"Let me tell you about my mother...."
This was the most common response I heard when I described the Heart-to-Heart project to friends and strangers alike. It seems that practically everyone has had a personal experience of death, and many are looking for a safe and meaningful arena in which to discuss it. And that makes sense, since the population is aging and record numbers of baby boomers are caring for dying parents. As a culture, however, we have not provided many avenues for people to explore and discuss this issue before it is thrust upon them. There is a genuine and growing need for public conversations about end-of-life care and how we as a society can help people find a path to a good death.
Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying aims to bridge that gap. The series draws from over 80 hours of tape and includes remarkable moments with people who are facing death, their families and those who are helping them along the journey. While the stories are personal, the themes are universal as we all struggle to come to terms with the passing of friends, family members, and ultimately, ourselves.
Program I: Beyond Pain focuses on making death less painful, as a large percentage of Americans die today in severe and unnecessary pain.
Program II: Children Sometimes Die examines the kind of support that families need during this unbelievably difficult experience.
Program III: Respecting Diversity looks at the influence of culture, race and religion on dying, and how the assumptions behind "good end-of-life care" do not necessarily match the needs of people who are not white and middle class.
Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying is compelling, sound-rich radio that brings wisdom, compassion, and common sense to the dialogue over how to live well in the face of death.
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"This is well-crafted, high quality material. The subject is handled with provocative elegance. WGBH has scheduled the three-part series and is always looking for high quality, deep content, independently produced radio programs to share with our discriminating audience." - Steve Charbonneau, Program Manager WGBH-FM Boston
"This is the kind of program I like to offer my listeners --- interesting, insightful, easy to follow with good production values" - Bill Anderson, Program Director KCUR-FM Kansas City