Never Stop Learning,
Because Life Never Stops Teaching.

The Web of Creativity

When I was young, I found myself drawn to creative stories, I found myself loving the imagination of those who created Marvel Comics. I was in love with Robin, wanted to marry Superman, but most importantly wanted to be Spider(wo)man. I longed for a weird accident, or bite from an insect, that might just change me into a superhero saving the world from itself. Throughout all the Marvel Comic characters, I found myself relating to Spider-man. I would put myself in dark, creepy places hoping the magical spider would bite me and I would learn to hide my true identity from the public in order to protect it. I’ve always desired to be a writer of stories. I never knew I had the talent to invoke such a destination, but I wanted it. I learned about the arc of storytelling by Stan Lee, the creator of many Marvel characters especially my beloved Peter Parker. I never knew, as a woman, I would have the honor to tell real stories. Stan Lee died this week. I found myself crying. He lived a long, creative life, but death does not discriminate. And at the age of 95, he took his last swing...

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Illinois Hospice & Palliative State Conference & C-TAC Summit

I can't express the joy it was to present at the Illinois Hospice & Palliative State Conference.  The amazing individuals I met who work at the bedside of those facing end of life are truly talented individuals and are mission driven.  I presented a leadership conference, "Taking Care of those Taking Care of those facing End of Life."  If you would like a copy of the presentation, email me at Kimberly@deathbydesign.com.           Edo, CEO NHPCO, presents at Illinois Hospice & Palliative Care Conference   In addition to the inspiring Illinois state conference, I flew to Denver to participate in C-TAC's 2018 Summit.  It was so good to see so many Friends who are paving the way to changing our we all experience end of life. And Driving Miss Norma's Tim & Ramie have been the role of National Caregiver Awareness / Educators.  It was so good to see them and Ringo.  They had a very special presentations about expanding caregiver resource awareness to all those in need of assistance.   It was awesome great to participate as a Media Sponsor for C-TAC interview Dr. Tyrone, Rich Umbdenstock, and the AARP National Volunteer Representative, Alicia Georges.  It...

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Live Well Die Well Tour – Ohio

Ohio Recap   Apple's Mom & Me remembering!       Lynn & Keith Apple Recording the season finale of Death by Design Podcast.       Bella Care Hospice - Dayton, Ohio                                        Bella Care Hospice - Columbus, Ohio The results of talking to strangers at Atlantic Beach 35 years ago equals friendship of a lifetime.  Visting the Ashby crew in Canton, Ohio on a Sunday afternoon watching football.   Meeting the coolest people in RV parks as we travel through Ohio.

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Haven’s Healing Happenstance

Since transitioning from a 1400 sq. ft. bungalow to a 29 sq. ft. Thor Freedom Elite RV, I’ve noticed a small, almost barely discernible change in the morning routine of my dog, Haven. Even though we are now into our third week of living the RV life, I only observed this change on the morning following the weekend when we were away from one another as I was in Wilmington NC for the first signing event of my book, Bridging the Gap. That morning, as the alarm rang at 6 am over the racket of the RV air condition, I tried to awaken from a deep night’s sleep to a new morning.  This is when I detected a difference in Haven’s behavior for the first time. Usually, as soon as I wake up and start shifting in my bed, Haven slowly makes her way to the head of the bed. She lays her head on my chest and nudges my hands as if asking me to rub her. Although this has been our morning routine for a while, I only just started to fully understand the meaning behind her intention. I realized that it is the touch Haven desires, not...

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“Life Matters Media” Article Highlights Author Kimberly Paul

Life Matters Media has published an interview & feature of "Bridging The Gap" author Kimberly Paul.  The article reflects on how Kimberly got involved in hospice care, and her current journey to provide insight to others into what she learned during her hospice care experiences. The article, One Woman’s ‘Rampage’ To Get Americans Talking More About Death – And A Lot Less About Money , also highlights Kimberly's recently released book, Bridging The Gap. To read the article, go to Life Matters Media.

