End of life

Reflections on the physical, psychological, emotional, cultural, religious, ethical, legal and financial needs of people at the end of life illuminate what it means to be human in all of its variation. The diversity found in those experiences reflects differences in beliefs and values, as well as inequities in access to resources across and within societies.

I have been teaching an innovative undergraduate course annually for SFU Gerontology on Death and Dying since 2015. The course has benefitted from the intergenerational learning promoted by the inclusion of Continuing Studies 55+ students. Additionally, I was invited to organize and chair a panel, Creative Care Approaches to Dying and Death in Diverse Communities at the 25th Annual John Friesen Conference and I serve as an advisor on Continuing Studies’ End of Life Certificate Program. I have reflected on lessons learned from teaching this course in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and societal responses to it in an opinion piece for the GRC News, ‘Learning about the importance of caring in life through death: Pandemic insights.’