Facing Death to Live Fully

Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today I speak with Ed Bastian. Ed is a Buddhist scholar, teacher, and filmmaker. He is president of The Spiritual Paths Foundation, an organization which provides retreats classes and advanced programs on interfaith studies, as well as the co-author of the Sounds True book, Living Fully, Dying Well: Reflecting on Death to Find Your Life’s Meaning. I spoke with Ed about what he calls, “the gift of death” what science tells us about consciousness outside the body, and the transformation that comes in our life when we face death full-on.

Tami Simon: O.K. Ed, let’s talk about dying.

Ed Bastian: Great.

Tami Simon: No, I know. Now I imagine when saying something like that, listeners might think, “Come on, I don’t want to talk about dying, I want to talk about living.” And yet, in your work you make this direct connection between reflecting on dying, and living fully, and I wonder if we can start right there. For you, what’s the relationship between full living and contemplating or dying.

Ed Bastian: Tami, I wish I had a good one liner for you. Sometimes people say, “What’s the book about?” And they say, “You know you need an elevator speech on this, you need something that you can walk in and make people see it, you know, get it in a couple of lines.” Occasionally I’ve worked on a couple of lines to do that, but then I always forget what they were, and so I feel like in order to do that it takes some unpacking and some conversation which I trust we’re going to be able to do. I think that, personally, and I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious, or overstating it in some grandiose way, like trying to sell something, or make a pitch, but through my process with my own, uh, the first case I guess in a sense I did die, technically. The second time I was really close to it. They said I was going to, and so I was able to put a lot of my own effort into, you know, my preparation. Uh, now I feel really grateful. I feel that death as we, you know, that word death is something for which I am really grateful. Because it has helped me to focus attention on living—every day, every moment, every hour, and to living fully, and always we can unpack that word, “fully.” I don’t think that I would have had that experience without being, I guess having death affect me so personally and then having such a positive experience, you know, with it and after it, such that now I can say that love and death are the greatest gifts of our life and most of us leave them unopened. I’ve learned, maybe even more than love, about opening the gift of death.

Tami Simon: Now what do you mean by that—opening the gift of death? Also Ed, if you can tell us a little bit, you said that when you died, meaning that you had a near death experience?

Ed Bastian: Yes, I did. It gave the rationale for me personally to do a major program in Aspen as part of our Spiritual Paths Foundation on the subject of dying. But I had had an experience several years before…completely unexpected. I walked into the house on a winter night in Woody Creek Colorado where I was living and I walked into the house with a dear friend of mine after a meeting that we were having with our community. We cracked open a couple of beers and started to talk and I put my foot inside a slipper and I got stung by one of those winter dormant wasps that sometimes we see crawling around window sills in the winter trying to get the heat of the sun. I just thought nothing of it, because I’d been stung before and never had any adverse reaction to it, but as it turned out in about seven minutes, I was gone. My friend called 911 and 911 rushed out. My neighbor, the late author Hunter Thompson, heard about it over the police radio from my friend the sheriff and he ran up and tried to save my life by giving me mouth to mouth respiration and pounding on me, and um none of that worked and luckily the EMT got there and they were able to bring me back to life, so that was my wake up call.

Tami Simon: And so from that experience you’re now able to say something like, “Death had a gift for you.”

Ed Bastian: Yes

Tami Simon: And, I mean I understand the idea that now you relish more each moment of being alive, but is it more that than for you?

Ed Bastian: I sort of recognized when I was saying that that it may have sounded a little trite because you hear people say that. It’s more than that in the sense that…well, the other things that sound trite, which were also true for me. I was–especially after this experience and the one after it– I was so much more in the moment, each moment of my living. I was so much more empathic with other people. I had a more natural kind of compassion that I used to meditate on and pray for and wish that I had. It seems to be more spontaneous. I was doing things like being on time for meetings…

Tami Simon: Now that is a miracle.

Ed Bastian: …Which seems really mundane, but I became more interested in other people. And so that was part of living fully. I felt that I related to people on a much different level after that.

Tami Simon: Now you mentioned after this near death experience that you had some kind of second experience with death. Can you describe what that was?

