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My patient declared as she lies on her death bed, “It’s ok, it will be a good death.” This unexpected phrase launched me on an inspiring quest for the secrets of a good death. I discovered wisdom and hope from those on the precipice of awareness of their own mortality.  A good death is not an […]

In my last blog post, I shared with you about the role of the caregiver. You are an unsung hero who carries the weight of grief as you tend to the one you love. You labor and yet, you don’t tell others of the weariness you feel. To admit this may feel as if you […]



She was in her seventies, young to die in our current day and age and yet, old to have survived the years since her original diagnosis. She knew she had lived on borrowed time and had taken every opportunity to make the most of it. She encouraged me with the words on her last day, […]



Martin Luther once said, “Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.” I’ve shared with you in the series, Facing Your Fears About Dying and Death,  an unhealthy fear, the healthy fear, the biology of fear, and most recently the fears associated with the dying process. […]

You cannot imagine worse than the illness which has brought you great suffering. Pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, weakness, oh, the weakness, have made you feel a shell of the self you once knew. You have had endless nights of sleeplessness waiting on the next doctor’s report. Worry accompanies your days and fear accompanies […]

The Mystery of the Waiting Time She was eighty-eight and she was tired. She had buried two husbands, attended the funerals of every sibling, and all but one of her close friends. She lived with her daughter, which was wonderful, but she was ready for her heavenly home. She often quipped that maybe God had […]



Fear creeps up on you as the day progresses. You may begin your day with hope and confidence that today, you will just try and make it through the day living in the moment. Yet, as rising suns bring hope, the approach of the mid-day is shrouded by clouds of fear. You can’t help it.  […]



His wife and I stood on opposite sides of the bed, each of us holding his hands which were bony and ice cold. The pallor of his skin barely detectable against the white sheet. He could not tolerate the mask that would deliver oxygen and breaths often used by those who had advanced pulmonary diseases. […]

Dear Lad and Lassie Dear Sir and Ma’am I am writing on this Momentous occasion To share with you All that I can. I know you wonder As I did too Is my companion Of late Able to stay with me And also follow you Rest assured my friend And family too My Death stays […]

“You can’t plan for all possibilities, but you can possibly plan for most.” Dr. Pamela Prince Pyle I stepped into the elevator and immediately sensed the tension between the two women who stood with arms crossed, one tapping her foot with an annoying volume. I could feel the weight of words which must have ceased […]

“When you prepare today for tomorrow, tomorrow doesn’t seem quite so scary.” Dr. Pamela Prince Pyle I have yet to meet a patient or his or her family that regrets the amount of time they spent preparing for the knowable and the unknowable. Yet, I have witnessed carnage from those who arrive at “death’s door” […]


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