Film / "Zen and the Art of Dying"

Broderick Fox's film, Zen and the Art of Dying, features Zenith Virago, a deathwalker practicing out of Byron Bay, Australia.

Denys Cope is a Hospice RN, professional speaker, end-of-life coach and author. She focuses on matters of death and dying, and helps her clients overcome their fears and understand the dying process. She is the author ofDying: A Natural Passage.

Gay Dillingham / Film / "Dying To Know"

Gay Dillingham is the producer and director of Dying to Know and The WIPP Trail, narrated by Robert Redford. Dillingham founded and managed two environmental technology companies, Earthstone International and Growstone.

Dying to Know is a celebration of the 1960s Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, who began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Leary became an LSD guru, challenging convention, questioning authority, and as a result spawned a global counter culture movement. Alpert journeyed to the East becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for a generation. Ram Dass encourages us to ponder questions of life and death. Leary and Ram Dass collaborated on a book titled The Psychedelic Experience based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which explores the similarities of the psychedelic experience and the dying process.

Earl James | Life Cairns

A Life Cairn is raised in recognition and honour of all the species of flora and fauna - mammals, marsupials, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, trees, lichens and plants of all kinds, that have been rendered extinct at human hands.

Life Cairn memorials are structures of local stone piled up and laid together. The are traditionally built on mountain peaks and on top of hills.

Glenys Carl / Author / "Hold My Hand: A Mother's Journey"

Glenys Carl is a hospice nurse, author and clothing designer. She is the author of Hold My Hand: A Mother’s Journey, which tells the story of how Carl worked to help rehabilitate her son Scott after he suffered a traumatic head injury. 

Carl is also the founder of Coming Home Connection, a Santa Fe-based organization that provides free in-home care and personal support to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the uninsured, low-income adults, children, military veterans, and those who have fallen through the gaps in the healthcare delivery system.

Chris Calloway / Singer, Actress, Entertainer

Santa Fe's reigning diva of the night, Chris Calloway, jazz singer and daughter of famous Cotton Club bandleader Cab Calloway, died at age 62 in 2008, after battling breast cancer since 1987. A Santa Fe resident since 1991, the vivacious vocalist sang with her father's Hi-De-Ho Orchestra for two decades until his death in 1995.

In addition to touring widely, she went on to sing in a Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! that starred Cab Calloway and Pearl Bailey. She later portrayed jazz legend Billie Holiday in the Lanie Robertson play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.

In 2001, Santa Fe Stages produced Calloway's one-woman show, Clouds of Joy: The Spiritual Journey of Blanche Calloway, about her Aunt Blanche, who was a pioneering bandleader in the 1930s.

In this interview, Chris talks about cancer as a teacher, and about her long career in show business.

Listen to Calloway's 2006 interview here
Listen to Calloway's 2008 interview here

Eleanor Coppola / Artist, Filmmaker / "Circle of Memory: Installation for Grieving"

Eleanor Coppola is a documentary filmmaker, artist, writer and wife of director Francis Ford Coppola. She is best known for her 1991 film “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

Coppola helped to found the collaborative art exhibition "Circle of Memory" to commemorate missing a lost loved ones. “Circle of Memory” was inspired by the ritual spaces where communities gather to experiences death, grief, change and renewal, which she talks about in this interview.

Herbie Mann / Jazz Flutist

Herbie Mann was an internationally recognized jazz flutist, and a Santa Fe local. Herbie began playing instruments at the age of nine, and began playing with groups in the 1950's.

Herbie Mann's albums include Flute Flight (1957)Yardbird Suite (1957), and Beyond Brooklyn (2004). He notably branched into various musical styles including rock, pop, reggae, and disco.

Herbie Mann died of cancer in July of 2003.

In our interview, he talks a bit about what it is to live with cancer, and the importance of men to be tested, which he was an activist for. 

Deborah Coryell / Author / "Good Grief"

Deborah Coryell is a grief and loss expert as well as the co-founder and director of the Shiva Foundation – a nonprofit organization focused on the education and support of those dealing with loss and death.  

Deborah is also the author of Good Grief: Healing Through the Shadow of Loss, as well as several articles regarding the grieving process, and the importance of faith in regards to loss.