My Way

My Way
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
In 1969, Frank Sinatra recorded a song about a man looking back over his life, reviewing his successes, failures, and legacy. What was it about a number that begins, “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” that made it both popular and enduring?

Why do it? Why write it?

Why do it? Why write it?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

“How can you stand to be around all that suffering and dying?” We each do what we have gifts for; hell for me would be being a 5th grade teacher…

COVID and Me

COVID and Me
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I awoke about two in the morning with shaking chills and a fever just under 102°...I knew what was happening, and its implications started to overwhelm my thoughts.

September 11

September 11
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
What could September 11 teach us about dying well?

The Disasters of Suicide

The Disasters of Suicide
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Suicide is a disaster. I'm not talking about people with terminal illness who make the conscious choice to take control of the time of their ending by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking or who utilize Medical Aid-in-Dying. The disastrous suicides I am thinking of are those performed alone, in secret, are the antithesis of good dying, and leave the bereaved with profound pain.

Trees and Life

Trees and Life
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Trees show us that whatever pressing short-term trouble is causing us distress, there is a long view that can be a source of hope, meaning, perhaps even security.

Literary Dying

Literary Dying
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Every person who has ever existed who is not alive today has died.  Some recorded what they thought and felt about their mortality, what it might be like, what might come after...

Best Care is Palliative Care!

Best Care is Palliative Care!
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Best supportive care must include palliative care, which improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, and, in some cases, might even extend life expectancy.

Let me breathe

Let me breathe
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I can't breathe! You take my breath away! Though the literal meaning of these two phrases is the same, their messages are profoundly different.

Believe what you see or see what you believe?

Believe what you see or see what you believe?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
"Since COVID-19 is a hoax, I can’t be dying from it!" Do you believe the evidence you see or only see what you already believe?

COVID-19 and Doctor Kübler-Ross

COVID-19 and Doctor Kübler-Ross
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
What could Dr. Kübler-Ross's model of grief tell us about our reactions to the coronavirus pandemic?

Caring for stupid

Caring for stupid
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
The sign at the demonstration read, “We are NOT all in this together!”...the vital lesson of the current crisis is not whether certain governors went too far or not far enough, whether President Trump is a stable genius or a dithering fool...the system is inadequate and unjust...

Saying home with coronavirus

Saying home with coronavirus
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Practical advice if you don't want to die of COVID-19 alone in an ICU.

Stock Your Pantry, Stock Your Life

Stock Your Pantry, Stock Your Life
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I’m 65 years old and have a few chronic health conditions, so this puts me at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19...Plagues happen, people get sick and many die, this is the
fragility of life, and it has ever been so.

 

I believe in facts

I believe in facts
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
It is hard to believe that I need to say this, but I believe in facts...Developing COVID-19 testing kits will be simple compared to recovering society's trust in the information it is given.

Ash Wednesday? Celebrate!

Ash Wednesday? Celebrate!
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Ash Wednesday: Celebrate being dust!

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me...

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me...
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I'll go and eat some worms.
I posted it, but nobody “liked” it; I didn’t expect it to go viral, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

We'd Be Happier If We Were Crying

We'd Be Happier If We Were Crying
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Jem Finch got it right. Jem, Atticus' Finch's son in To Kill a Mockingbird saw people he had taught to respect send an innocent man to death, saw everything he thought his world stood for collapse. And he wept. America today, like fictional Maycomb, Alabama, is angry. Anger is easy but it doesn't change anything. Crying is something healing, something we can do together.
 

Mortality and Monty Python

Mortality and Monty Python
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! The medieval English village is squalid, the undertaker’s lackey pushes a handcart through the town, amassing putrefying corpses ... an old man objects, "I'm not dead!" But what did the devastation of the Black Death add to our thinking about life and death?

Of Birthdays and Bellybuttons

Of Birthdays and Bellybuttons
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
You don’t remember it, but it happened; you were there, playing a starring role. It even happened on your birthday!