Disruptive Conversations about Death in the Healthcare System

This week I am working with the Vitaltalk team to imagine how to scale their work Nurturing healthy connections between clinicians and patients facing serious illness.   They are such an amazing team to work with as they’ve been teaching & working with deep authenticity, presence, co-learning, emergence, honesty, courageous humanity and HUMOR.    How do you scale THAT! 

One of the most personally impactful retreats I’ve ever hosted was the one I co-lead with the VitalTalk team on Dying. The Invitation read: Let’s have a disruptive conversation about death. You can view the beautiful website and excellent videos from the event here.

One of my favorite lines spoken at the retreat, by Kemp, “It is not death we fear but our own unbearable grief, our unbearable love.”

Choosing an object to take to put in the circle on Monday, I’m packing up a picture of my Dad. I’ve met him three times as he flirted with that threshold, the first after a major bicycle accident.  We have a little pact with each other for how we will meet after he finally does meet Lady Death.   I’ll look for him on the hiking trail and the top of ski lifts.   He says “airplane trips are good for that too, that’s where I talked to my sister.”  Since I travel a lot, I’m guessing that will be the most regular channel.

Next week I get to be at his final “retirement” party for his work at age 89. He surprised himself last month and realized, “my work is done”  and turned in his badge – way to go Dad.

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