After the sudden death of her son’s friend, Lisa began reflecting on how she first reacts to someone dying. Even though she embraces death, feelings of sadness, grief, and anger are inevitable. 

On this short but special episode, Lisa wants us to understand that what this “large frame of reference” allows her to do is to see things in a much bigger picture to better understand death, without denying herself from feeling those normal human emotions.

Do you have an exploring death story you’d like to share with Lisa? Please leave a comment on the podcast or contact Lisa at 

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2 Responses to “Lisa’s Frame of Reference and Sudden Death”

  1. Jenna

    Lisa does such a wonderful job on this podcast of explaining how it can still be very shocking and upsetting when a death happens, even for someone such as herself who embraces the idea of accepting death. In the podcast, Lisa discusses how her son talked to her when he was upset about the death of one of his college friends. It can be especially unnerving for a younger person to deal with the death of someone else his age. There is a certain shock factor to discovering when you are young that people your own age can die and that our physical bodies are just temporary. I like how Lisa says she was at a loss for words when her son told her what had happened. Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when someone is emotionally hurting, whether due to a death or other reasons as well. I think when Lisa was talking to her son, she was probably feeling along with him the same emotions he was feeling.

    Accidental deaths where the victim of the death seems very innocent, such as someone walking down a sidewalk being hit by a drunk driver like the friend of Lisa’s son was, are also more disturbing to people than other deaths. I think this is because it erodes the view many people have of themselves that something bad won’t happen to them as long as they do the right thing and act responsibly. Even though being responsible can make some dangerous situations less likely to occur, we are still at risk of bad things happening to us no matter what we do to try to be responsible, and we need to be able to understand that. I like how Lisa says it is important to accept what is, since there is also a strong “what if” factor when such a random accidental death occurs. Lisa’s son may be thinking if only his friend had not been walking on that sidewalk at that particular time he would still be alive and probably have another 60 years of life left to enjoy. The way that one moment stopped all that, combined with the complete randomness of the event, is a very difficult thing for people to comprehend.

    I like how Lisa says our frame of reference allows us to zoom out and talk about death in general, but it is difficult to have that frame of reference when it is more personal. Death is a normal part of life, and even though it is unfortunate when someone dies young of a disease or of an accidental death, the fact is that is something that happens to a certain number of people every day. We may have certain societal ideas that there is something wrong with that, or that we wish that were not the case (we would all like to live to at least 90 years old mentally and physically healthy), but it is the way it is. With technological, medical, and sanitation improvements, as well as improvements in safety, the number of people who die young due to disease and accidents is a lower percentage than it used to be, but it is never going to be zero, and as people we need to understand that. I like how Lisa talks about how sometimes when a young person dies we feel like we should have had more time with the person. I think the lesson of that is we should enjoy people we care about as much as we can, and not assume that they will always be with us. It is also a good lesson in being kind to other people, since we never know if the next time we see someone or say something to them if it will be the last time. We should treasure the moments we have with our loved ones and others we care about. A fact of life is any of us can die at any time, and we only have the present moment guaranteed as Lisa and some of her podcast guests have so articulately said. I think if people were reminded more of death it would help them to let go of petty grievances, enjoy life more, and treat others with more compassion and kindness.

    • Laura

      Jenna, your last line so succinctly covers so much! Oh, our ego gets us mired in the ridiculous. Thank you for posting your thoughts.


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