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Find a community to make sense of grief and loss at End Well 2023 at the Skirball

[additional-authors]
November 6, 2023
End Well 2023

The world is mourning. In the days and the weeks since the October 7th attacks on Israel, our conversations with others have been shaped by our collective grief over the loss of life. But how many of our conversations explicitly address our grief? How often do we pause to reflect on our own mortality? Grief education, community and support matter at times like this. End Well, a nonprofit organization dedicated to guiding people through end-of-life, grief, and caregiving, is hosting a series of candid conversations about end-of-life at a highly-anticipated event at the Skirball on November 16th, 2023.

By bringing unexpected conversations about death and dying out into the open, End Well aims to change how we perceive the final stages of life and reduce stigmas around difficult topics like grief, serious illness, and caregiving. End Well was founded by renowned physician and Oscar-nominated “End Game” film producer Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, who became concerned that we’ve become a “death-denying culture,” where we’re increasingly disconnected from the dying process, especially younger generations. 

Conversations about death have the potential to enrich our lives significantly. Dr. Ungerleider argues that talking about death empowers us to advocate for ourselves, ensuring our end-of-life wishes are respected, and provides comfort in knowing someone will speak for us when we can’t. These discussions may seem daunting, but they can offer solace and reassurance when shared with loved ones. In a lot of ways, the fragility and finite nature of life can make it even more beautiful. “Living with the sense of perspective that life is finite helps me to really remember that the small things in life matter,” Dr. Ungerleider says. 

These conversations offer rewards beyond personal growth. They deepen connections with loved ones and sometimes even bring humor and joy. The End Well event in Los Angeles features a diverse lineup of 25 voices, including celebrities like comedian Tig Notaro and TV host Amanda Kloots, palliative care pioneer Dr. Ira Byock, grief expert and best-selling author Claire Bidwell Smith and many others who will share their wisdom on topics ranging from death rituals to media portrayals of mortality and the role of psychedelics at life’s end.

To see the end of life as an integral part of our existence, as Dr. Ungerleider puts it, is “critical for living a good life.” The End Well event provides a platform for this profound perspective shift. Whether you’ve experienced loss, been a caregiver, or seek deeper meaning in life, you will find insights in this convening that resonate with your own experiences and can shape the conversations you have with loved ones at the most difficult times. In these challenging times, it’s important to find new communities and ideas to connect with — especially those that remind us that we have the power to shape our own narratives, and our collective resilience and healing can shine through even in the face of crisis.

View the End Well 2023 agenda, including a full list of speakers, and get your tickets to their event here. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for more updates.

 

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