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What does it mean to live well and what impact can this have on our death? Can living well really help us achieve a so-called good death?These issues have preoccupied great minds throughout the ages, including Aristotle and Plato, beginning with the idea that living well, the good life, consists of happiness. However, in philosophical terms, happiness can be seen as less of a goal or an end state, but a manner of living; a subjective feeling.In this special episode of the Art of Dying Well podcast we take a deep dive into the philosophy of these existential issues with Dr Christopher Hamilton, author and Reader in Philosophy at King’s College London.Christopher has written several books including Middle Age (The Art of Life), which examines how we cope with the potential of diminishment and reconciling ourselves to the one life that we are living. He also shares his personal experience of coming to terms with a profoundly life-changing event, and learning to live with not having all the answers. And also, can we ask different questions about our life by thinking more constructively?
Most of us would rather not be alone at the end of life, which is why so many organisations, charities and faith groups are coming together to find a solution. There are a number of very effective community groups, relying primarily on volunteers, that offer a valuable service befriending and walking with people approaching the end of their lives. Our first guest on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast is Patrick Dollard of Compassionate Neighbours - a community project that started at St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney, east London. We then engage in a little 'Death Chatter' with Razna Al Faradhi from Eden Care - an organisation that pairs befrienders with those nearing the end of life offering support with their personal, social and spiritual needs.Finally, the 'Voice from the Bedside Chair' comes from friend-of-the-show Dr Lynn Bassett. Lynn, from our end of life companionship project in partnership with the St Vincent de Paul Society, talks to us about an exciting one-day conference we're holding in-person and online at St Mary's University, Twickenham on Thursday, 22 September. 
As we embrace the Spring sunshine here in the UK we're looking forward to spending more time outside, meeting up with friends and loved ones, and generally enjoying the warmer weather. Living well entails noticing when life is good and practicing gratitude. We recognise that being in a good place emotionally and physically – in essence living well - is also an intrinsic part of dying well.This podcast explores living well and companionship at the end of life. First we’ll look at art and living well, and how creativity can enhance our lives even as we move towards death. We also explore end of life companionship and how community and support can help us all to be in a good place at the end of life.We’re joined by ‘friend of the show’ and returning guest, the marvellous Lynne Hanley. Lynne is an art expert and founder of Beyond the Palette art tours. Packed with personality, she has been described as a ‘sassy raconteuse’ with a wonderful insight into paintings. With her help we’ll look at some great art as well as exploring the visual narrative of the original art of dying well- the Ars Moriendi.'The Voice from the Bedside Chair' comes from Alejandra Fong, of the St Vincent De Paul Society. Alejandra heads up their End of Life Companionship Project, an important initiative training volunteers to become end of life companions. She enthusiastically describes the huge difference the project is making.
Well, we’re emerging into the light from the pandemic – much as it has not fully gone away - and we’re socialising and speaking to each other more. But how are our conversational skills? A bit rusty maybe? Conversing well requires a good listening ear and the ability to make good judgment calls before opening our mouths.This podcast looks at how we break bad news, console people, explore feelings and emotions, and everything that's involved in having those meaningful conversations in the face of challenging circumstances.Our two contributors are returning guests with thousands of hours of experience of listening and talking at the bedside.Dr Kathryn Mannix is a palliative care specialist who has followed up the best-selling 'With the End in Mind' with a book covering this very subject: 'Listen: How to Find the Words for Tender Conversations'.'The Voice from the Bedside Chair' comes from our resident poet Audrey Ardern-Jones, a former senior nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital and a talented writer who has kindly penned a poem especially for this podcast: 'Listening Before Leaving' dedicated to those who are dying and those who care for them.
Episode 27: Men and Grief

Episode 27: Men and Grief

2021-11-2201:17:10

We've all heard the stereotypes... men aren't good with their emotions. Men don't talk about things close to their hearts. It's all 'stiff upper lip' and 'show must go on'. So what happens when a man's dying? Or suffers a bereavement?What's visible on the outside doesn't always reflect what's going on inside. When a loved-one dies, people rally around, offer their support and try to find some helpful words. It may be a generalisation but men don't find these things particularly easy to deal with.That's what we're exploring on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast.To do this, we have three excellent guests who speak openly and honestly about their experiences. Firstly we hear from Colin Brazier, a senior foreign correspondent and news anchor with three decades of experience covering stories for Sky and in recent times GBNews. Colin's beloved wife Jo died in July 2018 having been given a terminal prognosis for her third-stage breast cancer earlier in the year. Friend and fellow news anchor Julie Etchingham guides us through a fascinating and moving interview. Podcaster Chris Reeve from the popular Talk Norwich City fan channel joins us for a little 'Death Chatter' and, I'm not going to lie, I shed a few tears. Chris speaks passionately about death and grief, candidly sharing his experiences dealing with the tragedy of his mum's death back in 2014 when he was just 14-years-old. Chris says grief is "the petrol in my fire every single day". Simultaneously uplifting and useful, this 'Death Chatter' is a must-listen.We finish with the 'Voice from the Bedside Chair' and it's another reach-for-the-tissues interview. Professor Jim McManus, Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council (and newly-elected President of the Association of Directors of Public Health) has sat by many bedsides over the years and gives us an absorbing reflection on how he sees men dealing with death and grief. Not only this, he shares very openly his experience of surviving cancer.Plenty of wisdom and advice on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast.
