hidden brain npr

For much of their lives together, Stephanie Rinka and her husband, John, had ongoing conversations about end-of-life issues. Stephanie was a nurse, and she cared for many people suffering from incurable illnesses and debilitating traumas.

Stephanie treated her patients with great care and dignity. Privately, though, she told John she wouldn’t want to be kept alive if her quality of life was gone. For Stephanie, quality of life was defined by action. She was always on the move. She liked to snorkel and hike and wander beaches. She was restless and energetic. The idea of being inside a body that didn’t function terrified her.

This is the story of the Rinka family and what happened when tragedy befell them. It’s a story that explores how the choices we prefer when we’re healthy may no longer make sense to us when we’re actually confronting death.

Listen to the podcast on Hidden Brain.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

A simple loss

A simple loss

It doesn't rhyme with purpose But that's what it is Or inspiration But that, too You've lost it. In the middle of everything else, that one thing,...

Still Life

Still Life

The doctor told Ann that John had severely damaged his spinal cord and was paralyzed from his neck down. He was able to swivel his head from side to...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.