Ed Bastian: Well yes, um, after the first one, shortly after the first experience I sold my business. It was that kind of wake up call. I said, OK, you’ve created a business, it was an internet company. It’s time you need to move back into your main passion of your life, which is the subject of spirituality. Because years before that I had done my doctorate in Buddhist studies and had been working on Buddhism as my primary spiritual formation for many, many years. When I moved back to Colorado from Washington D.C. I needed to make a living in the mountains and so it became the internet business, which was sort at the beginning of the growth of that industry. So after my death experience I realized that I needed to get back to my primary purpose of life and passion and that had to do with spirituality and transformation. So I started the foundation, and then one of our early programs was on this subject because I needed to learn more about it now. We invited great teachers who are in the book, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, , and, Dr. Ira Biak who is the leader of the palliative hospice care movement in the United States, and Mother Tessa Bilecki, and Joan Halifax, and myself and Tina Staley, the co-author of the book. I learned so much from that conference because they were talking about…and we called the conference “Living Fully.” So the unpacked the dying experience for each of them personally and according to their specific faith traditions as to how to their traditions look at this and what do they do as individuals within that tradition to prepare themselves for dying and to live as fully through the dying process, consciously through the dying process, as part of their spiritual practice. I had that wonderful opportunity to be with them. We recorded the talks, we transcribed the talks, we began editing the talks and then I had my second experience a year later after a skiing accident up in Ashcroft above Aspen. Just a simple little mundane fall, and I fell backwards on my cross-country skis hit something very hard and broke my hip and that turned into an operation, and then the operation spun off blood clots into my lungs, unbeknownst to me, and when we were doing one of our Spiritual Paths programs in Santa Barbara, where I’m talking to you from now, I was rushed to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. In the emergency room they gave me the CAT scan, or whatever it was and he said, “You know, you’ve got huge clots just in the worst places they could possibly be in your lung”, and I was in such pain I could barely breathe. The doctor then said, “There’s a really good chance that we’re not going to be able to save you, because they’re just in the very worst place. We’re going to give you morphine. We’re going to give you blood thinners and we’re going to have to hope for the best. If they go to the wrong place, there’s nothing I can do.” So, you know, at that point I had had not only my first death experience, but then my preparation through our conference, you know that the book is about. That really helped me to then live fully through that second experience. It was a very profound experience for me and I think that added to the gift of it.

Tami Simon: This idea that someone might want to be prepared for their moment of death. What do you think creates that kind of preparation, what do we need to be prepared for?

Ed Bastian: Well, I think there are different views on that. What do we need to be prepared for? I mean we need to be prepared for a sudden death that we have no control over, when we have no consciousness, when we just, we’re gone—Bam! We need to be prepared for dying in our sleep. We need to be prepared for a long illness, a diagnosis. We need to be prepared for the pain. We need to be prepared for the fear. We need to be prepared for the loneliness and the sadness at the loss of our loved ones and their loss of us, since if we have kids or others that depend on us, that we won’t there to help them. We need to be prepared for the last moments, when we’re taking our last breaths and prepared with our mind, let’s say from a spiritual perspective, what are we going to be doing internally during that whole process? And what are we going to be doing internally at that last moment? Again, how are we going to be living fully up to and through the experience of the end of our own life?

Tami Simon: Well, as you offered that list I thought, “Wow! That’s a lot of preparation for all of those different possible scenarios.”

Ed Bastian: Ya! There is. And I think a lot of us have now–since having done our conference and our book, and speaking about it and doing conferences on it and being involved with hospice workers and palliative care workers, who by the way, are just the most remarkable community of people that I’ve ever met—that there’s one school of thought which is to help people prepare for the end of their life. To imagine the perfect scenario for their dying, and to project that scenario, to have that positive thinking that you can create the perfect ending. So as a kind of therapy people would do that with someone who has a diagnosis that says they might have a month, a year, or whatever to live. And so you hear these wonderful stories how they’re going to be in a beautiful bedroom, soft lights, pictures of family around them, flowers, soft breeze coming through the bedroom, beautiful music, the loving touch of kids and everybody with us. So that’s a lovely picture that we would all like to pain in some way. But the reality is that that doesn’t happen in the majority cases of people at the end of their life. So many people are in the hospital. They are hooked up to machines. So many people have not been able to create that perfect scenario so the task then is to prepare ourselves internally. So that we can get the most that can possibly get out of that situation and that experience, and that internal preparation is something that is best begun while we’re healthy, and we have access to great teachings and teachers and books, and if we engage in that practice early in our life, in that preparation, then we’re able in a way to actually look forward to the end. Because we have a grand adventure, we have something that is really important, we have something that is really meaningful, we have something to give us hope, you know, to give us a job to do as we get down towards the end.