It has been a very strange 18 months for young people – not just at home but in our schools too. The pandemic has reminded us all of the nearness of death and how we as a society look after ourselves and each other. How often do we hear the wisdom "children are resilient"? But coping with death and dying as a young person is not easy - especially the first time they experience the death of a loved one or friend. How does this play out in the classroom? How can our teachers equip themselves to best support their pupils going through such a trauma? That’s the focus of today’s podcast.
We're tackling a very difficult subject on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast. What happens when you get the news that nobody wants? How do you cope with a diagnosis that changes everything? We're looking at how we can listen to, accompany and support a loved one who has received a terminal diagnosis. It’s a traumatic time for everyone but it can be a time for taking control, setting goals and making sure you’re able to make the most of that often short but very precious time towards the end.Our two guests have walked alongside and cared for so many people and their families as they’ve journeyed towards death. Firstly we speak to Professor Julia Riley. Julia’s one of the country's leading palliative care consultants and Clinical Lead for a service called 'Coordinate My Care'. Talented poet and performer Audrey Ardern-Jones joins us for an extended 'Death Chatter'. Audrey worked for many years as a senior nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and her beautiful poetry reflects her nursing experiences at the bedside. Listen out for three of Audrey’s poems on the podcast.
As we emerge into whatever version of 'normal' we end up with after the acute phase of the pandemic, some of us are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Others, facing death or accompanying a dying loved one, may feel that light's a little further away. That's why we’re here, really, to cover the subjects that matter on this human journey.That painful lack of face-to-face contact has been discussed a lot during the pandemic – not least by us here on the pod - so we're looking at how we can maximise the positive potential of the digital world to help those who may feel that acute isolation or lack of support just when they need it the most.The Centre for the Art of Dying Well has commissioned a piece of research on the subject that has led to a report called ‘The Internet and End of Life.’ It has been produced by Demos – a thinktank that harnesses the power of data and research to help inform the social policies of tomorrow.So on this podcast we're speaking to Ciaran Cummings from Demos and our very own Maggie Doherty from the Centre for the Art of Dying Well to get the lowdown on why the report was commissioned and what we've learnt from the data.We also talk to Martin Symons from St Michael's Hospice in Hastings about how his team's using tech to bring the hospice's support services to a wider virtual community. And finally we speak to Debbi Francis who found herself in need of answers at 1 o'clock in the morning and turned to the Macmillan cancer support forums when her brother was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia.Let's launch in...
In recent years we've seen signs that more and more people are able to talk about death and dying. However, many more list death - and particularly dying alone - as their number one anxiety.This podcast juxtaposes two end-of-life realities - one commonplace, the other far less so. And it's the 'far less so' we're starting with. Lone deaths.Nobody chooses to die alone, right? Wrong. Some people plan very carefully to make sure they die alone. But why? Helping us to answer that question is sociologist Dr Glenys Caswell from Nottingham University's Centre for the Advancement of Research into Supportive, Palliative and End-of-Life Care.We then move on to an exciting partnership that brings together the Centre for the Art of Dying Well and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. We believe that nobody should die alone unless they choose to do so and this is why we're working on an End of Life Companionship programme. This podcast, with the help of Dr Lynn Bassett and broadcaster Julie Etchingham, will bring you up to speed with our plans.We finish with the 'Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' which once again comes from Fr Mark Paver - a Catholic priest who, as a new hospital chaplain, was thrust into the frontline when the COVID pandemic took hold in 2020.So a packed podcast but hopefully some nuggets of wisdom and consolation for everyone.
