Stephen Jenkinson – Die Wise: How to Understand the Meaning of Death
Stephen Jenkinson is an American storyteller, teacher and author.
He holds a Masters degree in Theology from Harvard University and a Masters in social work from the University of Toronto.
During two decades of working in palliative care, he counselled over 1,500 people at their deathbeds.
His work led him to identify a “death-phobic society”, which provided the framework for his award-winning book Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul.
His most recent book, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble, explains the need to birth a new generation of elders, willing to be true stewards of the planet and its species.
02:56 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:46 Brian’s introduction.
05:24 Stephen has only a superficial view of London and is uneasy about the effect of large conurbations.
08:45 How to start talking about a subject no-one seems to want to talk about, but we all experience.
20:32 The utter refusal to submit to death has a long history amongst humans.
24:50 Stephen has seen more death than those in active combat see, but he is not traumatised.
25:44 Stephen relates a familiar response to terminal cancer, explaining why he thinks it misguided.
33:23 The benefit of that person taking ownership of the last act.
35:42 The consequences for society of refusing to die well.
37:22 Stephen’s thoughts on euthanasia and the effect on society if it becomes the norm.
41:52 Stephen explains what he means by “what has to die is your refusal to die.”
46:06 Nobody meant to die badly.
47:08 How we witness death, or don’t, affects the way we live life and currently society is death phobic.
54:17 Will Stephen fight death when it comes to it?
55:50 People’s worst fear vision of death.
1:02:33 His view on desire to live to 200 or futuristic ideas to upload consciousness and preserve ourselves.
1:03:37 The deep radical hospitality of including in your life its end.
1:08:22 What grief is.
1:16:14 A conversation to have with your children as you approach death.
1:22:20 Story of young child approaching death illustrates parent’s misconception of what they grieve for.
1:28:56 Stephen defines what he thinks should be the cultural role of Elderhood.
1:41:22 Could LSD help the dying to remove the ego to see the bigger picture and connect with the Deity?
1:43:20 Pain medication in the last days of life.
1:45:38 Are environmental issues and global warming related to our relationship with death?
1:50:03 Does Stephen see elders in the world and is it too late for older people to understand his message?
1:55:13 Stephen’s background which perhaps influenced some of his decision making.
1:57:38 The best and worst days of his life.
2:03:55 What scares Stephen.
2:05:55 What keeps him awake at night …
2:06:29 Success secrets.
2:08:37 … What keeps awake at night
2:12:32 Advice to the 20 years old listening.
2:16:42 Brian’s summing up.
People mentioned in this episode: