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a presentation of ... Creative Healing, LLC

                                   Opening The Heart Of Western Medicine

Transcript - How to Live Fully For All of Your Days


with Karen Wyatt, MD

Hello everyone. Welcome to End of Life University. This is our final call for the series, and I hope that you have had a wonderful experience these last 4 days, as I have, listening to all of our phenomenal speakers. I’m so grateful to every one of our speakers who volunteered to give their time to us, and to share their wisdom and knowledge with us. And I found it very enlightening and inspiring for myself, and I hope you did as well. I feel this has been a very important step toward opening up the conversation about aging and end-of-life care in our society. And for this last interview, the speaker is going to be me. I won’t have anyone interviewing me. I’m just going to talk to you for a little while about a theme that is very dear to my heart, and that is How to Live Fully for All of Your Days.


I’ll tell you a little bit about me to begin with, because I haven’t really introduced myself formally, earlier in the conference. I have been trained as a family practice physician and then ended up working in hospice for a number of years during my career, And I found my way to hospice after the very tragic death of my father to suicide, and I was still fairly young in medical practice at that time. But I really found myself overwhelmed with grief and guilt because of his death. I wasn’t able to recover from that, and ultimately it led me to start volunteering for hospice, thinking that maybe if I exposed myself to death and dying and grief and sadness, I would find my way through and out of my own grief. Indeed, what I found when I volunteered for hospice was a life-changing experience.


So I worked in hospice for a number of years. I loved doing hospice work and caring for patients at the end of life. Eventually my family ended up moving to a small town in the mountains where there was no hospice job available for me, so I went back to family practice at that time, and dearly missed working with end of life care, even though I continued to be a volunteer and serve on a board for a very tiny hospice in our area, all of the years since then. Ultimately, my love for hospice led me to write the book, What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying. And that book was inspired by the stories of the patients that I cared for in hospice.


So my talk today, as we end this End of Life University, is really going to draw from my own experiences in working with people at the end of life. I wonder if you’ve noticed, as I have, that throughout these last 4 days, the subject has come up many times from many different speakers that we must find meaning both in aging and in the end of life. And many of our speakers emphasized how important it is that we find a way to discover the deeper meaning within things, and within these experiences. That is precisely the message that inspired me to write the book, What Really Matters, is an attempt to find the deeper meaning. I will tell you as I worked with patients at the end of life, what I learned from them is that each of them seemed to experience—when they were faced with the reality that their lives were ending soon-- each of them seemed to experience a gratitude and a reverence for life, for all of life, that I had not witnessed very many times in the past. Each of them seemed to experience the preciousness of every single moment of life that they had left, and seemed to be able to make the most of every one of those moments. It occurred to me that I had not been living my life in that way. I had not experienced that kind of reverence of appreciation or gratitude for my own life, and I had not appreciated the preciousness of every moment of life. Those patients inspired me to want to live my life differently.


When I started working with hospice patients, I was still in the middle of deep grief and grief had really taken my joy away. In many ways I was numb, just going through the motions of life every day, even as a mother and a wife and a doctor. And so I desperately wanted to change. I wanted to grow. I wanted to heal the grief. I wanted to get to the place I saw those hospice patients be, that place of reverence and gratitude and appreciation for life. So I set out to learn what it was that they understood about life that somehow I was missing. And I did manage to do that. I found a path for myself eventually to transformation, a path that ultimately healed the grief and the pain that I was in, but also helped me wake up to life, and wake up to appreciate the joys and the beauties of life, as well as to manage the suffering and the pain of life. This path that I found I think of as a wisdom path, and the reason I call it that—in a conference I attended recently, Roger Walsh, who is a philosopher and a professor of religion, mentioned that while we live in an age in this society where we are inundated with information, in fact, on the internet we are bombarded with information every day, and also our knowledge is increasing exponentially on an almost daily basis as more and more technology is discovered and innovated. So we are awash with information and knowledge. But as Roger Walsh pointed out, there is precious little wisdom in our society. There is very little deeper knowing about life, and about the self and about the meaning of existence. Those subjects are very rarely discussed and very rarely presented in our society on a day to day basis.


