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A Tough Subject: Expert On Death, Dying, And Hospice Care Set To Speak On South Coast


It’s an often difficult issue for us to face, and something we can be reluctant to talk about. It’s the subject of death, and dying. Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddist teacher and caregiver who’s considered one of the world’s leading experts on how we deal with death, and dying. Halifax is speaking in Santa Barbara this week at a sold out Hospice of Santa Barbara event.

Halifax has written a number of books in which she emphasizes an idea which she calls “being with dying.” The author and lecturer believes for many of us, or relationship with death changes as we get older, and we become more comfortable with the subject.

Still, Halifax says for some, the subject creates fear.

The author and spiritual leader says while caregiving for someone who is dying can be difficult and demanding, it can also be rewarding in its own ways. She says we often become closer to those who are departing. Halifax says she hopes to get people talking about death, and through that process taking away some of the fear.

She says some communities are fortunate to have resources available like Hospice of Santa Barbara, which can help provide care, and perhaps more importantly help with support services for the dying, and their family and friends.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.