Linda Hochstetler: 21 Days to Die: Exploring the Guide to End of Life

In this episode of the Death Dhamma Podcast, host Margaret welcomes Linda Hochstetler, an accomplished social worker, psychotherapist, Buddhist meditation teacher, and author of the book “21 Days to Die, The Canadian Guide to End of Life.” Linda shares her passion for the topic of illness, dying, and death, and how she combines her expertise in grief work, hospice palliative care, Buddhism, and meditation to bring a unique perspective to her work.

Margaret and Linda discuss the second noble truth of suffering and how it can be interpreted in different ways. Linda emphasizes the importance of recognizing both small T trauma and capital T trauma, and how these daily struggles and losses can wear on us. They also delve into the chronology of dying and death, highlighting the significance of the dying process and the cascading losses that occur leading up to the last breath.

The conversation takes an intimate turn as Margaret shares a personal experience with her father’s death and the relief that came with understanding the stages of dying. Linda explains how recognizing the signs of impending death can bring comfort to caregivers and loved ones, as it signifies that the suffering is almost over for the dying person.

Lastly, Linda opens up about a tragic event in her own life that shaped her understanding of suffering at a young age. She shares the story of her boyfriend’s sudden death and how it thrust her into a club she never wanted to join, but which ultimately deepened her connection to the truth of suffering.

Tune in as Margaret and Linda explore the complexities of death, grief, and finding meaning in the face of suffering.

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