StoryCorps: Facilitating a 'good death'

Apr 11, 2016
San Francisco StoryCorps

As a Zen Hospice Project volunteer, Alastair Shanks sits at the bedsides of people who are dying at the Laguna Honda, a public hospital in San Francisco that serves the indigent and homeless. Many of those he accompanies are lost to the world through dementia. In this installment of StoryCorps, Shanks speaks with fellow volunteer Mary Doane about the care he takes to make sure each person has a “good death.”

Dawn Gross, MD, PhD has been caring for people with life-threatening illnesses for over a decade. She is committed to revolutionizing the way we talk about — and prepare for — death.  On her special KALW series Dying To Talk, she and her guests will create a safe space to transform the experience of end-of-life conversations from dread to discovery.

Managing Grief

Jan 1, 2015

How do we cope with the death of a spouse or lover? Or of a parent or sibling with whom we had a troubled relationship?  What particular challenges do LGBT people face in grieving? Surveys show that most Americans consider the loss of someone’s unmarried partner less traumatic for the survivor than the loss of a wife or husband. Where does that leave gay men and lesbians whose partners die? Bereavement experts say many minorities suffer "disenfranchised grief" - grief not fully recognized by society. On this week's Out in the Bay (7pm Thursday), Eric Jansen and guests discuss these and other aspects of grief and loss.  (First aired March 27, 2014; re-broadcast 7pm PST January 1, 2015)

Jeanne Finley

Music has a special power that we all recognize. It can make us dance or sing along. It can make us happy, sad, reflective, agitated or calm. We can hear it live, or recorded. But seldom do we have a small choir serenade us - only us - at our bedsides.

That’s what The Threshold Choir does-- but not everyone can request these services. They only sing to a specific group of people: the infirm or dying.