Why “At least…” is the least helpful response

This lovely, very short animation by Ben Shannon illustrates an excerpt from one of my conversations with Dr Brian Goldman for CBC’s ‘White Coat, Black Art.’

It can be so hard to find the right words when someone is deeply distressed. That’s because there usually aren’t any right words: there is nothing we can say that will make things ‘better.’ But we can stay present. We can say ‘I’m sorry. This is so upsetting. I can’t fix it, but I can stay here and keep you company for a while…’

Ben has caught these ideas beautifully in this animation. The whole episode is on my ‘podcasts’ page (or just click here).

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Hospice UK Closing Plenary, 2018

Death Stories: truth and consolation


We have always used stories to help us understand ourselves, our life experiences and the challenges of human existence. For this lecture at the Hospice UK national conference, I began by looking at the way humans using storytelling to create a safe space for discussing our most profound experiences. This talk underlines why I’ve chosen storytelling as my campaign tool, and it invites everyone in the room, and you who are reading/watching now, to share your stories.

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McGill Council on Palliative Care, Montreal: Public Lecture

It was an enormous honour to be invited to deliver a public lecture by the McGill Council onĀ  Palliative Care in Montreal, Canada, in September 2023.

We were the guests of the Jewish Hospital in Montreal, and it was a pleasure to meet members of the Council, staff engaged in palliative care around Quebec Province, and interested members of the public.

Here’s the lecture, with a n introduction to the work of the Council from John Sanford, Co-Chair of the Council, and a welcome by Co-Chair Suzanne O’Brien. Thanks to them both for making me so welcome.

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Dying for Beginners

This is a beautiful short video, created by Theos Think Tank.
I wrote and recorded the simple script, and Theos commissioned the beautiful artwork and animation by Emily Downe and Martha Halliday, with original music composed by Jan Willem de With.
I hope it will help lots of people to understand more, and be less afraid, about dying.


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TEDx Newcastle talk ‘What Happens As We Die?’

Since this talk was launched online (on TED and YouTube) it has received more than 1 million views.

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