My grandfather, Philip Dwight Baker, was born on February 7, 1929. He would’ve been 95 this week. Just as he thought he was done rearing children, he and my grandmother stepped in to raise me when my parents couldn’t. He couldn’t always live on his own terms, but he got to leave on them.
Alongside my grandmother, mother, and aunt, I had the privilege of sitting with him in hospice during his last days. It was a rowdy week of takeout, reminiscing, family reunions, online shoe shopping, laughter, and tears. It was one of the most meaningful weeks of my life and one of the greatest honors of my life to be in that room.
Today, as part of our month-long series on grief, I am joined by Stefanie Elkins, Founder of Be Present Care and Death Over Drafts where she fosters candid and courageous conversations with individuals, families, and caregivers about end-of-life planning.
In this conversation, Stefanie and I discuss:
How my multi-generational household normalizes death, dying, and last wishes
What Stefanie learned about her father by playing a “lively party game” called The Death Deck
How to meet people where they are when broaching sensitive topics like death and dying
Why life and death are labors of love, and the types of support needed during these times
How to navigate complex emotions when making end-of-life decisions
How I’m training now to be the old lady that I want to become
If you’re a paid subscriber of this podcast, please join Stefanie and me for a conversation on Advanced Care Planning and end-of-life decisions on February 15 at noon ET. (Check your inbox for an invitation.)
The Uplifters is a listener-supported publication. To receive invites to intimate, virtual monthly conversations with our guests and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Stefanie Elkins has over 15 years of diverse non-profit experience in the eldercare field. “To meet individuals where they are,” Stefanie started, Be Present Care, where she facilitates and guides caregiving and end-of-life conversations and educates and develops care plans and programs for families, healthcare, and senior-focused professionals and organizations. Before starting her own company, Stefanie served as the Medical Outreach Manager, an integral part of the Compassion & Choices California Campaign team where she assisted in passing and then implementing the California End of Life Option Act that was authorized in 2015.
Stefanie also founded Death over Drafts, a community event held at breweries to spark conversation, connection and conversation around death and dying. She is a compassionate, dedicated & resourceful connector who welcomes opportunities to support and navigate life transitions.
Thank you tofor nominating Stefanie as an Uplifter.
Please join Alyse, me, and a host of other Uplifters on May 17 for Uplifters Live. You can learn all about it HERE.