Karen Bussen welcomes author Sallie Tisdale for a chat about accepting help when you need it, why being morbid isn’t what you think, and why you should choose a healthcare proxy who’s also kind of a badass.
Dying: "A No Bulls*** Zone"
Host Karen Bussen has a lively conversation with the brilliant Sallie Tisdale, palliative care nurse, Buddhist, and author of the revolutionary guidebook, “Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them.” Tisdale offers her special brand of uplifting straight talk—how to cultivate an attitude of "curiosity and acceptance" around the topic of death, leaving emotional baggage behind when a loved one is dying, and what’s on her own surprisingly delightful death-bed playlist (hint: there’s comedy).
Sallie Tisdale is an award-winning author of nine books, including the magnificent “Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them,”
A Note from Karen:
When I was first researching the kernel of an idea that was in my head to create a space for inspiring content and conversation about end-of-life issues, I gave myself two months just to do an initial deep dive into the subject. I sought out innovators, websites, and of course, books. One of the first books I came across was Sallie Tisdale's "Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them," and to be honest, I was almost reluctant to read it because I had heard that it featured a straightforward discussion of "processes." I'm just not scienc-y at all, and frankly, I had always been someone who just sort of glossed over the idea of dying (it didn't fit with my bon vivant lifestyle!) and I certainly never felt capable of thinking about it deeply...until I read this book.
I was on an airplane, traveling above the clouds--a sort of heavenly place in which to start a book such as this one, and I just remember being completely captivated by the beauty of the language and the reverence for every single aspect of life, including the moments that lead up to--and surround--death itself.
This book changed my life and it began my fascination with one of life's most personal journeys. So I really have Sallie Tisdale to thank for helping me begin my own Farewelling adventure. The incredible thing is, whereas I originally balked at the idea of working within this field because "I'm bubbly" or "upbeat" or whatever nonsense I was thinking at the time, what I realized is that allowing just a little bit of mortality awareness into our lives brings joy and vibrancy to every day. I have never felt more alive, nor more grateful for every moment.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who is seeking to learn more about this universal human experience we all must navigate individually, even when we are among friends.