Tami Simon: Where do you think hope comes from in the process of facing our death, preparing for out death?

Ed Bastian: Well to me hope is intertwined with confidence and I think our confidence is also intertwined with our spiritual beliefs, our metaphysical beliefs, that which we think happens during the end of life and what happens next. So I think that whether you’re a Christian or a Jew or a Native American or Buddhist or Hindu or whatever you happen to be, or if you’ve read the scientific literature about what happens to consciousness after death. You begin to get the sense both from a scientific perspective and from reports of people who have come back and from our spiritual traditions that life is just going to go on and that our death is just another birth, it’s just a doorway that we’re passing through. It’s a transition point. So I think our hope is tied to the confidence that that’s true. Our hope is tied to the logic that what happens after we pass through that doorway of death is going to follow the same laws of goodness, of compassion, and happiness that we experience in this life. So that if we have lived our life in a good way, if we’ve been kind, if we’ve been compassionate, if we’ve achieved some measure of wisdom, if we’ve been able to immerse ourselves in prayer or meditation and found that solace and that realization that I think the end of life is something that is just imbued with great hope-almost to the extent of great anticipation.

Tami Simon: Now just as a personal favor here, for a moment. I’m curious if you can address my 83 year-old mother. My 83 year-old Jewish mother believes that when she dies it will just be like the lights are out and that’s that, and I think if I said to her, “Well Mom, there’s scientific perspectives on consciousness, there’s logic, there’s the faith that comes from prayer…” she would say, “No Tami, actually what I know from my experience is that it’s just lights out.”

Ed Bastian: Well that’s a very prevalent attitude in our culture and I think I’ve found a lot among Jewish people perhaps of your mother’s generation. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, addresses that and I hope I’m not speaking out of term or too freely, but with the acculturation of Jewish people in America and after the Holocaust, some of the most profound and wonderful traditions of Judaism around end of life and spiritual transformation were a bit lost, and there’s been a renaissance of those traditions in the last 40 years, but some of the folks from the previous generations just didn’t get that. I know. I have many friends just like your mother. I totally empathize with it. But of course she doesn’t know that, really. Because she hasn’t done it, so she doesn’t really have empirical knowledge, but I don’t know…I have to ask you. Why do you think people find solace in that? Somebody like your mother could just say that…

Tami Simon: I don’t think there’s solace in it. I think she thinks she’s being a realist. What I’m wondering is from your work with all of these different luminaries from different traditions, and then as well you mentioned that there are scientific studies. How can you counter that rationalist’s perspective?

Ed Bastian: Well, in our conference and in our book we try to counter a bit with the evidence presented by Marilyn M. Schlitz, whose the president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, whose institution has been at the forefront of collecting at least anecdotally, all of these different stories and working with professors and scientists who are from around the country and around the world who have a lot of evidence that consciousness survives bodily death.

Tami Simon: Can you tell me what that evidence is?

Ed Bastian: Well, for example there’s what’s his name, Stevenson at the University of Virginia, reports on a doctor who was doing—and he had done the interviews with this patient, had all of the reports that took place during the operation of a woman who had a very severe brain tumor or something that was verging on aneurysm, I’m not going to give the right technical terms—in order to operate on the brain they had to remove the patient’s blood. They had to stop the patient’s heart from bleeding. The basically had to shut down the body, and so they did that. This person’s body temperature I think decreased to something like 60 degrees. There was no heart and on the EDG there was nothing going on in the brain during that period. They cut open her skull, they did the operation, they put her blood back in her, they got her heart going again and then she reported very soon after the operation everything that had happened during that operation. She was a musician, she reported on the key of the saw that was cutting into her skull. She reported on the music, on the voices, on everything that had happened during the course of that operation. And the only explanation could’ve been that she had that there was consciousness that had survived…this had to be a bodily death, right? All the signs of death were there. No brain activity, no heart activity. So that’s one example and there are dozens of those kinds of examples that have been documented and written about.

