Living with Dying Blog


Two weeks ago, a good friend and colleague was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with heart attack symptoms. Jimmy arrived without his cell phone.  He spent nearly 3 hours in the emergency room by himself, because he didn’t know anyone’s phone number. Like all of us these days, he […]

Who Will You Call?


Our book is about the practical side of caregiving for the dying. But there is a very magical and mysterious side to death. In my 21 years in hospice, patients have had unexplainable experiences that have been truly remarkable. Quite often they report visitations from people who have already died […]

Death: The Big Mystery


I was visiting a patient who was close to dying from liver cancer. Sandy did not look comfortable or peaceful. She was breathing hard and thrashing around in her bed, though she had been unable to swallow and speak for days. I was tempted to suggest more morphine or Ativan, […]

The Need to Connect



When asked to describe the perfect death, most people say, “I just want to close my eyes and not wake up.” The body agrees. And it actually has a plan for making that happen. THE BODY’S PLAN A few months before you die, you lose your appetite for food.  Things start […]

What is a Good Death