He Said It Was His First Flight…

I Looked for the Puke Bag!


He looked to be about 50 years of age. A farmer. As I sat down next to him, he immediately told me that this was his very first time on an airplane. I must confess I looked to see if there was a puke bag in the seat pocket in front of him….just in case.  “So how are you feeling?” I asked him. “Good,” he answered. “Excited!” he continued. I smiled. I hoped it would turn out well for him – and for me – and for the young girl in the window seat next to him whom he had also informed about his first flight adventure. (more…)

Everyone Needs a Grief Friend

5 Qualities to Consider


“Why would I tell you deep things when I don’t know you?”

As a counselor and narrative therapist, I engage people who don’t know me all the time. And I want them to tell me their deepest worries and struggles.

After hearing a person’s story, I will often ask if they have a good friend. (more…)

What Are Your Goals?

A New Year’s Resolution to Die For


Why does a New Year’s resolution have to be all about “me”? Lose weight. Reduce debt. Close a big business deal. Develop your personal “SMART” goals. (more…)

4 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts That Won’t Cost You a Dime

(And they’re too big to fit under the Christmas tree)

I’ve learned about these gifts from spending time with people as they are dying.

I’m just wondering why people don’t think about these prior to their last moments of life on earth. What would happen if we chose to share these special gifts this Christmas? These are BIG gifts. (more…)

7 Strategies That Really Work to Help You Meet Your Loved One at Christmas.

Even Though They Have Died


Is Christmas difficult this year because you will be missing a loved one? Are you wondering how to manage without them? Do you feel that Christmas will be too hard to handle without their presence? The following strategies will help you to bring that person whom you are missing a little closer. (more…)

Another First

Why they continue to be important in your grief.


A young father came by the gym at which I was working out. It was Halloween. “So, is your baby daughter going out trick or treating tonight?” I asked.  “Yes, she is getting all dressed up. I’m not sure how long she will last, but it’s fun for us,” he replied. (more…)

Speaking the Same Language Is Impossible When It Comes to Dying

Do You Hear What I hear?


I recently returned from a music camp where my wife Erica was a guest choral conductor.

It was in Quebec. French was the predominate language spoken by the participants. Erica speaks it fluently, but unfortunately, I only speak English. Because of that, I often felt left out of the conversations that were taking place. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, nor was it intentional. I just couldn’t follow the conversation. (more…)

Directing Your Own Story

Why Your Dying Is Your Business


Dying is not a passive event – at least not until you are no longer able to mentally engage with with those around you.

Your life is like a storybook. It’s important to look back on your life and consider what’s been significant. What have been the highlights? The struggles? The surprises? It’s also important to look ahead and consider how your last chapter on earth might unfold in a direction that you prefer. As such, you need to take the author’s pen. (more…)

Boundaries to Die by

… Say What?


When I met my second wife, who is a native Quebecer, I discovered that people don’t really stop at stop signs in Montreal. I had to re-learn how to stop when we’d go out there to visit her family. The “stop” is closer to a “yield” than a full stop there – this is due in part to the fact that there are so many stop signs! At first, I was unsure when to stop and when to go; who was at the stop sign first; and if it was my turn to proceed. I eventually learned and became confident. (more…)