Living/Dying Project Newsletter Articles

Path of a Warrior

Wildfires, hurricanes, mass shootings, politics, friends diagnosed with cancer– is it really possible to keep our hearts open when there seems to be so much pain in the world? I admit that the recent wildfires in Northern California which deeply affected people I know personally impacted me more than the major tragedies not so close to home. Keeping our hearts constantly open to all suffering is impossible, yet the price we pay for avoiding contact with suffering is often unknowingly deadening.
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A Precious Life Comes to an End

We celebrated Mary Beth’s birthday on December 17, 2016. Two friends from Los Angeles, Amanda and May, drove up for the occasion.  Mary Beth’s brother Joel drove down from Sacramento. As with the “dinner parties” held from time to time, everyone made a contribution of food and libations. We all appreciated how much our dear friend enjoyed a good party. They were always wonderful events filled with laughter. (Read More)

A Precious Life Comes to an End: the Complete PDF

Attached is a pdf file that essentially replicates what was presented in the newsletters, including photos, graphical images and related poems. (Read More)

Kamala Bids Farewell

Kamala’s mother left a telephone message that her daughter died on August 18th at 2 a.m. She sounded overwhelmed, having to make so many calls and at the same time grieving the death of her 45 year-old daughter. Either mother or father visited Kamala every day for 5 years, bringing healthy, delicious food, physical and spiritual support, exhausting all potential remedies for her condition. (Read More)

How Do You Say Goodbye To Your Twelve Year-Old Son?

My conversations with Mary Beth of late have focused on whether it is time to invite hospice into her journey. I’ve written about Mary Beth over the last three years I’ve been visiting her each week. She has ALS and is approaching the end of her travail. (Read More)

Spreading Wings at Maitri

For the past year I’ve been spending time at Maitri Hospice as a Living/Dying Project volunteer. Maitri provides both hospice and respite care. I have met some truly extraordinary people during my time there. Most days I wander from room to room visiting with residents at their bedside. Sometimes I am a friend who listens to whatever is on their minds. (Read More)

Denlow, A Graceful Journey

When I met Denlow and Melissa all I knew about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, I’d learned from the deeply moving book Tuesdays with Morrie. (Read More)

A Graceful Journey: The Complete PDF

Attached is a pdf file that essentially replicates what was presented in the newsletters, including photos, graphical images and related poems. I also add at the end a final poem from Denlow titled “Terminal Velocity.” (Read More)

Denlow, Journey Continued

A year has passed since I wrote about Denlow Enlow in last year’s newsletter. Melissa Enlow contacted the Living/Dying Project in 2007 to ask for spiritual support for her husband, who had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). We’ve been meeting once a week for over a year and a half. (Read More)

Denlow, The Journey Ends

Denlow Enlow died on March 18, 2009, after four years struggling with the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS. Those who’ve been following his journey over the last two years in the pages of the Living/Dying Project newsletter are aware… (Read More)

Denlow’s Poem: My Four Corners 8/25/08

My East

Scatter my ashes there
Where my life began
Where my seed began to germinate
That land where the three rivers meet (Read More)

Clown & Prankster

When I first met Denlow in early 2007, he was seated in a light-weight wheelchair that he would exit on occasion. (Read More)

Both Sides

Twenty years ago Joe called me as his father was dying and over the phone I helped him guide and support his father as he died. We became friends, Joe and I, and have stayed in touch even after he moved to Detroit. (Read More)

My Mother

My eighty-nine year old mother had been battling multiple myeloma for two and a half years. This is a rather rare form of bone marrow cancer that affects the production of blood cells, ultimately deteriorating the bones. (Read More)

Will Carter

Will Carter’s T-cell count is zero. After nearly twenty years battling a virus Will refers to as “him,” the complex regimen of drugs that kept this unrelenting invader at bay no longer works. (Read More)

Josh Carter’s Poem

Blinded by blazing splendor
Seeming forever killing out the light
Life is letting out
Experience and realization
To pierce the darkest gates of night
In faith I rest (Read More)

Selected Poems by Sandy Scull

Her mouth opens for more morphine.
Eyes close. Index finger touches
a cross at her throat, head turning
towards the wall, where I look
at her four-year-old’s cutout art. (Read More)

Ephemeral Life

I celebrated my seventieth birthday as Dale and I were putting the finishing touches on this newsletter, which means I’ve been incarnated in this body for seventy years and nine months. (Read More)

Approaching the Unspeakable

This spring, I went to do the intake interview with Melissa Spivack, a 47-year-old woman who is almost four years into her journey with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. (Read More)

Reflections of a Volunteer

In Buddhist teaching, the story is told of a mother grieving the death of her only son. She takes his body to the Buddha to find a cure. The Buddha asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from (Read More)