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a presentation of ... Creative Healing, LLC

                                   Opening The Heart Of Western Medicine

Art of Dying Institute:

Thanatology Certificate Program 2019

Resources from End-of-Life University

The following audio content is provided as an adjunct for students of the Open Center's Art of Dying Institute 2019 Thanatology Certificate Program:

1. Death with Dignity

a. Why We Need Compassion and Choices with Arline Hinckley

b. A New Model for End-of-Life Care with Dr. Bob Uslanderting the options from the toolbar.

2. The Death of a Pet

a. Hospice Care for Our Animal Companions with Ella Bittel

b. How to Cope with Grief After Pet Loss

3. Suicide - Surviving the Aftermath; an 8-part series

You may listen using the audio players on this page or click the link below each description to listen to the content.

In addition students will receive a 20% discount on all workshops and courses offered by End-of-Life University in 2019. Sign up for the mailing list in the sidebar to the right in order to receive notice of upcoming courses.


When you sign up for the list you will also receive email notification each time a new podcast episode is broadcast and occasional announcements about special events for End-of-Life University.

1. Death With Dignity

"Why We Need Compassion and Choices"

Arline Hinckley

You will learn:

  • Why physician assisted "suicide" is not considered an accurate term
  • The end-of-life options offered to patients during a consultation with Compassion and Choices
  • The process patients must follow to utilize the Death With Dignity law
  • The statistics for Washington: how many people actually seek assistance with dying and how many follow through
  • How Death With Dignity laws can offer peace and reassurance to dying patients

Arline Hinckley, ACSW, has long had an interest in the areas of personal freedom, social justice, choice and end-of-life issues. She was a Public Health Social Worker for high risk pregnant women and infants in Seattle. She also worked with the hematology/oncology team at the University of Missouri Medical Center where her duties included instructing medical students in the needs of dying patients and their families. She joined the Board of the Washington Hemlock Society in 1990 and the Board of Compassion and Dying in 2004. She has volunteered with a local hospice and is now Secretary of the Board and a Client Support Volunteer for Compassion and Choices of Washington.

Websites: Compassion and Choices -

Compassion and Choices of Washington -

Listen using the audio player below or at this link:

"A New Model for End-of-Life Care"

Dr. Bob Uslander

You will learn:

  • How Dr. Bob got interested in caring for patients at the end of life
  • How his concierge practice works
  • The special services offered to patients through his office
  • The gaps in medical care that are being filled by this new model
  • Dr. Bob's experience providing medical aid in dying to patients
  • Advice for other doctors who are considering becoming prescribers for MAID

Dr. Bob Uslander received his BS in Biology at the University of Illinois (Summa Cum Laude), and is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine (AOA Honor Society). He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois Affiliated Hospitals. Dr. Bob is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the California Medical Association and the San Diego County Medical Association. While his training was in emergency medicine, his career has evolved toward taking care of the elderly and those nearing the end of their lives.

Since 2003, he has focused on creating and working with practices and programs that help the elderly and clinically complex members of the community receive excellent health care. In 2003 Dr. Bob created Sierra Housecalls Medical Group to provide medical care to the homebound and elderly members of his Northern California community. In 2004, he helped form Seniority Life Care at Home, a provider of non-medical in-home care for seniors, which allows them to remain in their own homes more safely and independently. He was a founder and past president of Sierra LifeNet, a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the frail elderly, including the operation of a local Adult Day Health Care program.


Listen using the audio player below or at this link:

2. The Death of a Pet

"Hospice Care for Our Animal Companions"

Ella Bittel

You will learn:

  • What it takes to give hospice care to an animal family member including dogs and cats
  • How we can create conditions to allow for a peaceful hospice assisted natural death of our pet
  • How you can prepare so that giving hospice care to your animal becomes an option

Ella Bittel is a holistic veterinarian whose passion for hospice care for animals arose through her experiences of caring for her heart dog Momo through the natural end of her life.

The sense that just like birth, the dying process is of inherent value and an important part of an individual's journey, led Ella to engage in animal hospice. She has been a speaker at various professional conferences and created and taught weekend seminars on the topic nation wide. She offers in depth online classes dedicated to caring for animals through their geriatric years and through the end of life in a way that allows euthanasia to become a truly last resort not needed in the majority of the cases when owners elect the hospice path instead.

Ella’s has specialized in holistic modalities for over 20 years, among them veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic, laser therapy, flower essences, herbs, cranio-sacral work, homeopathy, TTOUCH and energy medicine techniques adapted from Donna Eden. Amongst others, Ella is a member of both the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association), is on the Advisory Board for the NHFP (Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets) and is a human hospice volunteer.

