What a brave and honest immersion in a difficult topic.  Join filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin as she documents the lives of several friends and family members living with terminal illness. We are brought face to face with the pain, the fear, and the beauty which can be part of the final journey that awaits us all.  It is an invitation to plan our own paths forward.  - Jessica Zitter, MD Critical and Palliative Care Specialist, Author of Extreme Measures, featured in Extremis

 

I just finished watching your exquisitely beautiful creation and I am moved beyond words!

Of all the end-of-life documentaries I've watched over the past few years, yours touched me the most deeply throughout the entire film. I can only say that it seems divinely orchestrated that you have had such incredible people come into your life and allow you to share their dying process: Clair, AvYitz, Azul, Don. Your tender and sensitive filming of both their struggles and their ease with death, their embrace of life and love, has resulted in a masterpiece. I really appreciate your first-person perspective as well, because that is the most powerful way to connect with viewers and help them identify their own fears and denial.

I am blown away by what you've created and I feel honored to endorse it and share it with others. --Karen M. Wyatt, MD
Hospice Physician, Spiritual Teacher, Speaker, Author of Award-Winning Book: What Really Matters

 

Living While Dying, gives us an up-close lens into the world of those facing the end-of their life.  One might think that it would be depressing or morose.  In fact, just the opposite – it is loving, hopeful and real.

Filmmakers are storytellers—but what makes this film rare and unique, is that Cathy’s close friends are the ones who are dying, not strangers to the storyteller. 

We are invited in to get to know them.

There are so many gems in this film, from the fact that Cathy’s camera does not look away at the hard parts, to the hauntingly beautiful animated artwork used as segues.

My favorite?

When Cathy and her Mom are having a heart to heart conversation about what her mother might want for her funeral – only, her mother is lying in a beautifully painted casket in her living room for the talk.

Of course! Why not have a conversation about wishes at the end-of-life like in a casket, like a dress-rehearsal.

The belly laughs and giggling they share are magical!

Showing us all that one can really live [AND laugh] while death will always have its way.

See this film.

--Patty Burgess, President of Possibility and End-of-Life Educator
www.DoingDeathDifferently.com – for EOL Doulas, www.TeachingTransitions.com – for Hospices

 

Living While Dying beautifully chronicles the journeys of four people who 'choose life!' as they accept with dignity and love their last months.

Poignant, heartwarming, personal, universal, amusing and sad, the film offers viewers many opportunities for robust discussion about navigating the end of one's life in holiness. It is a perfect launch for family and community exploration of values, ideals and wishes when considering the end of life.---Rabbi Debra Kolodny

 

Wow!  It was incredibly powerful and well done.  It has sparked some important family conversations ... It was a highly moving and very intimate film.  --Rachel Ginzberg

 

Your movie was sweet, I liked it. I think it's perfect for a beginner group discussion. Death 101... Maybe a beginners plus group. Death 102 :-) They need to be ok with the thought that they, and their loved ones, are going to die. But because you explored your own feelings around the topic from a newbie position, I think that will work for others to spark conversation.

--Nina Thompson, Founder of the Wake Up to Dying Project. 

 

WOW, your film is amazing...so moving, thought-provoking, deep, and light-hearted, filled with joy and truth and wisdom.  

THANK YOU...I'd love to see it again and have so many of those I love get to witness it also.-- Angela Severson, LMT

 

We call it facing our mortality... but maybe what is actually happening is that we are facing our own spirituality, and that has HUGE ramifications. (especially in a materialistic culture such as ours in which greed seems to rule.) What we consider to be a fear of death may be an identity crisis of sorts... a switch from what it means to think of yourself as corporeal, to thinking of yourself as spirit-based. This, of course, means talking about dying informs our living... and is potentially beneficial for ALL people, not just those facing knowledge of impending death, but all of us who live. -- Britta Dedrick