Did you see the story about the robot doctor that was sent to deliver bad news to a terminal patient? His daughter was with him when the telehealth machine rolled up to his bedside. On the flickering screen, a physician informed the patient that he was going to die, very soon – perhaps too soon to go home. Daughter Catherine was appalled at the coldness of what should have been a human interaction. So were a lot of other people; so was I.
The story went viral on social media, prompting somewhat clumsy efforts by Kaiser Permanente to tamp down the overwhelmingly negative response. But there no denying the pain this awful misstep had caused: "My dad's reaction was, well I guess I'm going to go quickly then and put his head down-- that was it," said daughter Catherine Quintana.
A prognosis that would have been difficult to accept under any circumstance, became even more painful for the Quintana family of Fremont when the doctor used a robot to deliver the bad news.”...
REMEMBERING MARY OLIVER
I was taking a news hiatus last week when a friend’s email came, telling me that my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, had died. What an important voice to be extinguished!
The first time I ever heard a poem by Mary Oliver was 1993 in a spiritual study group I was in, when one of the women shared the poem Wild Geese aloud. My dear brother Michael was very ill at the time, and hearing these lines –
“Tell me your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile, the world goes on…”
…struck me right in my heart. When someone you love is dying, it can feel as if the world stops turning, or that it should stop turning. But, as the poet goes on to say, with infinite gentleness and wisdom,
"Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again....
I have been thinking a lot about legacy these days. The start of a new year always puts me in the mood to be more intentional about what I want for the next 12 months. Yes, it’s goal setting time, but more importantly, I want be more deliberate in how I show up and leave a positive impact with my life this year.
If you could leave the people you love with something important when you check out of life, what would it be?
· Your grandmother’s rocking chair?
· Your family photos?
· Your home?
When we think about leaving a legacy, so often what we’re talking about is grounded in materialism – in things collected, loved, handed down, that have resonance for us. But...
· Do your loved ones know why those things matter to you?
Happy Holiday on this the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice! Celebrated in the northern hemisphere marking the start of winter and the return of the light, this year is special. 2018 coincides with both a full moon AND a meteor shower! Darkness and light, each need the other. Extreme darkness allows the light to feel more precious, providing the setting for a single flame to illuminate the night. Without darkness, we cannot fully appreciate the importance of one small flame of Light. It’s the contrasts in our lives that provide the opportunities for growth and discovery.
As Christmas nears and the year ends, my hope for you is that you gift yourself quiet time to consider these 5 important questions. Brendon Burchard my coach and mentor, taught me to step back at the end of each year and ask yourself these thoughtful inquiries called “Five by Five”, give 5 answers to each of these 5 questions:
1. What 5 things I am grateful for in 2018?...
This project started with my interview with Mary Labyak President and CEO of the Suncoast Hospice 6 months before her death. My dear friends Christy Whitney and Samira Beckwith, Gretchen Brown and David Simpson are also starring in the Masters Interviews section. My deepest gratitude to them for sharing their wisdom with me and the world.
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By participating in the Hospice Master Class Membership with me, you will learn the essentials of what it takes to manage and lead in this sacred and chaotic world of hospice. My unique experience as both a hospice...