And so, for me this path that I undertook to help heal my grief became a path of wisdom, of finding the wisdom of life. And I was in a situation where I had plenty of knowledge, from all of my medical studies. I’d done lots of reading. I’d attended workshops and gone to counseling, and then yoga. I had plenty of knowledge to heal my grief, but I didn’t have the wisdom that I needed at that time, and that’s one of the reasons that I hadn’t been able to heal. So working with dying patients who had faced their own mortality and were at the end of their lives gave me the wisdom I needed to heal my grief and to change the way I lived in every moment of my life.


And now I walk down the street some days and I see so many people rushing from place to place with blank faces. They seem numb. They seem asleep. They seem barely alive, barely even noticing this amazing beautiful planet we live on, barely even sensing the beautiful vulnerability of the people around them, barely even aware that every breath they take, every moment of life is precious and sacred. And it occurred to me that in our society, we are lacking in awe: that experience of electrifying, scintillating inspiration combined with a sense of devotion or reverence for life itself. And it is time for us to wake up, because as a society, we are on the verge of slumbering ourselves into oblivion if we don’t start to wake up and notice what life is about. So we need to wake up. We need to become aware of the amazing blessing it is to be alive right now, to be grateful for everything, every moment that has been given to us, and to be responsible for finding the deeper meaning of this gift of life.


Back when I was working with those hospice patients, I found the way to wake up. I got jolted out of my own slumber, and I found myself, as I mentioned, on the wisdom path. And the wisdom path for me consisted of this incredible journey within myself to discover my own soul, and at the same time, the wisdom path was an outward journey through all of life’s ups and downs and mysteries to discover the meaning of my own existence on this planet. To figure out why am I here, what is the point, what’s the purpose, what’s going on here in this lifetime on this planet? This wisdom path that I discovered, I can tell you has two primary themes that run through it. The first theme is suffering, and that’s something that we in our society also do not want to look at. Aging and the end of life fall in the category of types of suffering in our eyes, and all of it is something that we have difficulty with. We really struggle to acknowledge our suffering, to look at it, and to know how to handle it and manage it and negotiate it. But suffering is one of the key themes of this life. It’s one of the greatest tasks of life on this planet. We must learn how to negotiate suffering without running away or numbing ourselves, without denying the suffering, or drugging it. We have to learn how to go through our suffering.


And in my own case, one of the reasons I had difficulty healing from my grief is the fact that I was trying to avoid it. I was trying to get around the grief or over it or beyond it without going through it. I had been reluctant to truly feel the pain that grief was bringing into my life. And that’s one of the reasons it took me a long time to heal it, but going to work in hospice and working with patients who are dying brought me face to face, confronting my own suffering, my own pain from my grief and my loss of my father, so that I had no choice but to go directly into the pain and go through it. I see it as one of the greatest problems in our society that we have found all sorts of ways of avoiding our own suffering. We fear it so much that we will do almost anything to avoid suffering, and it accounts for sometimes we keep busy, we keep ourselves busy constantly so that we don’t have to think about our suffering or feel the pain of it. Sometimes we overeat, or we drink too much, or we take drugs, or we get involved in other addicting activities just to try to fill the empty void inside to help us run around or past or ignore or avoid our own suffering. So it’s our unwillingness to feel our pain and to go through our pain that prevents us from actually growing spiritually to become the people we could fully be, to live a full life, and to enjoy every moment of life. We are our own worst enemy when we allow our fears and our worries about suffering to prevent us from going directly into and through the pain.


So the second theme that this wisdom path consists of is love, because the highest and greatest lesson that we are meant to learn during this lifetime is how to love as deeply as possible with all of our being in every moment in every situation. Love, and I don’t mean romantic love. I mean something much deeper than that. Love is truly the highest goal and the highest purpose that we have here for our existence, but the depths of this kind of love can only be learned through our suffering. So that’s how suffering and love become linked together. We have to face our suffering in order to learn how to love as deeply as we need to love in this lifetime. And suffering breaks down our walls and our defenses, so that we can be more open to love. Suffering also hollows us out inside so that we can contain more love. We can be filled even more with love inside, once we’ve allowed suffering to hollow us out and to clear out all of the clutter inside of us. And suffering also sensitizes us and attunes us so that we can give more love to others. We can be in harmony with others, and we can resonate with love. And sometimes I have this image in my head of suffering and love being like, imagine a violin. The violin itself cannot make music, until it’s hollowed out inside, until the wood is hollow. That instrument has to be emptied of the inside before music can be played on the violin, and that’s the action of suffering, that hollowing out and creating an open vessel inside. And once that suffering has taken place and there is an opening internally, then beautiful music, melodies, can be made on that instrument, and that’s how love gets expressed as a melody, as harmony, as resonance with other beings, once we are hollow inside, because we’ve allowed suffering to do that for us. And that is the resonance of love; love and compassion that we share with others.


