January 2018

From the desk of Trudy James

Happy New Year!

Seattle celebrates the arrival of 2018 with fireworks
Seattle enters 2018 with its traditional Fireworks display from the Space Needle on New Year's Eve.
Photo by Andrzej Montaño

Our Impossible Dream!

Trudy James is introduced at Evergreen Hospice Dinner by Mark Wright, news anchor at KING TV

I have listened to many stories during the holiday season. There were stories of people losing their rights, our country losing its stature, and leaders seemingly losing their moral compass. It is easy to lose hope. I have also listened to stories from caregivers who witness patients in their 90’s who no longer know themselves or others who are kept alive in group homes required to feed them—because they have lost their ability to speak for themselves and they have no advocate. Stories of death that is slow to come when a dear one is suffering. Stories from those going through their first holiday season without a beloved parent—or child. Where is the hope here? Fortunately I have also heard hopeful stories: a friend recovers from a supposedly untreatable terminal cancer; a woman telling of her mother’s good death because the daughter attended a Speaking of Dying workshop and knew what to ask for; a caregiver who shared the film with a family seeking options for a newly-diagnosed parent; stories of families using holiday gatherings to discuss Advance Directive—with humor and with love.

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New Year Screenings and Events


10 – Benefit Comedy Show at Seattle Comedy Underground

23 - Screening at Wallingford Senior Center


24 – Pigot Hall, Seattle University Trudy James and Phyllis Schlacter at 1 pm


27 - Screening at Phinney Neighborhood Center

Buy the Film!



The following workshops are facilitated by Martha VanDeMark

Contact Martha at TransitionsNurseCoach@gmail.com 425-998-7360 to register or for more information.

Workshops will be held Thursdays beginning February 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 2:00-3:30 pm

Wallingford Community Senior Center 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Suite 140 Seattle, 98103

Speaking of Dying Bookshelf

Trudy James reviews From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty and Five Invitations from Frank Ostaseski .

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We're a Finalist!

Speaking of Dying has been named a finalist in the Snowdance Film Festival Changing Tides competition at Holden Village, February 19th-23rd, 2018..

Death with Dignity

John Shields brought a focus on the Death with Dignity movement when he attended his own wake before taking lethal drugs.

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Join us at the third anniversary celebration of the Speaking of Dying film at Seattle First Baptist Church, Saturday, April 14 from five to seven PM. .

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