Let’s talk about death. Your death. How will it happen. Where. When? Are you ready? We spend countless hours preparing to enter life’s major events—partnership, birth, new job, new home—and almost no time preparing to exit. For one weekend, guided by Dr. BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger, we will turn our attention to our emotional and practical readiness for death. You will be asked to share stories, write letters to loved ones, walk through the woods to learn how nature dies, fill out an advance directive, consider your physical and digital footprint, and leave with a “when I die” file worthy of displaying on your coffee table.
Shoshana got her start as a writer for a magazine called Bikini (no jokes) for whom she interviewed Jeff Buckley and Allen Ginsburg. That led to writing for the New York Times, SPIN, WIRED, and a stint as the editorial director (more like “cool-hunter”) for Young & Rubicam. With little more than a fuzzy idea and a boil in the blood, she went on to found ReadyMade, a national do-it-yourself design magazine. The venture was funded by 10 credit cards. (Her credit rating is excellent). ReadyMade was a finalist for National Magazine Awards in 2005 and 2006. After co-authoring the book ReadyMade: How to Make Almost Everything (Clarkson Potter), she sold the business to the Meredith Corp., publisher of Better Homes & Gardens. Shoshana then joined WIRED as director of special projects in 2011, and launched a new website, WIRED Design. She landed at IDEO in 2013 as editorial director and hasn’t looked back.
Dr. Miller is an advocate for a healthcare system that minimizes unnecessary suffering and maximizes quality of life. An Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Miller is also an attending specialist for the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the country’s very first outpatient palliative care clinics. He was Executive Director of Zen Hospice Project from 2011-2016.
Dr. Miller was recently featured in the New York Times Magazine and his TED Talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,” has over five million views and is a moving reflection of his vision to make empathic end-of-life care available to all.