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Dialogue on Death media resources:


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General – Death Blogs and Sites

Talking about Death at Events

Talking About End of Life Wishes

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Podcasts and Videos – General

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End of Life Planning


Title Directors Summary Available From
So Much, So Fast Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan What would you do if you were 29 and found you may only have a few years to live? This story is about the remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovers he has Lou Gehrig’s disease and his brother Jamie is obsessed with finding a cure. Library DVD
A Will for the Woods Amy Browne Determined that his last act will be a gift to the planet, a man prepares for his own green burial. Compelled by both the environmental benefits and the idea that one can remain within the cycle of life, rather than being cut off from it. He and his partner plan to use green burial to save a North Carolina woods from being clear-cut. Library DVD, Netflix
The Bridge Eventos Finais People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and those drawn by its call. Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during daylight hours from two separate locations for all of 2004, recording most of the two dozen deaths in that year (and preventing several others). They also taped interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. Raises questions about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker’s relationship to his fraught and complicated material. You Tube
How to Die in Oregon Peter Richardson In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Since then, more than 500 Oregonians have taken their mortality into their own hands. Filmmaker Peter Richardson gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether–and when–to end their lives by lethal overdose. Richardson examines both sides of the complex, emotionally charged issue. What emerges is a life-affirming, staggeringly powerful portrait of what it means to die with dignity. Library DVD (2)
Facing Death and Dying Well Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama teaching about the truth of suffering, the Three Characteristics of Existence and the dissolution of the body’s elements at death. His Holiness encourages us to develop our awareness of death and move from gross understanding to more subtle levels Library Streaming Video – Kanopy
Approaches to Dying Great Courses None of us can avoid dying. But some believe we can learn how to die well. Professor Berkson introduces you to ways that others have faced death (with regret, dignity, even rage) and also considers some of the practical ways we can make the best of our deaths when our time comes. Library Streaming Video – Kanopy
Shaking Hands With Death Terry Pratchett This 2010 BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture, is a brilliant video featuring Terry Pratchett, a prolific English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. In December 2007, he announced that he had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. He felt “it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.” Pratchett introduces this lecture on the topic of assisted death, but a friend reads the main text as by this time Pratchett’s condition made it difficult for him to read. You Tube


