reached the end of treatments for metastatic …

Mind

Easing the Transition from One Life to the Next

The following post is adapted from DEATH AND LETTING GO (Montague Press) by Ellen Tadd.<p>Death is an inevitable fate that everyone must face. Still, the topic of death is often avoided or denied because of fears and misunderstandings about what death actually is. When we recognize death as a …

Spirituality

All You Need, You Already Have

By Leo BabautaThere is a famous stone water basin (or “tsukubai”) outside of the even more famous Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, with four characters that …

Happiness

Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong

After nearly seven years of personal experience surrounding loss, I can tell who is going to read, share and comment on this article and it's not necessarily the audience I've intended. Those who have walked the horrific road of loss will shake their collective heads "Yes" at many of my points …

Mind

Along the Edges of Faith: The Many Sectors of American Chaplains

(Marice Cohn Band/Miami Herald/Getty Images) Chaplain Patricia Wilson works at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, and as a reservist she …

Atheism

A Matter of Death and Life

At The Harley School in Rochester, New York, senior-year students who sign up for hospice class learn to care for people who are dying. These are …

Empathy

We’re lucky if we get to be old, physician and professor believes

“I have a confession to make,” Bill Thomas announced several months ago at a conference on aging in Oregon. “I am an old man.”<p>“No, you’re not!” an audience member called out. It was meant, no doubt, as a compliment: Despite his gray-streaked beard and crow’s feet, the 56-year-old …

Medicine