Tami Simon: What has personally given you this sense of confidence or hope in what will happen when you die? From your own experience?

Ed Bastian: I wish I could say that it was my first instance of dying. Because I have friends who have had these marvelous stories to tell…that they die and they have the white light and the tunnel, and they go through the tunnel and all these incredible things happen. And then they decide for whatever reason they have to stay in their body and come back in. There are all kinds of variations on those stories. When I died that didn’t happen to me—I experienced blackness, which is different than no consciousness. So later, of course, I felt really cheated by this because everybody else had had these grand experiences and all I had was this blackness and so I began to look back at my Tibetan Book of The Dead and various sources and so they describe consciousness of blackness just before the white light appears. So I took solace in that. I said, “OK, well at least I had the blackness.” But that wasn’t that convincing, but at least it was something. I think it’s just my aesthetic, my experience in life in general. The miracles of life, my experience with the regeneration of life, with the way in which the body works and the death and regeneration of cells. The fact that our bodies are full of 5 trillion living organisms, most of which are not even our human cells– that just the miracle of life and what I see all around me all of the time, and I guess also, without being presumptuous or pretentious about it, I guess my own experiences in meditation give me the confidence that what we see ever day through our physical senses, that what we call empirical reality through the five senses is not the whole story. And that I feel something deeply and I experience something deeply through an inner sense with a confidence that there’s a continuation.

Tami Simon: In the work that you did with Spiritual Paths where you were talking to people from many different traditions, Rabbi’s and contemplative leaders, did you discover areas of agreement and disagreement about the afterlife?

Ed Bastian: I was surprised to hear Rabbi Zolman Shaktar talking about Purgatory. This great soul washing experience that goes on. He quoted scripture, he quoted Hewish sources and he said that, “It’s very much in our tradition that when the soul passes from the body it goes this process of this purging of this looking back, and if you’ve done which weren’t good, that you have the chance to redeem yourself, that there is the possibility of atonement and he didn’t speak of it in the sense that God is going to let you in or not let you in based on this experience. He just spoke about it more as a personal cleaning of one’s consciousness experience. We see that in Christian notions of Purgatory, you know there’s that in between state. We see it obviously in Hindu traditions of the in between state between this incarnation and the next incarnation, and of course we see it in the Buddhist traditions, which are very articulate on the subject. So I found a lot in common there from all these different traditions. I think that there are some differences in regard to what’s next, what’s the nature of the life after. Literal interpretations of Christianity would have it that we could either go to heaven or hell. If we go to heaven we’ll have our same looking bodies and we’re going to be in this heavenly situation. In Buddhism, of course, there are an infinite number of possibilities after this life and the kind of body that we manifest depends on our Karma and the quality of our consciousness. But I’d say there too, there is a great similarity because it’s the quality of the life that we live that determines the next life. So I think that all religious traditions, including Native American traditions, agree on that part.

Tami Simon: Now I know in the book, Living Fully, Dying Wellthere’s a section in the back of the book that involves different kinds of practices both to prepare for death, but also practices that you can do at the bedside of someone who is dying. I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about that. I know that when we have someone in our life that might be entering the dying process there’s often a desire to be helpful in some way, to help that person’s crossing. What do you know about that, what helps in those kinds of situations?