And so these two themes; suffering and love, are the first two lessons on this wisdom path that I was shown. And they are, in many ways, the most difficult lessons we ever have to learn. It’s really the foundation spiritually of what we need to learn in this lifetime, how to manage our suffering and then how to find our way to love. For many of us, it takes an entire lifetime to get through the suffering, and to get to the point of love. I witnessed that with many of my hospice patients who were at the end of their lives. Many of them told me ‘I didn’t understand this until just now. I couldn’t appreciate it. I didn’t understand love. I didn’t understand or appreciate life until this very moment when I’m on the verge of losing it’, and many of them expressed to me some regret that they hadn’t taken the time to try to understand these lessons, and to try to gather this wisdom of life earlier. Many of them said to me, ‘I think I would have lived differently had I had an opportunity to know this a long time ago.’ As I sat and listened to them, part of me wondered is this understanding of life something that only happens at the end of life, that can only come to us when we’re ready to die? Because how ironic and how paradoxical is it that we can only appreciate life when we’re at the very point of losing it? For a while I felt some confusion and even some sadness about that thought that maybe before I could ever appreciate my life, I would have to be at the very end of it. It would have to be within the last moments or days or weeks of my life, just like these patients I was working with, before I would have that same sense of reverence and gratitude and appreciation for life, and that same ability to be fully present in every single moment and enjoy everything around me.


But the more I worked with these patients, the more I contemplated the things I was seeing from them and learning from them, the more I gradually found myself opening and learning and mastering the same wisdom that they had gained at the very end of their lives. So these patients were my teachers, and I was a willing and eager student, studying everything they told me and listening to their stories and trying to apply it to my own life, but what I found is that indeed when I used my own suffering, which was my pain over my father’s death, when I used that as part of my pathway, when I willingly embraced it and decided to go through it and to accept it, to feel the loss and pain, and to simply allow it to change me, to allow it to clear me out inside, to allow it to knock me down a bit, and reshape me, I found myself gradually growing, gradually increasing my own capacity to love others. And it was that same process I described before of being hollowed out inside so that I could contain more love, so that I could give more love and feel more compassion for other people. And that process started as I consciously worked on these lessons from the wisdom path that I was being taught and shown by my patients in hospice.


As I said, suffering and love are the first two lessons that I was able to learn through that work, and I believe those are, for most of us, the most important lessons. They are the beginning lessons. They are the foundation of all spiritual growth, and it’s the place we all have to begin. It’s where everything starts, and sometimes I see the appeal of moving on to some of the other lessons. Sometimes lessons like surrender and acceptance might seem more desirable, or even living in the present moment, to focus on that or focusing on positive thinking is more desirable than looking at suffering. I can see why many of us are drawn to those types of practices because it’s more appealing to do positive thinking then it is to face the pain of your suffering, but I learned very clearly that we must go through these lessons in order. We can’t skip over the difficult parts. We have to go through each and every aspect of our own path. We can’t skip it or deny it or try to get around it. So the journey itself of this wisdom path has to begin at this difficult place. For many of us though who do work with end of life issues and aging, we have a huge advantage because we are already at the place where we’re willing to look at suffering. Simply having an open mind and being able to talk about the fact that all of us age, if we live long enough, we age. We get older. Our bodies change, our minds change. We go through this process of aging, which itself is a process of suffering, and a process of hollowing us out in a way. It’s a type of suffering. It doesn’t have to be suffering in a terrible, very negative way, but it is a type of the suffering process that we go through. And just as reaching the end of life through a terminal illness or a chronic illness or simply because of advanced age, in the same way, it’s a type of suffering. It’s a type of suffering because we have to experience loss. There are things we have to give up and let go of in life, but that suffering comes to us naturally. It comes to us through life. Through living life, we are given the suffering of aging and of the end of life. Those come to us as a natural part of life. They can’t be denied or avoided unless we die prematurely, we will experience aging. We will experience the end of life.


