We have a returning contributor to the blog! Lisa Gray, who recently shared a bit about her podcast Cause & Purpose, is back with more on another show—A Good End. Lisa is a producer, developer, consultant , and editor for the show, which is under her company Sound Mind Productions.
A Good End is a new conversation about Judaism, death, and dying in the 21st century. The series increases awareness, relatability and conversation around end of life care and experiences. Stories are told through real life personal experiences, perspectives and practices from patients, doctors, caregivers, rabbis, students, funeral professionals, music therapists, family members, and more.
2020 has been an exceptional year regarding the awareness of death and dying. Many of us are not prepared, nor educated enough, to properly and confidently talk about death and prepare for death—for a good end. Thinking about one’s death and the death of loved ones can be meaningful and even life-affirming. In this series, we wanted to share the voices of those whose work involves end of life, what they’ve learned, and what they can teach and share with others. Some of the people and voices we talked with:
- Rabbi Joy Levitt, who shares the experience of discussing end-of-life care planning with her 90-year-old mother and the surprising and touching discoveries she made along the way.
- Getting adults to talk about death is difficult. So, what if we started sooner? Some schools are beginning to include Death Education as part of their curriculum. Sasha Zitter relates her experience with Death Ed alongside her high school peers.
- The Jewish values of prolonging life, but not prolonging suffering come face to face with modern technologies such as artificial nutrition, hydration, and intubation. In this episode, a rabbi, doctor, social worker, and biomedical ethicist discuss the ways they help patients and families navigate the difficult issues that arise toward the end of life.
- Many people believe that hospice is about helping someone die. Hospice care providers will tell you that it is actually about helping someone live. Music therapy provides hospice patients and their families with social, spiritual, and emotional support and has been proven to help decrease pain perception. Listen to music therapist Meredith Ferrel’s home visit with Albert, a hospice patient with lymphoma, and to the music they create together.
- What does Judaism have to say about the right to die? A majority of traditional and contemporary Jewish sources prohibit assisted suicide as well as passive euthanasia—i.e. withholding care. Learn how rabbis, hospital chaplains, and doctors help patients accept the realities of their illnesses and find peace in their final days.
To sum up the series in the a sentence, A Good End tells powerful stories that both evoke an emotional impact as well as serve the purpose of creating dialogue and providing pertinent and relevant information.