Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 185 | June 12, 2023

Life After Loss

Molly Mattocks

Writer, End of Life Coach


Welcome to Difficult Conversations -Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician. Liz Poret-Christ is our host and she’s joined by guest Molly Mattocks who is a writer, and end-of-life coach. Molly was an associate pastor before becoming a full-time caregiver for her daughter Izzy, who had neuroblastoma for nearly a decade before passing away in 2021. She is now dedicated to helping shift the cultural narrative around death because she believes our ability to embrace death is intricately woven into our ability to embrace life. We’ve had many conversations on this show about the importance of end-of-life discussions with some amazing guests, and although it’s sad and uncomfortable, we agree that the difficult conversation about our successful ability to transition out of this world is deeply connected to how we exist in this one. On her Instagram page, Molly writes insightful, heartbreaking, and inspiring letters to her daughter, Izzy. We see the indescribable heartbreak of a grieving mom trying to learn how to live without her daughter. Her Instagram page is a tribute to her daughter and a heartbreaking window into her soul. We are so happy Molly is here to share her story. As always, the promise on this show will be to inspire you and teach you how important communication is in medicine, business, and in everyday life.

Molly shares her experience caring for her daughter Izzy. Molly started writing letters to Izzy on Instagram as a way of coping with her grief and helping others in similar situations. She transitioned to coaching others and recently started end-of-life doula training and accepted a position as a hospice chaplain. She touches on the role of death doulas in supporting individuals during the dying process and emphasizes the importance of starting end-of-life conversations early, not being afraid to have them. She explains how grief is a process of getting used to loss and becoming a different person. Molly learned that grief is not a season of getting over the loss, but rather a season of getting used to loss and becoming a different person. We end with Molly sharing the difficult conversations she had with her daughter’s doctor about her terminal illness and end-of-life care, and how having these conversations helped her make decisions and provide her daughter with the end that she deserved.

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