Ella’s website provides a free, non-veterinary helpline for those engaging in hospice care for their animal companion.


Listen using the audio player below or at this link:

"Coping With Pet Loss Grief"

Wendy Van de Poll

You will learn:

  • Why it's important to create an end-of-life plan for pets
  • What a pet's end-of-life plan should include
  • How to make the dying process easier for a pet
  • Common myths surrounding grief after the death of a pet
  • Advice for those experiencing pet loss grief
  • How to support a loved one dealing with grief over the death of a pet
  • Suggestions for helping a child cope with pet loss grief

Wendy Van de Poll is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets.

Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer.

She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker.

She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.


Listen using the audio player below or at this link:

3. Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath

The story of my long journey of healing after my father's suicide death - told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 1: The Phone Call

This episode consists of:

  • Introduction to the podcast series
  • The day I learned of my father’s death
  • The shock and grief experienced by the survivors of a suicide death
  • Statistics about suicide in the U.S.
  • A blessing by John O’donahue “FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF A SUICIDE” (Click the link to download the blessing.)
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 2: The Funeral

This episode consists of:

  • My father’s funeral
  • The surprising number of visitors who attended the funeral
  • Stories of my father that were shared after his death
  • Information about suicide and men facing retirement
  • Guilt and grief felt by suicide survivors
  • My encounter with a meadowlark at my father’s graveside
  • An excerpt from the song “Scary Monster” by Gia (my daughter who was present at the graveside as an infant)

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 3: Tough Times

This episode consists of:

  • The stigma attached to suicide
  • When friends fail to offer support after a suicide death
  • Financial stress as a factor for suicide in older men
  • Why helping doesn’t always require words
  • The song “Without You” by Gia

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 4: The Bicycle

This episode consists of:

  • Dad’s difficult childhood
  • How Adverse Childhood Experiences are associated with suicide in adulthood
  • Low self-esteem as a factor in Dad’s death
  • The ongoing guilt experienced by suicide survivors over missed clues
  • An excerpt from my story: “Two Souls in cognito” 

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 5: Guns

This episode consists of:

  • Dad’s passion for guns and hunting
  • A Time Magazine Article from July 1989 about Death by Gun
  • Statistics on suicide deaths by guns and gun ownership in the U.S.
  • Suicide statistics in Wyoming
  • Poem: “Shattered” 

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 6: The Purple Heart

This episode consists of:

  • How hospice work help me get “unstuck” on my grief journey
  • How I uncovered my anger at my Dad and my need to forgive him for taking his life
  • The “secret” my Aunt Lena told me about Dad and World War II
  • What I learned from psychiatrist Dr. Jeff Black who treats war veterans for trauma and “soul loss”
  • The RAIN formula from Jack Kornfeld for healing trauma:

  • Recognize the effect the trauma has had on your life
  • Acknowledge and accept the pain you are experiencing
  • Investigate the patterns
  • Non-attachment to the “story” of the trauma
  • Poem: “Griefwork”

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 7: Omaha Beach

This episode consists of:

  • Exploring Dad’s memorabilia from World War II
  • How indigenous cultures hear the stories of their warriors in order to share in their pain
  • My travels to Iceland and Normandy to retrace Dad’s steps in World War II
  • What I learned about the pain of war on my journey
  • A healing dream about my Dad

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Part 8: The Fire Ceremony

This episode consists of:

  • What I’ve learned about my Dad through my investigations
  • The “Tapestry Dream” that changed how I saw everything in my life
  • The hard lessons I learned through hospice work
  • How I recognized that Dad had been my silent partner through all of my grief journey including writing the book What Really Matters
  • The Fire Ceremony: A ritual for healing my Dad’s trauma and my own
  • The song The Sun is Shining for You by Gia (used by permission)
  • Closing comments about this podcast and farewell

Listen using the audio player below or click here for the podcast show notes.

Karen M. Wyatt MD -

founder of End-of-Life University

I'm Dr. Karen Wyatt, creator and host of End-of-Life University. If you are looking for information about death, dying and the last stage of life, you've come to the right place. You'll find lots of resources here, no matter what your needs may be.

As a former hospice medical director, I've spent most of my career focusing on these challenging times of life. I understand what it's like to be a patient, family member, caregiver, and healthcare provider when dealing with life-limiting illness. And I know what it takes to meet those challenges face-to-face and still find meaning, joy and love in life.

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If you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:


or Text HELLO to 741-741.

Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath

was originally broadcast on the End-of-Life University Podcast in April and May 2017.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher or view the Show Notes at

Clinton Wyatt

Dad and me