This resources page is funded in part by a grant from the Lloyd Symington Foundation

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On Dying


A Final Cocoon: Dying at Home
NY times article on the value of dying at home and some of the organizations that help make it possible.

At the End, Offering Not a Cure but Comfort
Article on how a palliative care doctor deliver the bad news that’s someone is dying,  Knowing when and what to tell a terminally ill patient. Excellent for professionals working with cancer clients.

How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death
Article about a research study on the use of psychedelic drugs in reducing the anxiety of end-stage cancer patients. Very promising results..

Life Post Mortem
Channeled accounts of life after death dating back to 1909. Edited by Carolyn North.

The Good Short Life
NY Times journalist Dudley Clendinen discusses his end-of-life choices with ALS



A Year to Live
Stephen Levine, Random House, NY 1997
A complete program for opening to our mortality and preparing for the end we all must face.

Dying Well
Ira Byock, MD, Berkeley Publishing, Berkeley, 1997
Prescription for living life to the fullest up to the end. And getting the most out of the process of dying. Included four things that matter most.

Embrace, Release, Heal
Leigh Fortson,
Sounds True, Boulder, 2011
Remarkable account of people who transcended “terminal cancer” and are not thriving. Looks at how thought, emotion and diet affect well-being.

Household Guide to Dying
By Debra Adelaid, G.P. Putnams’ Sons 2009
Insightful novel about a mother with cancer preparing her family and herself for her imminent departure. Lovely story of healing and letting go.

Start the Conversation
Ganga Stone, Warner Books, NY 1996
A refreshingly up beat book about what there is no need to fear death. Based on her work in the AIDS community.

Who Dies
Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Doubleday, NY, 1982
An investigation of conscious living and conscious dying. Provides a broader definition of healing that includes the healing needs of the soul.

Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Picador; International Edition, 2015
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should.


Appointment with the Wise Old Dog
Film, David Blum
Compelling documentary about a man with metastatic cancer whose dreams prepare and comfort him in dying. Shares vivid paintings depicting his dreams.

American Radio Works
The Hospice Experiment — a radio documentary about hospice.

Facing Death
Frontline documentary on how we do death in America.

film, by Akira Kurosawa
Social services bureaucratic discovers the real meaning and purpose for his life after discovering he has terminal cancer.

Talk of the Nation 
Recording a life story in one’s final days — improves dignity and quality of terminally ill.

The Edge of Dreaming
By Amy Hardie
Filmmaker Amy Hardie dreams that she will dies at the age of 48, one year away, then gets ill with a mysterious and deadly ailment. And intimate chronicle of that year and a fascinating investigation into human subconscious and the power of the mind.

Being Mortal
FRONTLINE follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life.


American Childhood Cancer Organization
Free information and books for families of children with cancer.

Free professional support for anyone affected with cancer. Counseling, group support, education and information by phone or web.

Cancer Support Community
A global network of community cancer organizations providing support services and information for people living with cancer and their families.  Provides a locator for the Cancer Support Community nearest you.

Commonweal’s Cancer Help Program
a week-long retreat for people with cancer in Bolinas, CA .

Also check out The New School of Commonweal 
Educational programs on health, art, science, environment and the inner life., Programs are recorded and available as podcast.

IONS – Institute of Noetic Sciences 
Articles on the science of death. 
Provides information and support including an on-line community for people living and dying with cancer. Lots of free information.

PMH Atwater website  
Books, talks and information about the after effects of near death experiences  and what it tells us about life and after life.

The Complete Guide to Understanding Cancer
Simple and clear information about cancer, what it is, what are the signs, and what to do about it. By the Mesothelioma Group .

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A Family Undertaking 
Documentary exploring the growing home funeral movement.

My Mushroom Burial Suit
Ted Talk by Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death?


Funeral Consumers Alliance 
An organization protecting consumer’s right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral.

Final Footprint 
Green burial resources and products in Bay Area.

Great information on end-of-life preparation.

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Articles & Blogs

Caregiving, Mothering Mother and More 
Blogs by a witty and experienced caregiver specifically about caring for the dying

Coaching as the Hours Wane
NY Times article with great stories and valuable information about how to assist someone passing over.

Hospice and Caregiving
Hospice Foundation of America – stories and articles on end of life. For professionals and family members.

Six Tips to Avoid Burnout for Cancer Caregivers
Excellent article on how to stay healthy while caring for someone with cancer.

The Caregivers’ Living Room
Blog on the ethics and economics of give and receiving care.

Caregiver Stress
The challenges of caregiving and how that can lead to stress and overwhelm. Valuable tips for reducing stress.


Final Gifts
Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, Bantam Books, NY 1992
Understanding the special awareness, needs, and communications of the dying. Ffor family members and professionals

Grace and Grit
Ken Wilber, Shambhala, Boston, 1991
Spiritual lesson gained from accompanying his wife through cancer and death. Included her spiritual journey as well as his own. This link is to a terrific article about the book.

Help Me Live: 20 things people with cancer want you to know
Lori Hope, Cellestial Arts, Berkeley 2011
The words and actions that comfort and heal those with cancer. For families and professionals

Intimate Death
Marie de Hennezel, Warner, NY, 1998
Psychologist in a hospital for the terminally ill shares inspiring stories about patients and their families she served and the lessons she received about life and caring.  Excellent for families and professionals

Partners in Healing
William Collinge, PhD, Turmpeter, Boston, 2008
A bible for caregiving. Provides ways to offer support, comfort and care to the seriously ill.

