End-of-Life Thoughts from Stephen Jenkinson

Mar 20, 2016 | 0 comments

Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson started his book reading event by noting there were at least six men in the audience, which was composed primarily of women. He congratulated them on coming out to hear end-of-life thoughts from a death educator who worked in the death trade. Usually, it’s only women.

Jenkinson, the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, has a lot to say about death and dying. In addition to reading from his book, he spoke about how he wrote it, including the grammar of the title. Here are a few choice comments he made:

He was once mis-introduced as the author of Die Wisely. “Wisely refers to the manner of dying. It was my experience the people who died on my watch (about 1,000) died in the manner of their living…. They died as they lived – nothing much changed.”

Die Wise coverThe grammar of the title Die Wise does not refer to dying, it refers to the person reading the title. It’s a plea for wisdom. “The consequences of how you die will last much longer than you do.”

“The greatest source of suffering for dying people on my watch – we had messed with them so much [with sedatives and painkillers] they had no feel for where they were in the arc of their days.”

“Time carries you to the past, not to the what will be.”

“There’s no insurance coding for dying. ‘Failure to thrive’ is used. You’re not allowed to die for insurance purposes.”

“If dying is not a known thing… people come to their dying time as amateurs, as rookies.”

“Dying people are the heaviest users of sedation – they are shocked at the fact that they’re dying. Your death can be indistinguishable from the person’s next to you boredom. Candor helps a dying person find themselves and their days in the arc of their dying.”

For more information about Die Wise and to hear a podcast interview with Stephen Jenkinson, visit this post at The Family Plot Blog.

A Good Goodbye