Ed Bastian: I think, you know, in the back of the book as you mentioned there are lots of examples given—instructions, prayers, and meditations, poems, ideas that are teachers are giving to the reader about how they can approach being with people, with their loved ones and others at the time of death. But I think one of the most profound statements of all came from Joan Halifax when she described her process. She said…Joan, of course, is a Buddhist Roshi, and she has a quite a profound practice herself and has dedicated herself to working with people near the end of their lives and through the end of their lives. She said that if she’s going to somebody’s house that before she goes in the house she’ll drive up and she’ll park the car in the driveway and she’ll sit there for a few minutes and she will do a meditation to herself and a kind of prayer to herself that goes, “May I just be with this person in a deep a way as I possibly can. May I not feel that I need to teach them something, or that I need to lead them in something. May I be able to deeply respond to their needs as they are presented to me, and may I be with them in the deepest and most profound way possible.” Because we have the capacity as individuals to respond in that situation, we may not know that we do, we may not have the confidence that we do. We’re often afraid to be around somebody who is dying. Fearful and sad that we’re going lose it when we’re around somebody that we love and we want to be strong and we’re around people we want to council them or give them something to hold on to, give them something to do. The wisest advice, I think, is to—what Joan was talking about—which is deeply enter into a kind of meditative state with that person, where you have the confidence that what is needed will arise within you to help the person when they need that. And of course depending on the spiritual tradition of that person, now there may be really specific things to do. You know, there may be the need of a priest or priestess or somebody to be with the person at the end of their life to engage with a certain kind of prayer and mediation or a passing over kind of tradition and maybe the need for a Buddhist Llama to come in and to chant the The Book of The Deadto help lead the person through the Bardo to the next stage. There will be specific traditions with practices in each tradition that I think we can engage that we love that we know, ahead of time and talk to them about what those things are and then as their friends we can make sure that those things happen—because somebody really had to do that for the dying person. Somebody has to make sure that those wishes are carried out. And you know that gives us a constructive job—something that we can really do to help. It’s that openness; I think it’s that depth of being with somebody that is the beginning part.

Tami Simon: That’s a beautiful answer. What also occurs to me is that you mentioned this idea of confidence, or hope, that it’s possible to face our death with that kind of attitude, and yet I know many people, even just the word death or dying, let alone the idea of facing their own death, what comes up is a feeling of fear. And I’m curious how you would address that and what you learned through your work with these different spiritual luminaries about how to address the fear that most people feel as part of the dying process?

Ed Bastian: Well fear is just absolutely natural. I think almost anybody, whether they’re a serious spiritual practitioner or not, would own up to some level of fear. The fear is going to be there. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s the fear of the pain. It’s the fear of loss of loved ones. It’s the fear not being in control. It’s the fear of loss, all those things. So fear is just really natural. So I think in the beginning it’s extremely important just to acknowledge it and to admit it, because it’s the most human reaction that we would have. Fear is of course important because it moves us into action; that if we’re afraid of the kind of things I was just mentioning then we will take on a kind of practice or an internal attitude that will help alleviate that fear, help alleviate the causes of that fear as we’re going through the experience. So the best way to alleviate the fear is to engage—I think that’s the point of the book—to engage in a kind of spiritual practice. So I think, to admit the fear is just honest, it’s just where it’s at, and for people to say that their process eliminates the fear of dying…I think it can be ameliorated, but not totally, totally removed. So, I think it’s being with the fear and the transformation of that fear into something which is hopeful and which is proactive is the key for all of us.

Tami Simon: Yah, I mean what you’re pointing to is turning towards the fear and engaging it and then having that take you into transformative practice versus saying, “I’m afraid, so let’s not talk about it.”

Ed Bastian: Right. And people who sense…your friends…they need to acknowledge it and if possible—I mean everybody’s going to have their own experience of dying and we can’t really manipulate the process, we cannot make it go the way we want it to go, for ourselves or anybody else. We can have more control over ourselves, but we can’t do it for other people. So some people at some point in the process will be open to talking about the fear that they have, and that’s a great opening. That’s a great opportunity. That’s a gift when that subject comes up and they’re willing to really go into it.

Tami Simon: I’m curious Ed, in all of the research and the work that you did in preparing the book, Living Fully, Dying Wellthe conference gatherings, the Spiritual Paths organization and the interviews and transcriptions, what you learned that really surprised you?

Ed Bastian: I was really surprised at how many people came to our conference. You know, I thought, OK, we’re going to spend all of this money and time to organize a conference and because it’s on the end of life— we used the term, end of life, we didn’t use the word, deathyou know I was scared to use the word, death I thought if people hear the word, death there’s no way they’re going to show up, when we held it, and this is in Aspen you know where you think if there’s any place in the world people are going to avoid thinking about death, it’s Aspen—no one would come, but we had the biggest program we’ve ever had. We had in a beautiful chapel in Aspen, which is really meant for 150 people, we had several hundred people at our evening sessions. During the day we were overbooked. People came…it was answering something that they really needed to address in their lives, so I was very surprised by that.

Tami Simon: Were you surprised by anything else more from a personal learning standpoint?