And so life itself will give us ultimately all of the lessons that we need in order to grow spiritually. Ultimately, life brings us whatever it is that we require, but those of us who work in these arenas, and work with aging, and the end of life, our lives have given us some awareness of this type of suffering, perhaps before we ourselves, are at the point that we’re going through it. So we have this great opportunity to study the suffering of aging, and the suffering of the end of life for ourselves and learn our own lessons, and do our own work, and grow spiritually ourselves, before we get there. That’s what I found to be such a blessing in my own life from doing hospice work. I was able to do some spiritual growth and work on myself, and move along that wisdom path without waiting for the very end of life to try to learn all of those lessons in my last few days. And it has tremendously changed how I live every day. It has made my life so rich, so deep, and so profound in every moment, because of that learning that I have been able to do, and because of being able to use this vehicle of suffering from life as a modality for studying and learning about how we grow.


And as I mentioned, there are five more lessons that I learned on this wisdom path, as I describe it. The book, What Really Matters, talks about all 7 of those lessons. In this talk, there isn’t enough time to mention all 7 of them. But I wanted to touch on the first two, suffering and love, because they are so very important. I did want to tell you that starting in January, I’m going to be teaching a 7-week workshop on these 7 lessons of the wisdom path. I will be going into each one of the lessons in great depth, including practices, and there will be group discussions and conversations about how we learn these lessons and live our lives on this wisdom path. So if anyone is interested in joining me for that workshop, as I said it won’t be starting until January, after the holidays, but you can learn more about it on my website, KarenWyattMD.com/wisdom. So when you go to that page, you’ll be able to learn a little bit more about that workshop that’s coming up and think it over, in case it’s something that appeals to you.


So before I end this talk, I want to leave you with a practice that you can use on your own journey toward living fully every single day, and this is a practice from my wisdom path that I use on my path, that I would like to share, in hopes that it could be helpful to you too. And I’m mentioning a practice because that’s one thing I need to emphasize. It is essential, if you’re serious about living a life of meaning, about living fully every day and making the most of each moment of your life, then you must have a daily practice of some sort. It is essential. You have to commit yourself to work on your life in every single day, even if only for a few moments. You have to have the dedication and determination that you are going to grow and you are going to learn. It has to become a priority, so that you are willing to establish for yourself a time for some sort of practice, and that—the whole idea of practice, there’s so many different things you could do for your practice. It needs to be individual and unique for you and needs to fit your life and also fit your needs. It needs to fit the areas where you need to grow. So by practice, I mean anything from doing exercise, as long as you do that in a mindful way, with the intention of using the exercise as a daily practice of devotion. It could be exercise. It could be yoga or tai chi. It could be some other physical practice. It could be reiki, meditation, just doing contemplation, journaling. I always recommend journaling no matter what you do. No matter what other practice you do, I always recommend having a journal. It’s so, so, helpful to write your thoughts down and be able to see them on paper, and analyze them. Many times you tell yourself truths in your journal that you have difficulty telling yourself in your mind. Many times you will write the truth in your journal, even though in your own mind, you have difficulty thinking of it or bringing it to the surface. So your journal itself can almost be a counselor of sorts that helps you work through some of the issues that you’re working on. Anyway, journaling, I highly recommend for everyone.


I don’t want to leave anything out, but right now I can’t think of much more, but there are so many, many practices out there: prayer, doing tonglen is a Buddhist practice that you could do every day. There are so many different types of practices that you could incorporate into your life, and even simple mindfulness would be huge to incorporate that in your life, and maybe it would be mindfulness that you apply to some other task that you do every day, like washing dishes. If you were to decide, okay, every day when I am washing the dishes, I’m going to do it mindfully and that will be my practice. As I’m washing the dishes, I will be focusing on every single dish, and every single action that I take, every motion of washing the dishes, and I will be mindful during that time. So no matter what you choose, it’s important if you want to grow spiritually, to have a practice and it’s equally important that the practice you choose that it’s the right practice for you. That it feels comfortable, it feels right to you and that you can dedicate yourself to it.


So that’s a little bit of a sermon about practicing, but I do believe it’s extremely important. If you want to grow, you must have a practice. There can be no excuses. You can’t let yourself off the hook, and no substitutes. So reading books, attending seminars, even listening to lectures like this don’t really count. You can’t substitute taking in information for going within yourself. So the idea of the practice is to go within and look within yourself. That’s why exercise can work because walking can actually be a very mindful activity, a time when you can fully go inside and really connect with yourself. But you have to be careful, if you want to call your daily exercise your spiritual practice, make sure that there’s a part of that exercise that’s devoted to going inside, deeper inside and looking within. If it’s all just working on the elliptical machine and reading a book or watching TV, that counts as a great physical practice, but it may not be helping you grow as much spiritually as if you stay mindful during that exercise, and then go within and become aware of what you are experiencing and feeling internally during that process, and looking at yourself. That’s the primary goal of this practice is that we need to look at ourselves. That’s how we grow. We need to look at our own suffering. How are we avoiding our suffering? How are we running away from it? How are we denying it? And so that’s the purpose of practice, to look within, analyze ourselves, and be honest and truthful with ourselves.


