tall ship going into the sunset

Why Say That Everyone Dies?

Marianne Matzo, PhD, FAAN – Podcast Host

Life is simple.  We are born…we live…we die.  We can make it so much more complicated than that, but I’m not really sure that doing so enhances our lives.

Our birthday is a time for celebration.  Most of our parents were excited at the prospect of our birth, prepared for it, dreamed about who we would be, and what their child would be like.  Each year on our birthday it’s traditional to have cake and gifts to celebrate that we were born.

When I worked in a hospital it would play Brahms Lullaby over the loudspeaker whenever a baby was born, and everyone would stop and acknowledge that there was a birth. When someone died, there was no song played, no moment of contemplation about a soul leaving this earth.  It was unacknowledged.

If you could have a song played in a hospital when someone dies, what song would that be?

Let us know in the comments below!

We may prefer to pretend that death is something to be fought against and “beat”, especially in the face of life threatening or life limiting illnesses. 

The truth is that everyone dies.  We don’t really know what it means to die (other than we are not on this earth), are unsure of where we go or if we go anywhere.  Each religion and culture have their own belief about this, but until someone dies and comes back to give us the details, we each have our beliefs to hold on to. But these beliefs do not negate the reality of our mortality.  The human body is made to die of something, at an unknown time.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

~Marie Curie

There are many handbooks for living and some information about dying and death.  I have found that working in palliative care many people have the same need for information with certain individual twists. I want to offer the opportunity to learn about mortality, chronic illness, dying, and death based on my 42 years of working as a nurse. We want to answer your questions, talk about the details of something very few people want to talk about and fewer want to do.

Why did we select a tall ship as our logo? It symbolizes this journey with a sense of dignity and adventure. The poem Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke below paints a beautiful metaphor that has comforted many patients and families through the years.

Gone from My Sight by Henry Van Dyke.
Photo by Yousef Jheir

Every day is a gift.  Learn what you need to know to make the best decisions for your life and death based on known scientific principles. We will go on this journey with you if you let us. 

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1 comment
  • I think Premenade from Mussorgky’s pictures at an exhibition would be a fantastic song to celebrate life, and also symbolizes movement to another “scene.”
    https://youtu.be/_5r8sa863Ts

    A close second would be Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare to Common Man.

Further reading

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The death of a child is a life-altering event for parents, leading to grief that is individual, intense, and long-lasting. The death of a child goes against the “natural” order of life. The young are supposed to outlive the old. It radically changes...

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Episode 33: Grieving Your Child’s Death

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S1E51: Odds and Ends

Marianne is out this week to rest her voice. Charlie stepped in to do a newsreel-style episode full of information on scams, magic mushrooms, Alzheimer's and dementia (even pets), preparation, poems, and can't-miss movies!

Episode 32: Aging Parents and Health Care Decisions

Our guest Connie Baker has degrees in Family Relations and Child Development. Through the years she has studied different healing modalities and exploring how people heal. She is a HeartMath Mentor and Certified Healing Touch Practitioner. After...

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S1E50: Writing an Obituary

Writing an obituary can be a challenge. An obituary is the story of a life – and writing one is an important way to honor and celebrate that life.  Where do you start? We have some tips on ways to memorialize a loved one (or represent...

Join our mailing list!

Get updates to keep you informed of our latest posts!

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible, never for marketing. Read our full Privacy Policy here.