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The Worn Path of May 7th

I wake up feeling the hurricane of unbearable loss and grief. I want to push it away because tears should not fall eighteen years later, but they do. As I toss in my bed, hoping this day will not come again, I see the clock hit 7:43am. I turn over as I hear the hollow sounds of my German Shepherd walking toward my bed. I turn to see her sweet face encouraging me to rise. The clock now reads 9:10am. I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, hoping that I’m still dreaming, but I am not.  One thing I know for sure: I can’t think my way out of this heaviness... I have to act my way out.  So, I sit up, place my feet on the old hardwood floors and lean forward.   As I slowly grab the leash, Haven starts to stretch knowing that her walk is close at hand.  I’m afraid to open the door to the outside world, to expose my raw wounded soul to a world that is abandoned, and which does not seem to have any place for old grief. As I walk toward the park, it is overcast and strangely quiet this...

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Support Death By Design Podcast

Support Death By Design Podcast. REMEMBER, YOU’RE THE DESIGNER. We must become the designer of our own destination. We must learn how to build the pathways to our last chapter by creating the blueprints that reflect our individual lives and values. During this podcast, as we share interviews with hospice and palliative care experts, authors, and artists, you will hear personal stories of caregivers inspired to create tools to help others with their own end of life journey as well as share intimate stories of those facing a serious illness.  By sharing these stories and information, we hope you will learn how to design, plan and embrace your own end of life. Click to Donate Now!  

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My Great Aunt Grey

I lost my great Aunt Grey last month.  She would have been 100 years old on her next birthday.   Laughter is one of the greatest gifts she taught me. In Memory of My Aunt Grey .... Let me Die Laughing We are all dying, our lives always moving toward completion. We need to learn to leave with death, and to understand that death is not the worst of all events. We need to fear not death, but life--- Empty lives, Loveless lives, Lives that do not build upon gifts that each of us has been given, Lives that are living deaths, lives which never take the time to savor and appreciate, Lives in which we never pause to breathe deeply. What we need to fear is not death, but squandering the lives we have been miraculously given. So let me die laughing, savoring one of life's crazy moments. Let me die holding the had of one I love, and Recalling that I tried to love and was loved in return. Let me die remembering that life has been good, and I did what I could. But today, just remind me that I am dying, so that I can live,...

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The Backpack

What is grief to you? For me, grief is a backpack packed with 200 pounds of large rocks zipped up in its pouch. My backpack is very heavy to carry at times. Knowing I can never put my backpack down, it, at times, saddens and disheartens me. My backpack has become part of my permanent shadow. Some days, I can’t shoulder the weight. It is hard to even function and many times I can’t recall my life without my backpack. Over time, the load seems to feel lighter, but I still carry the same 200 pounds of rock. With each passing day, my body adjusts. I become stronger and my heart begins to feel again. It may be a week, a month or many years before the heaviness of the load in my backpack is lifted. Carrying my backpack has forced me into a rebirth of sorts; a rebirth to a different and unrecognizable life that leads to moving beyond something … or someone. Like giving birth, I am laboring through the heavy, dark weight of my backpack to hear the cry of life once more. For me, grief is a backpack full of heavy rocks that can never be put down....

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The Apple Effect – A Journey to Finding Closure

  The summer of 2000 found me working with hospice in a small closet office off Wellington Drive in Wilmington, NC. Knowing Apple had graduated from the FBI academy over a year ago and was relocating to Salt Lake City, I was trying to move on with my life. And although I was dating again, something was still missing. I needed to find closure and come to terms with the end of our relationship. Before the days of Google, I sat at my desk, picked up the phone and dialed 411 for Salt Lake City’s information line. I asked for Apple’s number, and it was given to me. Hesitating just a moment, I picked up the phone and called. “You’ve reached the Apple’s resident, we are not home right now,” a woman’s voice said over the answering machine. “Please leave a message.” I hung up. It would be years later before I found out the truth about Apple. Instead of him getting married and moving on with his life as I had assumed, he had died just two months prior to me making that call. I had even unknowingly dialed the wrong number. Although all of my assumptions were wrong,...

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