• Caring for a dying Marine. The story of Rick Gallen.

    CHAPTER THREE  RICK GALLEN  I kept reminding myself to breathe the way my yoga instructor had demonstrated in the introductory class; it was crucial in this situation. I’d learned long ago breathing was the only way to step into someone’s fear without becoming undone. I shouldn’t have been surprised I was having a hard time… Continue Reading

  • Oh c’mon; I’m not a bummer.

    I anxiously flipped my pen between my fingers, talking myself out of the feeling to pee. I was on hold for a half hour waiting to be a contestant on a popular radio show, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Tom Hanks was the guest host tonight and as I listened in, the famous comedians on… Continue Reading

  • Are we ever really known?

    The photo is of my gloriously intelligent, gorgeous, gentle and quick-witted sister. She died in 2015. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I truly knew her. As a hospice nurse, I serve families and friends as they are saying goodbye to someone they care about. I cherish the time when one of my hospice… Continue Reading

  • Helping compared to Serving

    As many of you know, I honor the Being a Compassionate Caregiver teachings of Frank Ostaseski. He’s simply a volunteer, a layman, a practicing Buddhist. But there is nothing “simple” about his ferocity and curiosity about the dying experience. I’d like to share bits of his lectures. His perspectives are profoundly right. I know this… Continue Reading

  • Religion: A mixed bag.

    Closer; we’re getting closer. I can feel and witness it within my dying patients and the people who attend my presentations. They ask honest, intelligent questions, and listen. I’m quite proud of them. We’re getting closer to accepting that the world religions are not gentle, loving and forgiving. If pleasing your god is everything you… Continue Reading