The Quality of Life: Living Well, Dying Well
Janet Lembke, Guilford, CT: Lyons Press,  2003.
Book including thoughts and discussion about caring for loved-one with dementia, includes resources.

Sacred Dying: creating rituals for embracing the end of life
Megory Anderson, Prima Publishing, Roseville, CA, 2001

The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When you Cant’ find the Words
Susan P. Halpern, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, VA 2004
Essential guide to navigating the complex terrain of illness.  A collection of anecdotes and insights to help those helping the seriously ill.


Family Matters; The Money Squeeze
NPR Radio series on the true cost of home care for the dying told through the stories of three families

Caring for your Parents
Excellent documentary with terrific stories about families caring for their aging parents. Great way to start the conversation.

Recording a Life in One’s Final Days
NPR radio story about helping patients document their life stories as part of dignity therapy.

The Savages – Feature film
Humors and heartfelt film about becoming caregivers for an estranged father. Covers plenty of territory including the decision to put the father in a nursing home. Should be able to get at your local library. For family caregivers.

Two WeeksFeature film
Shares the family dynamics of caring for a mother dying of cancer. Humorous and poignant rendering of real life situations.


Care Better
Connect with others caring for a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimers. Or tap into a marketplace of non-medical experts to support you with the challenges of behavior, diet, family dynamics, home care assistance, loss and more.

Using mindful touching as part of caregiving. Great for professionals and family

Cancer Net
Tips and information on caring for someone with cancer while caring for yourself.

Caring Connections
Great information on caregiving and preparing for end-of-life. For family cargivers.

Coalition for Compassionate Care
California initiative providing information and guidance for compassionate end-of-life care. Excellent material for Advance Health Care Planning including a family conversation guide, important decisions articles, Advanced Directives forms and the new POLST form (Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. Essential for those facing death and their families. Material professionals can share with their client.

Choosing a Nursing Home 
A thorough checklist for choosing a nursing home provided by Medicare.

Family Caregiver Alliance
A public voice fore caregivers. Provides information, education, services, research and advocacy. Great information and a free newsletter. Also check out their handbook for long distance caregiving.

Ugly website with excellent links to resources for life-threatening illness and end of life care.

Lotsa Helping Hands
Web-based caregiving coordination website. Group calendar for scheduling tasks coverage by family and friends. A service of Family Caregiver Alliance.

Metta Institute
Educational programs on spirituality of dying. Good for caregiving specialists.

National Cancer Institute
Great practical information on end-of-life care for people who have cancer. Lot’s of other cancer topics on specific cancers, treatments, testing, coping, etc.

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Lobbies for senior rights, advocacy, information, discount rates for senior services. Membership includes a magazine and newsletter.

How to Have the Driving Conversation
The smart way to approach your aging parents about driving and how to know when to give it up.
Informative website on prescription drugs and medical devices with alerts and details on what is safe and what to watch.

Elder Abuse
Information and links to resources for elder abuse victims and their families.

Eldercare Locator  Eldercare Locator provides listings of services in your location.  You may reach the Eldercare Locator via telephone at 800 677-1116

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Has a locator for finding a professional care manager in your area.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Organization of attorneys who deal with legal issues affecting the elderly and disabled. Has a locator for finding an attorney in your area.

National Council on Aging
Advocacy, publications, programs, research. You can check on eligibility for state and federal government benefits

Senior Consumer Complaints: Fraud Against the Elderly
Resources on how to avoid fraudster and what to do when you get burned.

Senior Defensive Driving Safety
Excellent information on how aging impacts your driving and what you can do to lower the risk of accidents.

The Caregivers Guide: An Introduction to Elder Care
Provides valuable information on caring for elders along with useful resource links.

Home vs. Long-term Care Facility
Provides valuable information on the decision to use a long-term care facility or to care for senior loved ones at home.

Caregiving Support & Help
Tips for making family caregiving easier and more rewarding.

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Articles and Blogs  List of blogs about loss, grief & how to cope


The Truth About Grief book and blog
Discusses research on grief and the five stages of loss. Emphasizes resilience. For grievers and professionals.

Best Grief and Loss Books
Reviews the most recommended books on grief and loss.

Spinning Gold out of Straw, Diane Rooks, Salt Run Press, Fl, 2001
Author shares to story of the loss of her son and how her storytelling healed her.


Departures, film
Beautiful Japanese film about the art of preparing the dead for final disposition. Humorous tale about a cello musician who finds his healing the loss of his father in an unexpected job helping families by preparing their dead for burial.

Cherry Blossoms, Film
German film about a journey of loss, regret, discovery and redemption.

How to Help Kids Handle Death and Grieving – radio
Discussion about how to help children deal with grief with openness and honesty at the level they can understand.


Expert, ad-free resources help you understand the challenges of grief.

An Internet community of persons
dealing with grief, death, and major loss. Over 50 e-mail grief support groups.

Specialized resources for bereaved families: child grief, pregnancy loss, suicide, cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s

Great list of links for dealing with children and grief at the end of the page.


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