F ROM T HE E DITOR WINTER 2019 A belated happy new year and welcome to to convey just how hopeful and inspiring—with the latest Months To Years issue! I continue regard to death and dying—this event is. Perhaps to be delighted and surprised by, and deeply a phrase from its website best captures it: we appreciative of, the breadth and quality of believe all people should experience the end of submissions we receive. In every issue, I encounter life in a way that matches their values and goals. new and varied takes on death and dying. End Well questions the societal norms in three The finality of death surprises us, no matter how realms and explores these questions through the often we have experienced it. The sudden death conference: of my dear mother-in-law, Evelyn Louwers, during - With regard to design and technology: how can Thanksgiving week reminded me of this. I have experience with long illnesses and drawn-out deaths but sudden loss was new to me. I will write more about it in a future issue. As it has for so many of our contributors, writing has helped me find my way through. we apply empathic design principles across the entire spectrum of the end of life experience? How might emergent technologies offer new propositions for models of care? - How can we align 21st century health system goals of better health outcomes and high-quality, Another event, the finality of which is still sinking cost effective care with a fulfilling end of life in, was the closure and sale of the property that experience for everyone? for many years housed the Zen Hospice Guest - What are today’s cultural, spiritual and House in San Francisco. It was a unique six-bed residential hospice in a classic San Francisco Victorian home. It was here that hundreds of residents lived out their final days in a gorgeously lit and lovely space while engulfed in the empathy of numerous volunteers and clinical staff. It originated to help those dying during the HIV and AIDS crisis in San Francisco. It is where my first husband, Ahmad Khoshroo, spent his final two weeks with cancer. And now it is also gone. In December Tim and I, along with our editorial assistant and storytelling coach Renusha Indralingam, attended the second annual End Well conference in San Francisco. It’s difficult traditional belief systems and practices that might more fully empower our relationship with mortality? A unique slate of speakers tackled these questions with humor and empathy. It is an annual San Francisco conference that is uplifting and fascinating to anyone interested in end-of-life topics. (And by the way, I am not an employee of nor paid by End Well.) This issue includes our own unique slate of writers crafting their experiences with death and dying into art.