So I have a little practice. I mentioned to you earlier on in this talk that in our society, we seem to be lacking in awe, lacking in this incredible, deep inspiration and devotion for life. And so I created this practice called the Daily Awe Practice as a reminder to me that I need to feel that every day. I need to acknowledge every day that I should be amazed by life itself, inspired by life itself. I should be grateful for life, and I should also be inspired to find the deeper meaning in life, and to feel a reverence for that life, and to know how fortunate I am to have this life, and I should be feeling it every single day. So this Daily Awe Practice is a way to get to that state, that state of awe, that state of inspiration and reverence for life. So of course it’s a mnemonic, so the A from awe means be awake. The practice for this is simply each morning to awaken yourself physically, as you get ready to start your day. And so start with the physical body when you get out of bed. Shake yourself, maybe jump around a little bit, maybe you pat your arms and legs to get the circulation going. Pat your face. That kind of can stimulate you to wake up fully. So we want you to feel awake, alert, alive in the morning as soon as you wake up. So the first part of the practice is that physical awakening, making sure your body feels vibrant. Your blood’s pulsing through all of your muscles and you feel ready to move and ready to go for the day. And once your body is awake, then make sure that you’re mentally awake. And so you may have to go through a process of deciding for right now, for this moment, I’m setting aside my worries and my thoughts for the day and my planning. I want to be mentally alert and not distracted, so I’m not going to turn the TV on or the radio right now. I’m not going to look at my emails or Facebook. I’m going to leave my computer shut down and have my mind be fully present and fully awake in the here and now.


So that’s the first step, be awake. The second step is the W in awe is for be willing. And what I mean by willing, it means having this intention to find inspiration in your day and to find devotion in the day; that in order to get to the state of willingness, you need to go through a brief, little, mental assessment. This works perfectly with a journal. Just briefly ask yourself for the day, am I truly willing today to grow and learn? Am I truly willing? And you have to be very honest with yourself about that and ask yourself are there obstacles coming up for me today? Are there reasons why deep down inside I really don’t want to grow? I really don’t want my life to change. I really don’t want things to be different, even though I’m not that happy. Are there parts of me that don’t want change? Are there parts of me where I lack the willingness to learn and grow and move forward with my life? And it’s very helpful to be as honest as you can be with yourself, and then write those things down in your journal. Write down the obstacles that you become aware of. Do you have fears or doubts? Do you feel lazy in some ways? Do you feel like meh, I don’t want to put energy into this. I would rather just coast and take it easy. Whatever the obstacle might be, it’s helpful if you write it down in your journal so that you make it clear that you have recognized that obstacle within yourself. You’re willing to look at it. You’re willing to face it and to begin to deal with it. So willingness implies those two steps, looking within first and identifying the obstacle, and then writing it down in your journal, because that’s what makes it—makes your willingness a commitment of sorts because now it’s in writing on paper. You’ve identified the problem. You’ve written it down. That helps cement that attitude of willingness that yes, I agree. This is an obstacle. I agree. I want to work on this in my life. I am willing to work on this. I will pay attention to these parts of my life. I will look at these obstacles. I will work over time on these obstacles.

And once you’ve done this identification of obstacles in the first place, you may just work with those fears or doubts, whatever it is that you’ve listed in your journal. You may just work with those same things each day and assess yourself and ask how it’s going? How am I doing? But over time, you might find that you actually overcome some of the obstacles, that they actually start lessening and then you may need to look deeper within yourself to see what other obstacles there are that are preventing you from growing. In this case, sometimes you get all the way down to old wounds that need to be healed. You may discover other things you may need to do - that your lack of willingness may come from some sort of trauma in the past that you haven’t worked through or forgiven yet or gotten over. You may discover through this step that there’s deeper work that needs to be done. What I’m telling you is this is an opening process and it’s a long-term process. It’s not something that you can do a couple of times and suddenly, you’re there. It’s something that takes a long term. It’s a practice for you to commit to. So each day, take a little bit of time to just assess the obstacles to your growth, figure out where you are with those. Am I making any progress or not, and why? That has to do with increasing your willingness to grow and change.


