What was the inspiration for End-of-Life University?
As a former hospice medical director, Dr. Wyatt spent most of her career focusing on the challenging times of life. She understands what it’s like to deal with life-limiting illness and what it takes to meet those challenges face-to-face and still find meaning, joy and love in life. She started End-of-Life University because there is a desperate need for education in our society about all aspects of the end of life, from the importance of advance directives, to care options for the dying, funeral and burial alternatives, and grief and bereavement assistance for loved ones. She wants to improve the way we care for the dying in our society, decrease the fear of death and help people live fully even in the midst of suffering.
Tell us more about EOL U:
End-of-Life University provides multiple access points for educational resources about death and dying that can reach all interested members of our society--from lay people to professionals, youth to elders--through interviews, articles, podcasts, books, videos, and teleseminars. In addition, EOLU serves as an information hub where providers in one discipline of care can connect with other workers in their own field or learn about current practices in other areas of end-of-life care.What are the many benefits EOLU offers?
What would you like others to know about EOL U?
The entire movement to improve care at the end of life grows stronger when we can network and build bonds between us. End-of-Life University is committed to collaboration, connection, and co-creating with all who are working toward this shared goal.
In your experience, what keeps people from using your organization and talking about death, dying and grief?
Most people avoid talking about death, dying and grief because of their fear of the unknown. Since our society shields us from exposure to normal and universal experiences of death as part of life, we don’t have the opportunity to develop a comfort level with the subject, which causes great harm. Even one simple conversation about death can begin to open a person’s heart and mind to be more receptive and less fearful about the end of life.
Please tell us more about your own story with death and dying:
My own exploration of death and dying occurred after the tragic suicide death of my father many years ago. From the depths of my grief I decided to become a hospice volunteer and pursued that work for most of my medical career. There I learned the spiritual lessons I needed in order to heal my grief and also to begin living life in a new way: fully present to each moment and able to love, forgive, and “go with the flow” through all of life’s challenges. I’ve been deeply inspired to share this wisdom through my books and podcasts in hopes that others will be blessed by it as well.
Transformational Teaching with Dr. Karen Wyatt - Spiritual MD