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One-Armed Paper Hanger

One-Armed Paper Hanger
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Martha said that if she had surgery to remove the cancer in her arm, then God would not heal her. What if she was right?

Death with dignity and Lady Gaga?

Death with dignity and Lady Gaga?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I am certain Lady Gaga was talking about something other than dying with dignity in her song, Do What U Want (with my body), but that's what I heard.

Laughing at death: cookies

Laughing at death: cookies
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Oh snap! An end-of-life story with chocolate chip cookies and a nasty punchline…

Could the Mushrooms Really Be Magic?

Could the Mushrooms Really Be Magic?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

In a compelling example of what goes around comes around, psychedelic drugs are demonstrating intriguing therapeutic potential, most exciting to me being for dying patients with spiritual pain or existential distress.

Devil on the Cross

Devil on the Cross
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
This book knocked my socks off! I've read some African authors like Chinua Achebe, but Devil on the Cross was an epiphany for me.

Laughing at death: marriage

Laughing at death: marriage
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

The relationship between a married couple can provide moments of poignancy, and beauty when it is evident when one of them has reached the end of their life. Today’s post is not about that: here are two more of my favorite old jokes about the end of life.

Laughing at death: doilies

Laughing at death: doilies
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Laughing in the face of adversity is a rollickingly healthy coping mechanism. Here is one of my favorite end-of-life jokes...

Chicken manure and generosity

Chicken manure and generosity
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Chicken manure played a large role in my childhood. Hey, keep reading!

Resurrected Children

Resurrected Children
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

The Biblical narrative reports thousands of children’s deaths, and four accounts of dead children brought back to life. Do those fortunate kids have anything to say to us today?

Where was God when the Capitol was stormed?

Where was God when the Capitol was stormed?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

The Proud Boys knelt and prayed, but where was God when the Capitol was stormed?

Resolutions

Resolutions
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Grandma Rigal sat us all down after Christmas, went from one child to the next around a circle, and ask us what our new year’s resolutions were…

JOY

JOY
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Recently during a zoom session I attended, we were asked where we find joy in the midst of everything; I was not very successful...

This Can't Be Happening!

This Can't Be Happening!
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
In a year filled with heartache and distress, it was probably the saddest thing I have heard: patients with COVID-19 saying, "This can’t be happening. It's not real!"

Marketing for This Dummy

Marketing for This Dummy
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
The idea of marketing myself and my work is totally foreign to how I viewed who I am and how people respond to me.

Final Jeopardy? Bet It All!

Final Jeopardy? Bet It All!
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
In honor of Alex Trebek, I'm reposting this from a year ago...RIP Alex.
 

That's a Great Question

That's a Great Question
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Why do we love the pathos of fictional demise, yet we cannot generate meaningful interest in our own mortality?

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?