And so the third letter of awe, E, stands for be engaged. And engagement occurs when you have energy available to you that you can give back to life, when you are able to put forth effort and energy toward living and toward creativity. In order to engage, you have to actually be healthy enough emotionally and physically and spiritually to have a little bit of extra energy. You can’t be burning up all of your energy every day because of stress and because of the work that you do every day. If you’re burning yourself out every single day, you can’t be engaged because you don’t have any little extra spark within you for engagement to occur.


So it’s important each day also, at the beginning of the day, to assess your level of engagement. How much are you going to be able to engage today? Is this a really low energy day when boy, I’m lucky to just be out of bed. I’m going to drag myself into work, and not a lot is probably going to happen today because I am really feeling down. If you’re beginning the day, and it’s already clear like wow, I don’t have very much willingness and I don’t have any energy there for engagement, then it’s a good idea to have a few little emergency helpers you can use to help you get your energy level up a little bit. And one of the things I recommend to increase your ability to engage is doing something to stimulate your five senses. That can be very helpful. We have the sense of taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing. So what you might do is listen to some music that you love. You might eat a piece of fruit or something tasty that you really enjoy. You might smell a flower or incense or a candle or something that has a very pleasing aroma to it. You could look at a beautiful piece of art or maybe a scene in nature, like for me, where I live, I’m able to look right out my window and see beautiful meadow and pine trees around it. So seeing that alone is sometimes enough to actually boost up my energy level and get me ready for engagement for the day.


And the last thing is touch, to hug someone or hold hands with someone, or even massage your own hands if you need to, or put your hand over your heart. That’s sometimes a great way to engage and open yourself a little bit is just to simply touch your own chest, and keep your hand over your heart. That sensation alone can often help stimulate your energy just a little bit and help you with that engagement process.


So as I was saying, we have these three components of the daily AWE practice. The first to be awake, and that is to do whatever you need to do physically to wake yourself up, and then also mentally to wake yourself up, and avoid being distracted. Then being willing and writing in your journal a little bit about what prevents you from being willing and what are the obstacles to your willingness to grow. And the third, to be engaged. Learning how to boost up your own energy a little bit for the day, and your excitement for the day, so that you can engage, so that you can go out there full force and meet life face to face. And instead of being disconnected or just going through the motions, so that you can be fully involved and engaged in everything that life is bringing you during the day. So here are some little affirmations that you can say as part of the daily AWE practice. The first is I am awake to all possibilities today. I am willing to see the good in everything that happens. I am fully engaged with life in every moment. And so, I’ll say those just one more time in case you’re trying to write them down. I am awake to all possibilities today. I am willing to see the good in everything that happens. I am fully engaged with life in every moment. If you have those three things, you will, I believe, be able to experience awe for your own life, to experience that combination of inspiration, and devotion for life. And make the most of your own life in every moment. And that’s really what we’re here for. That’s really the whole point. No matter what else happens to us, no matter what else we’re doing, no matter what else we accomplish, our purpose here and the meaning of our life, is simply to be fully present in each and every moment, and as attuned to love as we can possibly be - to both giving and receiving love in every single moment. And that is the true purpose for us here. That is truly the goal for our work here on this earth, to get to that place of attunement, that place of harmony in life where we give and receive love from the hollowed out depths of ourselves. So I would like to remind you again, if you’re interested in exploring these 7 lessons at all with me, check out my website to learn about the 7 lessons wisdom path at KarenWyattMD.com/wisdom.


And now I would like to say thank you one last time to each and every one of you for participating in End-of-Life University. Creating and hosting this event has truly been a blessing for me and I hope that you have found in these 4 days, some answers to your questions, some inspiration for your soul, some connections with others who are sharing some of the same concerns and burdens and joys that you are experiencing on this journey of life. Please remember that the time to talk about aging and the end of life in our society is now. The time to prepare for your own later years of life is now. And the time to fully enjoy and engage with each precious moment that life is offering to you is now. This is Karen Wyatt saying goodbye to you all at the end of End of Life University, and may each and every one of you be blessed on your journey, wherever it takes you. Goodbye.

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