Choosing to Die
July 26, 2017
Hosted by Cheryl Jones
Phyllis Shacter's husband made a series of radical choices about how his life would end. When he received two life limiting diagnoses within six weeks of each other, Alzheimers and cancer, he refused cancer treatment and employed natural methods instead. He planned and participated in his own funeral and followed what he believed was best for him, choosing to stop eating and drinking before he was unable to consciously decide how his life would end. Throughout all of these experiences and decisions, he had a supporter and advocate in his wife Phyllis. Understanding the choices he was making, she stood as a pillar to his right to end life in the way that was right for him. He left her with a mission; by sharing his story, she would contribute to the conversation on end of life options. Powered by her love of him and the peace and beauty he felt at the end of his life, she speaks powerfully for taking our lives in our own hands and fully exploring what is best for each of us.
Good Grief with Cheryl Jones
Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
On Good Grief we explore the losses that define our lives. Each week, we talk
with people who have transformed themselves through the profound act of
grieving. Why settle for surviving? Say yes to the many experiences that embody
loss! Grief can teach you where your strengths are, and ignite your courage. It
can heighten your awareness of what is important to you and help you let go of
what is not.
On Good Grief, we are inspired by people who have made something miraculous out of their deepest heartaches! We listen as they share how they have walked through their own exquisite pain and what they have gained as a result. We come away ready to follow our own dreams to a deeper, more meaningful time on this beautiful earth! Listen for Good Grief, broadcast live every Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.
Cheryl Jones is a grief counselor. During her education as a Marriage and Family
Therapist, her first wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which was at the
time a uniformly terminal illness with a six month to one year prognosis. In the
eight years that followed, Cheryl engaged daily in the work of preparing for her
death. She received training during this period from Stephen and Ondrea Levine
(Who Dies and Grieving Into Life and Death) and Richard Olney (founder of Self-Acceptance Training). After her wife’s death, Cheryl immersed herself in her own multifaceted grief, surprised by frequent moments of joy.
Cheryl is a consultant and group leader at the Free Therapy Program of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. She has trained extensively with Erving Polster, leader in the field of gestalt therapy and author of Everybody’s Life is worth a Novel. She was Clinical Director at the Alternative Family Project, which served the therapeutic needs of LGBTQ families in San Francisco. She also wrote a column called Motherlines for the San Francisco Bay Times and ran Considering Parenthood groups for the LGBT community.
Before becoming a therapist, Cheryl enjoyed careers as a musician, a restaurant owner and a carpenter. She still enjoys singing with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, eating food in outstanding Bay Area locations and remodeling her Craftsman. She lives with her wife in Oakland, California and especially savors time with her family and friends.