Covid-19 has hit the UK hard. 100,000 deaths is a statistic. 1 is a tragedy. Each death leaves a family bereaved, each hospital admission results in a person facing a fight - loved-ones anxiously hoping for the best from a distance. Covid-19 presents journalists with the biggest news story on sickness, death and dying for a generation.It's very timely, then, that we’re talking to a very well-known broadcast journalist for our first 'Art of Dying Well' podcast of 2021 - someone who regularly appears on our TV screens. It's Julie Etchingham from ITV News.Julie talks about the challenges of reporting on Covid and also shares a few personal stories too.The 'Voice From the Chaplain's Chair' comes from Father Mark Paver - a Catholic priest from Salford who was thrust into hospital chaplaincy a little ahead of schedule to cope with this unprecedented healthcare situation at the time of the first peak in March 2020.Hope you enjoy the podcast. Please stay safe.
The 'Art of Dying Well' is exactly four years old and it's fitting we're in the month of November, or, as we call it, 'the month to remember'.Bereavement, grief, memories and remembrance make up the subject matter for this, our last Art of Dying Well podcast of 2020. The P word - pandemic - of course provides a different backdrop this year as we talk about those who have died but, importantly, those left behind.So to tackle this, we have a real expert on grief and bereavement - psychotherapist, author and speaker Julia Samuel. Julia is also founder patron of Child Bereavement UK.Lots of really useful advice offered thanks to Julia's wealth of experience, not to mention the eight pillars of strength to help us with grief and, indeed, all life's major changes. Following that we discuss the Good Grief Festival and the National Grief Awareness Week in 'Death Chatter' before Father George Bowen of the Brompton Oratory gives us the 'Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' - a lovely reflection on the virtues of faith, hope and charity when we pray for the dead.Something for everyone, so, as always, we hope you find it useful.
We've long said it, but how you live has a bearing on how you die. Dying well starts with living well. Being ready, being prepared, being reconciled, being happy and at peace with the way you treat yourself and others - they're all factors. Everyone has their own version of 'living well'.In these pandemic times, health, fitness and well-being have come to the fore so we have the perfect guest to discuss the drive to live better - Elliott Reid. Elliott is the founder of the Revitalize Health and Fitness Centre in Gravesend, Kent and is an osteopath and personal trainer. He is on a quest to help people deal with pain and walk a better path. 'The Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' comes from Maria Parker. Maria's a Catholic chaplain at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital and Queenscourt Hospice. Hospitals and hospices have come under the microscope in recent months with patient care and accompaniment so vitally important. We take a look at hospital and hospice chaplaincy - something that is as much a calling as a job.
This 'Art of Dying Well' podcast picks up where Episode 18 left off - counting the cost of COVID19 and how it has touched our lives and communities. Lockdown may be easing but the virus is certainly not a thing of the past. Politicians turn their thoughts to re-firing the economy, restrictions are being removed and the public at large is being encouraged to use its 'common sense'.But many people are coping with grief, separation and isolation in an entirely new way. Some have been denied being at the bedside of a dying loved one or even at the graveside for a final farewell.What mark will this collective trauma leave on a generation?To look at lockdown, loss and trauma, we're joined by three excellent guests.Our first contributor, Stephen Regal, is clinical lead at the Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth & Veterans Service in Nottingham. Stephen has a wealth of experience when it comes to sudden acute loss.We engage in a little 'Death Chatter' with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi at the New North London Synagogue and a prolific writer and thinker on Judaism to hear how his Jewish community in Finchley has dealt with the challenges of COVID-19.Finally the 'Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' comes from Father James Mackay, a Catholic priest from east London. Father James set up a 24/7 chaplaincy service at the Nightingale Hospital - a huge field hospital using the ExCel conference centre building whilst in operation.
This 'Art of Dying Well' podcast comes from a state of COVID-19 lock-down but covers an incredible amount of ground by way of an exclusive interview with friend of the show, Dr Kathryn Mannix.Kathryn is a Palliative Care physician, author of ‘With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial’ and a woman who's on a mission to get us all better acquainted with the idea of dying well. She has returned to work during the COVID-19 pandemic and in this podcast tells us what it’s like for staff, patients and loved ones at this unusual and difficult time. She believes that by the end of the pandemic “there are things we are doing now which will transform - for the better - how we will offer care forever".Listen to Dr Kathryn Mannix talk about:What it's like to care for people dying of COVID-19How the dying can be kept comfortableHow to relate when wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Palliative care and assisting with breathingThe remarkable NHS and care workers and how they need protectingStanding alongside those who are aloneHow care homes are copingThe L Word - loveSaying goodbye
OK so the title of today's podcast sounds like a line from a dodgy science fiction film but actually there's a serious point to be made. We've all heard the one about the certainties in life - death and taxes - and today we're talking about the former. This podcast focuses on confronting the realities of death and remembering that life is temporary and, at some point, we're all going to die. In Latin, the phrase is memento mori - "remember that you will die".Memento mori has preoccupied the minds of artists for centuries and there are many examples for us to look at. To help us get to grips with our mortality through the world of art and culture we're joined by two quite brilliant guests.First we chat to Patrick van der Vorst - an entrepreneur, dealer and art expert and former winner on BBC's Dragons Den. Add to this that Patrick's studying to be a Catholic priest in Rome and you have the weath of experience needed to take on this topic.Today's 'Death Chatter' is a real treat. In the chair is the marvellous Lynne Hanley. Lynne is an art expert and founder of 'Beyond the Palette' art tours. Packed with personality, she has been described as a ‘sassy raconteuse’ with ‘wonderful insight into paintings’. So come with us as we're reminded of our mortality through the paintbrushes and palettes of some of the world's finest painters.
