20180607 - Ayden LeRoux On Death

Ayden LeRoux! Ayden is a 29yo artist, writer, and BRCA1+ human. I’ve known Ayden since my grade school days where we won a swing dancing competition together and we haven’t spoken for almost half a decade, this interview served a chance to catch up and see where life has taken us. During this conversation, we discuss the intertwining of science and magic to predict her future health, Land Art installations as spirituality, and how a partner changes our plans for death.

I hope you enjoy!

Ayden is...
Alive,
A writer,
An artist
An assistant director of a company that studies one person's experiences
A lover
A reader
Active
In love
Happy

Before Ayden dies, she wants...
To write another book, at least,
More humans to encounter their own humanity,
To Continue to travel,
To show some of her artwork in galleries,
To have a home,
People to think differently

When she dies, she wants...
To feel at peace,
It to be a moment of acceptance

After she dies, she wants...
All her loved ones to be healthy and happy,

In conclusion, Ayden says…
“I hope [your listeners] can be curious about the world around them.”

20180524 - Eric Garza On Death

Eric Garza is a 41yo professor, hunter, and suicide survivor. I met Eric online through primitive skills and ancestral plant groups, and his podcast A Worldview Apart caught my interest for his unique decolonization perspective. He speaks like a professor and as you’ll learn during this interview, has many diverse interests and skills from bow-making to inner tracking.

During this conversation, we discuss hunting as connection to landscape, pushing ourselves to take the shot and learn the skills, and the near death experience of his suicide attempt.

I hope you enjoy!

Eric is...
a lot of things,
a professor at a university,
a hunter,
a suicide survivor,
and a loving friend to a lot of people.

Before Eric dies, he wants...
to raise a family,
and to kill a deer with a bow he made himself.

When Eric dies, he wants...
it to be a learning experience for those he is close to.

After Eric dies, he wants...
to have a better understanding of how the universe works and what his place in that was,
to know if there's this reincarnation thing,
and people who are close to him and had a chance to know him to continue on with their lives as if they matter.

In conclusion, Eric says…
“I got a podcast, it's called a worldview apart, you can listen to it on most podcatchers. I have a website, EricGarza.info you can find ways to connect with me on social media if you go there my handle on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter is ericgarza76.

I live in the northeast, so if people are around and ever feel like looking me up and going to a workshop or something like that, always happy to meet folks and chat in person.

Online is wonderful in that it creates opportunities to connect with people who are far away, but have to face conversations are always a whole lot nicer.”

20180510 - Kristin Clague Reihman On Death

Kristin Clague Reihman! Kristin is a 47yo physician, healer, and mother. She serves as a coach for students in my medical school program, and that’s how I met her during first year. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation, which we recorded in the room she birthed her fourth child. In this interview, we discuss the death of her mother when she was eighteen, her own near death experience fraught with pain, and how her spirituality is connecting with others.

I hope you enjoy!

Kristin is…
A being of light having a human experience moving through the physical plane and figuring that whole thing out,
A human,
A mother,
A daughter,
A sister,
A friend,
A doctor
A witch doctor according to some people,
A teacher,
A healer,
A learner,
A gardener,
A singer,
An aunt, 
A cousin

Before Kristin dies, she wants…
Surf and play guitar
See all of her children unfold for as long as she can,
To travel again with her husband,
To bounce more,
And to stay in connection with her intention.

When Kristin dies, she wants…
No pain,
To be in a place that is her home at the time,
To host a giant party,
And Everyone to be cool with it,


After Kristin dies, she wants…
People to awaken to their divinity,

In conclusion, Kristin says…
“To the humans, I stuck around for fun and to co-create something really awesome. And I don’t really know what that is yet, but I really want to be part of a planet where we are all looking for the things in life that allow us to cultivate bliss. 

If you want to play in that playground with me, let’s think about that together. Let’s shine our light and do the things that we love, make choices that bring joy to ourselves and those around us because how fun would that be?”

 

20180426 - Michael Caron On Death

Michael Caron! Michael is a 40yo father, coach, and motivator. I met Michael while at a yoga teacher training and we have kept in touch ever since. I chose this time to interview him because of the recent birth of his son, Stadler, who was 1mo old at the time.

