I’m going to die.

One day, and whether I like it or not, I won’t have a choice. Neither will you, your best friend or worst enemy. If we could invest in the inevitability, we’d all be rich. The problem is; dying isn’t sexy and it doesn’t sell, while fear, denial and escapism is the defining hustle of our time. Di-agnosis? Death needs a makeover, a re-brand, stat!

Enter Dr. Michael Dworkind. He’s the dude you want by your side when your time is up. After our heart-to-pounding-heart, I’m good to go. A renowned family physician and global peace activist, Michael is a passionate Palliative Care pioneer who believes, above all, in life before death. A child of holocaust survivors who almost checked out twice (back-packing in the Sahara and that time his car hugged a tree), this unstoppable JewBu came to the dying biz honestly and with a hopeful vision for the terminally ill: the possibility of a good death. Can you imagine?

Alive at 29,321ft on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Alive at 29,321 feet, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

As Michael says, death is just a split-second in time. Everything that comes before it- is life. And it is quality of life that he and his crack, multi-disciplinary team celebrate on the PC ward at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. What happens there is healing through dying. Compassion. Finding closure, forgiveness, acceptance; saying thank you and goodbye. People get body/mind/soul care, creative outlets and the knowledge they won’t be abandoned or overly burdened by pain. One young golden boy famously referred to his last months on the ward as the best time of his life. Healing is an everyday phenomenon.

It can be very joyful. Michael smiles. My hunch is his food tastes better, he cries and sings more than most, and dances into the wee hours of every day. As he tells his medical students, some of whom he hopes to recruit: Life is a chronic disease. It’s terminal and it’s sexually transmitted. He knows he has them if they laugh.

Dr. Feelgood cycles every day, every season to Palliative Care.

Dr. Feelgood cycles every day, every season to Palliative Care.

Now, if you’re smiling, tell me: how you would like to die?

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The good doctor writes, too: Creating Hope in a Hopeless Situation

Wherever you are, sign up for a version of Michael’s pet project: The Living Will and Mandate, and enjoy the day.

Click here to see Dr. Feelgood on Huffington Post!

Click here to see Dr. Feelgood re-posted on Montreal’s culti online magazine The Rover. Show them some love!

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I can’t stop blogging about life and death. Here’s just a few…

Life or Death      Life or Death 2        Born to be Wild   All Living Things   All Living Things2

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GOOD NEWS FLASH: Hyperbole and A Half is back to astound us with one of the most affecting looks at depression I have ever seen. Join me and her legions of fans who rejoice that she’s alive!

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