Normalizing Death: Step Two (Professional Track)

STEP TWO: CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS                                               30 min.


Trust the power of collective wisdom as you engage with others‒ using the lessons from the video as a jumping board for sharing.  Focus on the questions that can best support your role and experience as caregiver.

Courageous Conversations Series
Lesson Five: Normalizing Death

ACT Step Two

1. “People who are dying should be treated as living human beings. They will have good and bad days. The important thing for caregivers is to be mindfully present. The poet John Milton wrote, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait.’ We are so addicted to action that it may feel like we’re doing nothing if we just sit by someone’s deathbed. But it’s often very important to bear witness and listen or hold a hand.”  - Dr. Charles Garfield

2. “By ignoring death, or the so-called “elephant in the room,” physicians deny the patient and family the opportunity to reconcile relationships, perform a valuable and meaningful life review, and verbalize Byock’s five vital statements of relationship completion—including thank you, I love you, forgive me, I forgive you, and goodbye. Quite simply, [they can’t] prepare for death and the fundamental process of grief and bereavement.” - (Physicians and end-of-life care, 2002)

3.“We know the dying are our teachers. Perhaps in that time of mystery we should be inquisitive and curious about what they are teaching us. Let them lead the dance.”  - Soul & Science Lesson

4. “Increasingly, family presence at time of death is associated with quality of death and dying. It is important to identify barriers to family presence, institute family-friendly policies, and support nursing staff with the education and resources needed for family care in EOL (End of Life) hospital settings.” - (Next-of-Kin's Perceptions of How Hospital Nursing Staff Support Family Presence Before, During, and After the Death of a Loved One, 2012)

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