Humbled by “Finish Strong” Author’s Interview for Bevival

May 10, 2019

Devorah Medwin is a truly gifted interviewer. I felt honored to share practical insights and deep reflections with her. I sat at my garden window as we talked and was startled to see two bald eagles soar past! Now that is a powerful interviewer!

Find an excerpt below from, and read the full interview here.

DM: What brought you to the world of aging and end of life?

I didn’t have a lot of experiences with death growing up, but when I went to nursing school, I learned how to practice nursing, become a companion on the raw edge of human existence.

DM: What is the one lesson you wish everyone could get in life, and at the end of life?

That awareness of mortality enriches the gift of life. I believe being on speaking terms with our mortality helps move us through life with a certain humility, a certain sense of comradeship with our fellow humans. In some way, we are all doing the best we can with the tools we’ve been given. I’ve harbored the idea that a working relationship with our mortality could lead to a more peaceful world.

DM: What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

I love a little poem by Raymond Carver: “And did you find what you wanted in this life after all. I did. And what did you want. To call myself beloved to feel myself beloved on the earth.” It might be my epitaph.

DM: What are you reading, what’s on your bedside table?

I like Jungian Psychology quite a bit and love Egypt. Right now there are two books on my bedside table: Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett and The Sungod’s Journey through the Netherworld: Reading the Ancient Egyptian Amduat, it’s the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

DM: What’s the big message in your book?

“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.” Do what requires the most of you and the least of medicine. Don’t give away your power, your moral authority— own your values, When you embrace your moral authority, you shape your own death. Value-based questions are not questions that can be solved by a technical expert, they come out of your depths. You’ve got this. People have been dying and helping each other die for millennia.

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