Ed Bastian: Well I think I’m kind of surprised about how I’ve evolved in the process. I mean I was just a regular guy in my own past and didn’t want to think about death and certainly wasn’t going to acknowledge it, and I had a more manly attitude in that I didn’t need to think about it, I don’t need to deal with it. So I do identify with…lots of men just don’t. I totally get that because I’ve been that way myself. Or maybe like your mother…I just don’t think there’s an answer for it. I think there’s no way we’re going to know. I’m going to be skeptical and cynical about it so I’m now going to address the issues…I’ve been there. So I am surprised at the way my life has evolved through that process of dying. I’m surprised at the person I ended up being, given who I was before. I’d never thought about that before I said it.

Tami Simon: Can you describe for us a little bit about how you’re different?

Ed Bastian: Well I don’t know. Maybe you can hear it in my voice? Maybe you’d have to ask other people. I think probably the heart of it is the word, empathy and to be fully empathic. I don’t want to overstate it to make it sound like I’m blowing myself out of proportion here, but I think that capacity to be as fully as possible, empathic with other human being, with other beings, with other life, to be able to feel their pain and suffering to be moved to want to do something about it—in the deepest way possible. I’m surprised at that, and I can’t say that I’m like that all of the time, but I’m a hell of a lot more like that than I was ten years ago.

Tami Simon: Thank you, Ed, for saying that. It’s beautiful.

Ed Bastian: So I think that’s a gift when we deal with the subject and we go into it and we really take it on I think it’s the greatest gift we can receive is that level of compassion that we might come out of it with and I think that gives people a deeper sense of happiness and well being, and contentment than they would have had had they not opened up to it, had they not accepted and opened the gift of death in their lives.

Tami Simon: A final question, Ed, which is, it seems that in our Western culture that death is the kind of topic, as I said, that not everybody wants to spend a bunch of time talking about or engaging it, and yet in other cultures, and I know you’ve traveled quite a bit in India and other countries, death is more out in the open and not as much of a taboo in terms of people engaging with looking at corpses or things like that. What’s your vision of what death in America could be like if we had a more transformative way of working with death, a more open way, what would it like, how would we be different as a culture?

Ed Bastian: Well, I had just a wonderful walk on the beach two days ago here with a remarkable doctor, Michael Carney, who’s the head of hospice and palliative care in Santa Barbara, and we were talking just about this same subject and my thought is that when people are in crisis, whether it’s death, a diagnosis that you’re going to die, or a serious illness, or something catastrophic happens so that we’re in the hospital. Those are the greatest opportunities for transformation. When we are in that state of crisis, in a sense, it is just a tremendous gift, because that’s opportunity to reevaluate our lives and to open up to new possibilities. I think, to me, one of the tragedies of the American experience is that we equate that kind of tragedy and ill health and pain with unhappiness in the sense that we feel that we will be happy and fulfilled if we’re not in pain, or if we’re not sick, or if we don’t have things happen to us. And so that one to one equation between happiness and health, to me is the biggest mistake. That the seeds of our happiness are more deeply rooted within our consciousness with our capacity to be compassionate and wise and self giving and serving of others and be more spiritually tuned. Those to me are the sustainable causes of happiness; our health is not because we’re all going to go through moments of bad health and of course death. So, there are a lot of folks that are laying in hospitals that are laying in hospices, that are laying wherever they are that do not have somebody to work with them to help them unpack this, to unwrap this and to see this as a great opportunity, and we have a medical system that does everything it can to keep you alive and many doctors, not all, who feel their job is to keep you alive at any cost, but are not able to deal with you on a the deeper human levels that your sickness is a great opportunity to explore. But what I’m saying is very difficult to accomplish because the medical establishment, the way it’s set up financially and the training and so forth, makes it very hard to do this. This is what I would like to see consciously changed.

Tami Simon: Very good. Ed Bastian is the co-author, along with Tina Staley of the book from Sounds True called, Living Fully, Dying Well: Reflecting on Death to Find Your Life’s Meaning. It includes contributions from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Joan Halifax Roshi, Dr. Ira Byock Tessa Bielecki Mirabai Starr, Marilyn M. Schlitz, and many others, and Ed it’s just been wonderful talking to you and getting a little feeling what the last decade of your life has been and the changes you’ve gone through, and really your encouragement for all of us to look at the gift of death.

Ed Bastian: Yes thank you, Tami. And thank you for your wonderful questions.

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