We dive deep into one of the hardest months of his life, with the death of a life-long friend as a result of brain cancer and the loss of his matriarch grandmother. He read the eulogy at both services and I’m sure the stories will leave an impression on you, like they did me.

Additionally during this energizing conversation, we discuss his formative years through a semester at sea, the wonder of being a new father while being present for a stepdaughter, and his philosophy on leadership and self-development.

I hope you enjoy!

Michael is…
Truly grateful and honored to be on this podcast right here in this moment,
An incredibly proud and fortunate husband, father, and son,
Someone who is compelled and acts on being the change they want to see in this world,
Ready to lead and ready to follow,
A servant leader
Passion
Respect
Realization
Commitment

Before Michael dies, he wants…
Be the best husband and dad that he can be,
Create experiences for his children that enrich their lives in the most authentic way possible,
To be A great friend
To be A great uncle,
To be a great son,
To continue to honor the friendships and the family ties that he has,
To continue to be gracious and to have gratitude for all those that he comes into contact with,
To motivate, encourage, and inspire as many people as he possibly can to be the best versions of themselves

When Michael dies, he wants…
Peace,
To be surrounded by his family
To be with his family

After Michael dies, he wants…
To be with any of his loved ones that has passed before him,
People to say, if they've met him or if he's impacted them in some way, that he made their life better

In conclusion, Michael says…
There are three cornerstone values and principles

 

20180412 - Caroline Wilson On Death

Caroline Wilson! Caroline is a 19yo college student, positive human, and survivor of a traumatic brain injury. I met Caroline while coaching crew in New Hampshire for Great Bay Rowing, and she served as a right-hand coxswain for the team. During one of our dryland practices, she fell and hit her head on cement. This caused a 2wk-long Elmer Fudd stutter and a long road to recovery. Luckily, she had her grandmother nearby, who underwent chemotherapy at the time.

In this lovely conversation, we discuss the plastic nature of memories especially when you have impaired long-term memory, how a positive reframe of a situation can change your outlook on life, and the nature of social crutches and how they help us function.

I hope you enjoy!

Caroline is…
Caroline,
from Durham,
a student at UNH
and a kind person.


Before Caroline dies, she wants…
to make other people happy,
to be happy herself,
and to travel.


When Caroline dies, she wants…
people to remember the positives,
and to not be sad.


After Caroline dies, she wants…
people to look back at the memories,
and people to be kind to each other.


In conclusion, Caroline says…
“Be a kind person. Go out tomorrow and make someone happy because it’ll make you feel better as a person.”

20180329 - Rashad Davis On Death

Rashad Malik Davis! Rashad is a 26yo creative, lover of stories, and story-teller. I met Rashad during my undergraduate years at Tufts University, and I’ve quietly kept tabs on him ever since. He recently published his first illustrated children’s book, Carefree Like Me!, one that I highly recommend reading as he promotes empathy, compassion, and diversity through a heartfelt story. In this conversation, we discuss the painful genesis and healing journey of his book, his deeply rooted spirituality, and the importance of representation in the stories that we tell.

 

I hope you enjoy!

Rashad is…
a creative,
black,
a story-teller,
and someone who loves big.

Before Rashad dies, he wants…
his own TV show,
his own cartoon,
and his own studio.

When Rashad dies, he wants…
to have left behind something that made the world better,
and to be surrounded by love.

After Rashad dies, he wants…
the people that rely on him to be set up,
and his people to know that he’s okay.

In conclusion, Rashad says…
“I’m going to speak to the people who are at the precipice of change but are afraid to take that next step off. For all of you, who are on the edge of their dreams and are very afraid to take that leap, that next step past their comfort: I will let you know that where you are comfortable, the ground is not fertile.

What I mean by that is when we get stuck in a sense of comfort, there’s no growth. Growth comes out of us being willing to step past our comfort zone and being willing to step past what makes us complacent

I want to challenge you to take that leap past the infertile ground and to take that step into the unknown because the unknown is where you’re forced to make change and forced to adapt and forced to excel in whatever you’re doing because you don’t know what you’re doing and the process of not knowing is so important because we can’t know everything and those times when you don’t know, that’s when you grow the most. And that’s where you find the richest rewards because you’re now relying on faith.

