Last October we posted about two great TEDMED talks related to death. The videos are now up.

The empowered, engaged patient cannot ignore this issue. Patients who’ve faced death will know why these talks on death are about being alive. It’s not a paradox; sit down for a half hour and learn why it matters.

Sekou and Steve

In October I wrote, “I can best describe [this] as a powerful jazz poetry duet about our final years and the onset of death. … They swept up the audience, evoking feelings of being dragged toward death, but pulling back, wanting to own and direct the experience. … Trying to describe this is like trying to describe …. I don’t know, surfing? Swimming? A Rolling Stones song? The words are a feeble proxy – that’s why the TED and TEDMED videos are so great. They’ll be out in a few months.”

Here’s what I meant.

Has any TED talk packed more communication into 18 minutes?? I was worn out at 10.

Alexandra Drane – Engage with Grace

Alex Drane is best known in healthcare as the founder of Eliza, a wildly innovative voice communication system that engages people in conversations about what they think is important to their health. (See Ted Eytan’s post.) What Alex thinks is important is that people live life to the fullest, with passion, and that includes every bit of owning your life. It resonates so strongly with what Sekou and Steve said.

I saw this talk in person and was moved by it, but today it had me sobbing more than before. A beautiful true story about being responsible for our deaths. It affects everyone who cares about it.

Here’s Letting Go, the Atul Gawande essay Alex cites.

Here’s the Engage With Grace website.

Please, honor the words in these powerful talks. Engage in decisions about your care, your life, your death. As Sekou said, “Rush home, and tend to your affairs.” Own your life.

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