The last 'Art of Dying Well' podcast of 2019 sees us focus on the painful subjects of loss and grief at a time of year that can be particularly hard for those of us spending Christmas without a loved one. Simply getting from one day to the next can be a major challenge while all around you are seemingly in party mode.Today we hear from former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas who talks about the pain and grief of having to cope with the death of his wife Gemma two years ago. Dr Lynn Bassett brings her years of experience in palliative care and chaplaincy to 'The Voice from the Chaplain's Chair', reflecting on just how we can accompany people who are grieving.Main interview recorded originally for Premier's Christianity Magazine by Marcus Jones.
In a packed and powerful 'Art of Dying Well' podcast we're bringing you the insight and experiences of three really interesting people. First up is the talented actor and writer Harriet Madeley - the main creative force behind a unique play about death and dying called 'The Colours'. It's based on interviews Harriet conducted with palliative care doctors and patients in Welsh seaside hospices and creatively moves through fantasy, memory and reality. 'Death Chatter' sees long-term friend of the show and palliative care guru Dr Kathryn Mannix join us to discuss medication - the three-step analgesic staircase and, in particular, the 'M' word - morphine.We finish by listening to a new 'Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' - that of Dr Lynn Bassett. Lynn has years of experience as a hospital and hospice chaplain and gives us a wonderful spiritual reflection. We also discuss the place of silence at the bedside. Fascinating stuff. Hope you enjoy it!
Today’s podcast focuses on the launch of a new 'Deathbed Etiquette' resource - a guide to help friends and relatives prepare to be at the deathbed of a dying loved one. Dr Amy Gadoud - a palliative care professional and lecturer in palliative medicine - helps us explore deathbed etiquette. As well as being an expert in the field, she has her own personal experience to share with us. 'Death Chatter' features the award-winning LBC presenter Shelagh Fogarty who explains that the death conversation isn’t something new, but that we are entering a new phase, turbo-charged by social media. Finally, today's 'Voice from the Chaplain’s Chair' belongs to Sr Liz Farmer who offers a reflection on ‘finding the spirit’ - with one of her engaging, illustrative stories.
Caring and accompanying people along the very human journey of dying lies at the heart of our podcasts - not to mention how we honour and remember our friends and family. Today, however, we're looking at animals and bereavement. We start by discussing the difficult task of talking to children about the death of a much-loved pet. Daniella Dos Santos - a veterinary surgeon who is as much at home talking to people as caring for animals - joins us to talk about how the professionals help animals facing death and how to explain what's happening to the grieving owners. We then engage in a little 'Death Chatter' with our newest podcast contributors Daniella Ballard and Sophie Reed who talk about their experiences of loss after the death of a pet. Finally we listen to 'The Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' - a reflection from Fr Philip Connor, a Catholic priest in Lancaster who has a dog called Bosco. Bosco brings great comfort to the patients Fr Philip visits in his local hospice.
I can’t believe it has almost been a year since the last Art of Dying Well podcast but we’re back talking death and dying and all the issues surrounding this difficult but very human journey.Our main interview this month is a really interesting conversation with an actor – the very charming and engaging Greg Wise. If you’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix you’ve probably seen Greg playing Lord Mountbatten. But we’re not talking acting, we’re talking about his sister Clare. Clare died in 2016 after a long, hard battle with cancer and along the way kept an intelligent, witty and moving blog about what she was going through. When she became too sick to go on, Greg finished the story – continuing, in a brutally honest and engaging fashion, what they went through as brother and sister during those hard months.‘The Voice from the Chaplain’s Chair’ is a fascinating chat with a really interesting guy. It’s rare you come across someone who’s so passionate about what they do that it’s not a job it’s a calling. I spoke to hospice chaplain Fr Peter Scott from St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney.
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