Faith allows you to move into such beautiful opportunities that you will not have imagined in your comfort zone.

So take that next step over the grass.”

 

20171207 - Chris On Death

Chris! Chris is a 38yo future family man, survivor, and question mark. When I moved to Coopersburg, the first person I met would later shoot Chris five times. He survived the wounds to his leg, arm, and head and six months out, he is well on his way to a full physical recovery.

During this conversation, we discuss the mental and emotional recovery from such a traumatic experience. We talk about his feelings towards his uncle, the shooter. And most of all, we ruminate on this opportunity to change, the shift in perspective after a brush with death, and how he plans to move forward with his life.

I hope you enjoy!

Chris is...
something new,
a question mark,
and confused.

Before Chris dies, he wants...
a family.

When Chris dies, he wants...
to not have any relational issues with his family,
and people to be at peace with him.

After Chris dies, he wants...
people to be happy that they had him in their life,
and an education for his kids.

In conclusion, Chris says...
"Going through something that is as physically and mentally altering as being shot by a family member and surviving it presents its own set of challenges.
This is traumatic physically but you can't ignore the mental. Don't ignore it.
The physical healing is definitely the easiest part. Your body will do that for you. The mental stuff is a lot more complicated."

20171207 - Aleks Bacewicz On Death

Aleks Bacewicz! Aleks is a 28yo fourth year medical student, future psychiatrist, and dancer. I rotated through Consult Liaison Psychiatry with her and we both grappled with a difficult case (20171008 - On "Jim"). During this conversation, we discuss her Polish heritage, her love of pole, and her restorative Sunday practices.

I hope you enjoy!

Aleks is...
a dancer,
a female,
and a writer.

Before Aleks dies, she wants...
to open up to new experiences and people,
to take her partner hiking and camping many, many times,
and to get to know her family members more.

When Aleks dies, she wants...
to feel at peace.

After Aleks dies, she wants...
people who love her to feel peace,
and to become one with everything.


In conclusion, Aleks says...
"Stop and think about your life. The question for me was: What moment in time were you in a flow state? Where did you not think about time?

Whatever that thing was, make sure you hold onto it because that is a true, honest expression of who you are and no one else can replicate that."

 

20171123 - Yehia Mishriki On Death

Yehia Mishriki! Yehia is a 63yo physician, Christian, and father. I met Dr. Mishriki during my Internal Medicine rotations and I have been quietly dogging him ever since to sit down for a conversation. And it has been worth the wait.

We discussed how his life changed over four hours: becoming a widower 28yrs ago during the birth of his second daughter. We explore his Christian faith and how his belief in perfect love helped him through the challenges of his life. And we even cover Star Trek, Near Death Experiences, and a quantum physics explanation for the existence of God.

I hope you enjoy!

Yehia is…
a father,
a widower,
and a doctor.

Before Yehia dies, he wants…
to spend more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren,
to read all of the books on his shelf,
to start going back to church,
to finish his stamp collection,
and to become a member of the American Osler Society.

When Yehia dies, he wants…
to see his wife.

After Yehia dies, he wants…
to be back with God,
and to see Matthew 25:31-46 be the Golden Rule for everyone.

In conclusion, Yehia says…
“I would recommend that you look up John Donne, the mystic poet, and read his piece that begins, “No man is an island.”

Read that, and take it to heart.

Your fellow human beings are a part of you. We are all connected, we really are all connected.”

 

20171119 - On a mish-mash of reflections

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on the busy-ness of last week, a relaxing night with friends this weekend, and approaching the halfway point of my clinical clerkships.

I hope you enjoy!

20171112 - On the cold

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on my life and give thanks. Life is wacky and keeps moving me forward, and sometimes it is nice to resist the flow to be thankful for what you have.

I hope you enjoy!

20171109 - Christina G On Death

Christina G! Christina is a 26yo future surgeon, former Christian, and current leader. She spoke at the Student Clinician's Ceremony that kicked off my third year of medical school, and ever since then I've been itching to sit down with her. In this conversation, we discuss her complicated relationship with a Christian faith, the separation of a cash register, and the importance of integrity.

