Death and Dying

I Know You Because I Was You

Ten years ago on the 27th of January my mother took her last breath. I was so broken by her loss that I couldn’t see beyond my next breath. Leave alone, fast forward to 2019 and who I have become today. But even through the dark fog I was trapped in, I felt the soft…

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Does Guilt Keep You Awake At Night?

GUILT. It’s like lugging a horrible, heavy monster everywhere you go. There’s no relief, no letting up, no days off. It colors everything you think, do, and say. In short, guilt causes so much suffering. And it’s hard not to feel it because it’s built into us. Guilt is our moral compass. It’s a good…

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A Book I Can’t Stop Talking About

Recently I read a book that inspired me so deeply that I’ve been telling everyone I know about it. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton is a true story. Ray, as he is known, is a 29-year-old black man living with his mom and earning…

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What Is The Difference Between “Doing” and “Being?”

You’ve probably heard the saying: Stop working so hard. You’re a human being, not a human doing. Sylvia Boorstein, the Buddhist meditation teacher, even wrote a book by the title Don’t Just Do Something, Sit there, a tongue-in-cheek take on what most of us heard as kids: Don’t just sit there; do something. We all know…

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3 Lessons the Dying Taught Me

Serving as a hospice volunteer for five years has been one of my most fulfilling life assignments. During this time, I sat by the bedsides of the dying. As I comforted, consoled, and cared for them, I learned. The dying are literally holding an hourglass, watching the sands of time slip away. Faced with weeks…

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Does Your Inside Match Your Outside?

The recent suicides of two high-profile personalities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, were tragic, heartbreaking and ripe with life lessons. An iconic American fashion designer, Kate had built a legacy that most people would be proud of. Anthony, celeb chef, author and TV personality, was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world.…

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7 Truths Children Teach Us About Grief & Loss

7 truths children teach us about grief and loss

It was a tiny worm that lived in a tiny box. And 5-year-old Kate had grown fond of it. One day, the worm lay dead in the box. Kate’s dad wondered how to break the news to her. “Sweetie…the worm…um…its body got really sick…um…and so…well, it stopped…” “Dad, did the worm die?” asked Kate. The…

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Let’s Send Love to Las Vegas

Las Vegas shooting

What happened in Las Vegas on October 2 makes us sad, mad, and everything in between. It takes away our confidence and leaves us feeling helpless. We all feel some version of the following: The world is becoming worse, day by day. I can’t trust anyone anymore. I feel so unsafe. But every tragedy also…

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The Goodbye Visit

saying goodbye before it's too late

Monday afternoon. I’d just finished facilitating My Life Story, my weekly group for seniors, now in its ninth year. As she walked out the door, Mary paused. “Oh, Uma. I don’t know if you’ve heard…Eileen has been moved to hospice care.” I felt the middle of my chest cave in. Eileen was one of my…

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Dying To Wake Up: Messages from the Other Side

afterlife, nde memoir

A world-renowned cardiologist and chief of anesthesiology at Bakersfield Heart Hospital for more than a decade, Dr. Rajiv Parti, M.D. was an addict. Not only was he addicted to the prescription pills he swallowed to numb the pain of depression and other physical ailments, he craved the next hit he got from playing the stock…

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