Hospice as an Answer to Ecocide

A deeply felt response to the ongoing crisis we face as a planet, at once personal as well as with insight into the challenges ahead for us all. To quote Kenn regarding hospice, “It speaks the language of kindness, mercy and compassion to a world glaringly bereft of all three. It generously applies a healing balm to the wounds inflicted by injustice, cruelty and war. In no way is this “giving up.” On the contrary, it is a resounding battle cry against the death machine of industrial civilization.”

Kenn Orphan

When I started working with the terminally ill over 20 years ago I had not made the connection between the hospice approach to individual human suffering at the end of life and that of our embattled and dying ecosystem. I first encountered the idea of viewing the earth, and all who inhabit it, on hospice when I began reading the work of Guy Mcpherson, professor emeritus of natural resources and the environment at the University of Arizona, and the writings of author Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.   I now see the same patterns of misery, denial, angst, terror, empathy, alienation and actualization that define our own personal response to grief mirrored in our collective condition as a species. And I have come to believe that this model is the best response to the catastrophe of climate change, mass species extinction and the self-destructive nature of industrial civilization.

Photographer Adnan Abidi  Reuters(Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

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Saying Goodbye


Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through the black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink
the secret water, cold and clear
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

– David Whyte


BILL WATTERSON: A cartoonist’s advice (from Zen Pencils)

Read more about this artist and his tribute to Bill Watterson HERE


Ask Yourself

83. HOWARD THURMAN: Ask yourself