Highlights from Oprah Interview with BJ Miller, MD, Hospice Expert, on Living

On Oprah Winfrey’s TV channel, she has a show called “SuperSoulSunday.”  Earlier this month, she interviewed BJ Miller, MD, a hospice and palliative care specialist at UCSF.  Dr. Miller shares “his revelations about a subject that is often taboo in our culture — the experience of death.”  You can watch the interview online at:


If you’d like to read more about Dr. Miller, hospice specialist and triple amputee, check out Brain Support Network’s blog post from January 2017:


The interview with Dr. Miller is followed by a short film about the late Paul Kalanithi, MD, who wrote the best selling book “When Breath Becomes Air.”

Deb, one of our local support group members, listened to the interview and shared some highlights with us.  Deb’s husband recently passed away with Lewy body dementia.



Deb’s Notes from

Guest:  BJ Miller
Season 7 Episode 709
Aired on 05/07/2017
OWN SuperSoulSunday

Here are my notes from a fascinating episode of the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) show “Super Soul Sunday.”  Oprah interviewed palliative care and hospice physician, Dr. B.J. Miller.

1. Life is not avoiding suffering, but finding meaning.

2.  Dying people are still living.  There is a continuity of existence such that death is part of living.

3.  Being a human being is hard.  It helps to have something to push against to get us to rise to the challenge.  (Miller suffered an accident as a teenager and is a triple amputee.)

4.  The fact that we all die makes life precious.  We realize that time is short and that delays have consequences.

5.  We should see the silver linings in our lives every day.

6.  In order to die well and be at peace with ourselves and have no regrets, we should live well.  Every day we should do a self-check: 1) Am I doing something I really care about?; 2) Am I doing what I really want to do?; 3) Did I tell my loved ones that I love them?

7.  We all have these negative feelings about death and losing control.  Yet given the choice to live forever, most people would not choose it.  So death is not so negative.  And you can get to the point that you even welcome death.

8.  One of the best things about living is being able to give and receive love.