Title Author Summary Sources
Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life Will Follow W. Garth Callaghan A man, faced with a terminal disease, seeks to leave a legacy for his daughter by packing notes in her lunchbox. A beautiful story and a great idea. Library (4 copies), Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, Kindle)
The Needs of the Dying,  10th Edition David Kessler A guide for bringing hope, comfort, and love to life’s final chapter. Very helpful! A required text for the End of Life Doula course. Library (2 copies), Amazon (Paperback)
Saying Goodbye Barbara Okun & Joseph Nowinski When someone you love receives a terminal diagnosis, the whole family is suddenly faced with a prolonged crisis. While medical advances have given us the gift of extending life – meaning that a loved one could survive months or years before dying – it has also changed the way we grieve. This guide for that complex journey, offers hope and healing for those who may be left “living with death”  for a prolonged time. Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle)
The Way of Letting Go Wilma Derksen Wilma Derksen write of her journey to forgiveness after loosing her daughter, Candace, after she was violently abducted and died. Well written, thoughtful with some references to her faith which are handled in an easily relatable manner. Library  (12 copies), Amazon (Paperback, Kindle)
The Art of Dying Well Katy Butler In this book you will learn how to successfully age in place, to deepen your passions and community connections, to marshal a “tribe” to support you or a seriously ill friend, and to seize the power to make any death a sacred rite of passage rather than a medical event. This down-to-earth manual for living, aging, and dying with comfort, meaning, and even joy Library (3 copies – print, audio, digital), Amazon (Hardcover, Audible, Kindle)
Final Gifts Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley For everyone who has been or ever will be close to someone who is dying, this book is aimed at helping them to understand not only what the experience of death is like, but also how to interpret the symbolic messages by which the dying attempt to communicate their needs to us. In many cases, the dying need to pass on some vital message before they feel able to “let go.” Often, communication can break down entirely, with neither side feeling able to reach the other or to express feelings honestly. The authors draw on their many years of hospice nursing to show that by keeping an open mind and by listening carefully to dying people, friends and relations can begin to understand not only what they need to tell them, but also what the experience is like. Library (7 Copies), Amazon (Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle)
Last Acts of Kindness: Lessons for the Living from the Bedsides of the Dying Judith Redwing Keyssar Comprised of twenty-seven moving true stories that take place in hospitals, residential facilities, and homes. These engaging tales reveal the challenges and rewards that face the dying, their loved ones, and the professionals who care for them. They also lead us to consider our own beliefs about the great questions of life and death. Amazon (Paperback, Kindle)
Share the Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who is Seriously Ill Cappy Capossela & Sheila Warnock When a family member or friend is affected by a serious illness or injury, or when you find your elderly parent needs help, the range of tasks and responsibilities involved are overwhelming. This book offers a sensible and loving solution: a unique group approach that can turn a circle of ordinary people (friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances) into a powerful caregiving team. Amazon (Paperback, Kindle)
Holding Space: on Loving, Dying, and Letting Go Amy Wright Glenn A look at the spiritual, emotional, and philosophical implications of end-of-life care. It asks us to embrace the task of being present with what is — through courageous and mindful expressions of compassionate presence — and helps us to accept the fact of our own mortality on a visceral and emotional level, not simply as an intellectual abstraction. Amazon (Paperback, Kindle)
From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi  and Ronald Miller Explains how older people may continue to grow spiritually and intellectually and offers guidance on facing mortality, repairing relationships, developing a regenerative spirit, and leaving a legacy of wisdom for future generations. Amazon (Paperback, Hardcover, Audible, Kindle)
Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God Greta Christine A unique take on death and bereavement without a belief in God or an afterlife Accepting death is never easy, but we don’t need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this inspiring and life-affirming collection of short essays, prominent atheist author the author offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love. Amazon (Paperback, Audible, Kindle)
The Power of Love’s Connectivity: A Case Study of Medical Assistance in Dying Don Ayre This book is about a revolutionary new approach to medicine. It is about palliative care and medical assistance in dying, but it also about one individual – Jean Ayre – who believed passionately in a more loving and caring world and went about her life making her belief in a more loving and caring world a reality. This book is both a case study in palliative care, medical assistance in dying and a love story. Amazon (Paperback, Kindle)
The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope, Comfort and Spiritual Transformation Kathleen Dowling Singh This book illuminates the profound psychological and spiritual transformations experiences by the dying as the natural process of death reconnects them with the source of their being. Examining the end of life in the light of current psychological understanding, religious wisdom, and compassionate medical science, the book offers a fresh, deeply comforting message of hope and courage as we contemplate the meaning of our mortality. Library (1 copy), Amazon (Paperback, Hardcover, Audible, Kindle, MP3/CD)
Let’s Talk About Death Over Dinner: An invitation and guide to life’s most important conversation Michael Hebb Of the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death–and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Yet few of these conversations are actually happening. Death Over Dinner encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common. Library (3 copies), Amazon (Hardcover, Kindle, Audible)
Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair Miriam Greenspan A beautifully written, deeply compassionate, and revolutionary approach to working with the most difficult human emotions. The author teaches us how to trust our emotions and how to listen to hear the truth they reveal. This is a practical guide that illuminates how the wisdom of the heart can heal ourselves, each other, and our world. Library (4 copies), Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, Kindle)
The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief Francis Weller Offers a new vision for grief as a communal ritual to be embraced for healing. Synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures, and poetic traditions, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people. The core of his work is creating pathways to reclaiming our indigenous soul , what psychologist Carl Jung called the “unforgotten wisdom” that resides in the heart of the psyche. To further his work, he founded and currently directs WisdomBridge, an organization offering educational programs that seek to integrate the wisdom from traditional cultures with the insights and knowledge gathered from western cultures. Library (2 copies), Amazon (Paperback, Kindle & Audible)
All My Puny Sorrows Miriam Toews This book has been refered to as “A literary comedy about suicide.” Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. But Elf’s latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Can she be nursed back to “health” in time? Does it matter? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life. Library (19  copies, digital, audible, CD format) Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Audible, Kindle)
Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul Stephen Jenkinson Teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Dying well, Jenkinson writes, is a right and responsibility of everyone. It is a moral, political, and spiritual obligation each person owes their ancestors and their heirs. It is not a lifestyle option. It is a birthright and a debt. Die Wise dreams such a dream, and plots such an uprising. How we die, how we care for dying people, and how we carry our dead: this work makes our village life, or breaks it. Library (2 copies), Amazon (Paperback, Kindle & Audible)
Ghostbelly Elizabeth D Heinemen A personal account of a home birth that goes tragically wrong–ending in a stillbirth–and the harrowing process of grief and questioning that follows. It’s also Heineman’s unexpected tale of the loss of a newborn. In this courageous and deeply intimate memoir, Heineman examines the home-birth and maternal health-care industry, the isolation of midwives, and the scripting of her own grief. With no resolution to sadness, Heineman and her partner learn to live in a new world with a new understanding of the fragility of the present. Library (2 copies), Amazon (Paperback)
Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom The author connects with his former mentor in the last months of the older man’s life. They visited in the mentor’s study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.
This book is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Morrie shares a lasting gift with the world.
Library(10 copies, audio, ebook, CD) Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle)
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast A graphic memoir about Roz  Chast’s parents in their final years. Her father, George, died at the age of 95 and her mother, Elizabeth, died at the age of 97. The author derived the book’s title from her parents’ refusal to discuss their advancing years and infirmities. The book highlights numerous considerations related to end of life issues for fragile individuals. It received several awards and was a number 1 New York Times Bestseller. Library (10 copies, ebook – 2 copies) Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle)