Today’s medical treatments have resulted in the possibility of living months and sometimes years after a terminal diagnosis. Death has become a process rather than a sudden, unexpected event. As death has changed, so has the way we grieve. “The new grief”, as guests, Joseph Nowinski, PhD and Barbara Okun, PhD refer to it, in their new book, Saying Goodbye: How Families Can find Renewal Through Loss , is complex and challenging for both patients and caregivers. But, it can also be one of the richest and most meaningful periods a family will ever share. Join in as host Mary Teacy O’Keefe interviews Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D, Supervising Psychologist at UConn Health Center; and Barbara Okun, Ph.D, a professor of counseling psychology at Northeastern University and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. They’re here to offer wise advice for anyone faced with living with–or caring for someone living with–a terminal or life-threatening illness.
Throughout the episode, Drs. Okun and Nowinski encourage individuals and families to cope with terminal illness in collaboration with the patient. They present a 5-stage model of grief that reflects the contemporary realities of extended death and dying. We’ll discuss in depth each of the five stages: Crisis, Unity, Upheaval, Resolution and Renewal. This show provides invaluable information, not only to families living with a terminal illness, but it encourages all of us to prepare for the inevitability of the end of our lives. When we do this, we can focus on living fully for however much time we have to live. Are you ready to grieve in a whole new way?
At the end of the show, host Mary Treacy O’Keefe, shares a “meant to be” story (from her book, Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells) that demonstrates how her own family successfully navigated some of the issues that emerged during the final days of her father’s life. Keep the Kleenex box handy: This is one heart-felt episode you’re not going to want to miss!