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TEDx - Changing The Face Of Death

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Lisa Solis DeLong is a mother, registered nurse, bereavement facilitator, author and inspirational speaker. Her memoir, BLOOD Brothers, was released in 2011 and is touching the hearts of thousands of readers from laypersons to nursing students. Lisa's first-born son, Justin, died at the age of 15, after a ten-year remission from leukemia, then six years later her youngest son, Jacob, was also diagnosed with leukemia. Jacob has completed treatments and is now a healthy teenager. She hosts Death Café Santa Clarita, a gathering, as part of a global social franchise promoting awareness about death related issues. Lisa lives in Santa Clarita with her husband of 33 years, her 17-year-old son and her ten-pound "therapist" Poochini. She enjoys hiking, turning broken items into beautiful mosaics and most of all ballroom dancing.

-- Death is a taboo subject. Lisa DeLong takes on this difficult topic by honestly addressing her own grief experience. Having had two sons with the same non-familial leukemia, one living and one gone, DeLong poignantly shares how her need to "get-along-with grief" led her to change the way she views death. As a result of processing the events of her sons' illnesses and through the voices of other dying children she has known, she began to see herself not as a victim of a bullying God, but as a participant in a soulful life.

Death is the beginning of grief both for adults and children. By not rushing to "get over it," a common societal norm, DeLong proposes that we allow ourselves, and the children around us, the space we need to feel every aspect of grief as it surfaces throughout our lives. By opening ourselves up we discover new, and profound understandings of who we are and why we are here. Sharing our death related experiences connects us with others, expands our awareness, and creates a community where we see ourselves as whole.

With a nurses heart for easing suffering during bereavement, DeLong shares that dispelling the victim mentality changed the face of death from an evil menace robbing her of lifelong dreams to that of a tender friend performing a necessary service in the fulfillment of her soul's plan. This change in perspective allows DeLong to wholeheartedly embrace a life of gratitude and joy surprising even to her.

-- In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.



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