I hope you enjoy!

Christina is...
a future surgeon,
and a female.

Before Christina dies, she wants...
to make an impact on the people around her.

When Christina dies, she wants...
to be content,
to not be alone,
and to be successful.

After Christina dies, she wants...
the other people in her life to be okay.

In conclusion, Christina says...
"Be true to yourself and recognize what your values are. Become self-aware of what those values are and to hold onto those things.

Hopefully those values are good values.

And don't let anybody shake those values from you."

20171105 - On giving thanks

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on my life and give thanks. Life is wacky and keeps moving me forward, and sometimes it is nice to resist the flow to be thankful for what you have.

I hope you enjoy!

20171029 - On Death, revisited

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect On Death, my interview series. A few conversations with friends have been ringing in my ears after learning about Alana Posluszny, a previous interviewee and her struggle to live after a catastrophic car accident. Her friends and family put into perspective the value of this project.

I hope you enjoy!

---

Please consider donating to Alana’s GoFundMe to help allay the costs associated with such a prolonged and demanding hospital admission.

Thank you.

https://www.gofundme.com/2dszx99c

20171026 - Cat Thomas On Death

Cat Thomas! Cat is a 32yo expressive arts facilitator, a multi-modal artist, as well as a feline and canine caretaker. I met Cat through a network of lovely humans and she happened to work at Moffitt Cancer Center, next to my University of South Florida medical education. There, she facilitates a therapeutic expressive arts experience for caregivers and patients. During this conversation, we cover her journey to this work, her adventures in grandma's forest, and why she wants to die at 103.

I hope you enjoy!

Cat is...
an artist-in-residence,
and a proud dog owner.

Before Cat dies, she wants...
the field of expressive arts to be widely known,
and kids at some point.

When Cat dies, she wants...
a lot of people to come to her funeral,
for it to be a big party,
to be 103,
and to be active up until she dies.

After Cat dies, she wants...
to leave behind a legacy.

In conclusion, Cat says...
"Everyone: keep doing what you're doing.
Fight for what you think is right.
I just hope that everyone finds a passion and a purpose for what they're doing in life cause it makes life a lot better. I have found mine, finally. Taken a while, kind of meshing a lot of things together. It's good.
That is my hope for everyone and humanity."

20171022 - On a letter from past self and to future self

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on a letter I wrote to myself one year ago and that I needed dearly. Additionally, I write another letter to future Eugene. Hopefully, I find it useful.

I hope you enjoy :)

20171015 - On my love for the physical exam

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on my inpatient neurology week and my love for the physical exam. Neurology seems to draw many potential psychiatrists, and I suspect the physical exam is a major reason why.

I hope you enjoy :)

20171012 - Sudhir M. On Death

Sudhir M! Sudhir is a 25yo third-year medical student, Indian who grew up in America, and part farmer. I met Sudhir during the first days of medical school and I am glad that he is rotating with me throughout this year of clerkships. During this conversation, we discuss his Hindu upbringing, his interest in Interventional Radiology, the case of “Jim”, and the rapid change we’ve already seen and anticipate in the world going forward.

I hope you enjoy!

Sudhir is…
an Indian who grew up in America
part farmer
part medical professional
and part human

Before Sudhir dies, he wants…
kids,
and to do a little bit of good in this world.

When Sudhir dies, he wants…
his family to not sit there crying over him.

After Sudhir dies, he wants…
to be remembered like his great-grandfather.

In conclusion, Sudhir says…
“Don’t be a huge dick.

I believe in the Golden Rule: we all want to be treated with respect and I think you should treat everyone with respect. Everyone’s a human being with their own emotions and insecurities. Just treat everyone with respect. Be nice. Keep moving forward. You never know what’s going to happen in life. It’s unpredictable and I think the best thing you can do is try to put a smile on other people's’ faces as best you can, each day.”

20171008 - On "Jim"

#LongFormSundays!

This week, I reflect on a death that I've been long awaiting. Through "Jim", I discuss the limits of modern medicine and the line between ethics, the right to die, and our self-sovereignty.

I hope you enjoy :)