Lessons for the Living from the Brink of Death
How to take life one ephemeral dinner party at a time, or why hope is a gift of the hopeless.
By Maria Popova
Lessons for the Living is a poignant documentary by Lily Henderson exploring the unique subculture of hospice volunteers as they contemplate their own philosophies of life and death. This grounding excerpt from the film follows Kathleen, who is both a hospice volunteer and a hospice patient. She has been preparing for her own death for over a decade, but has managed to master that art of living from sheer presence — a powerful lesson, indeed, for the rest of us.
I’ve talked to people who say they feel sorry for me for not having any hope. I say, hope is a thief. I am living today as fully as I am able.”
Kathleen has since passed away.
Published September 28, 2011