Motivated by their personal experiences with loss, Mike Bernhagen, hospice educator, and Terry Kaldhusdal, a fourth grade teacher and filmmaker, decided to join forces in early 2009 to begin a creative journey that has resulted in a film entitled Consider the Conversation. This project sheds light on the 21st century American struggle with communication and preparation at the end-of-life. Throughout the film, there are intimate accounts of the emotional, spiritual, physical and social burdens associated with the historical shift that has occurred with dying. Forty years ago, most people experienced a quick death, but today we are more likely to suffer a slow, incremental dying process. Consider the Conversation examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes information and experiences gathered from interviews with patients, family members, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers, and national experts on death and dying. While in production, Mike and Terry donated more than 3,500 hours to the effort which included shooting 70 hours of film and conducting in-depth interviews with 40+ individuals from California, Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin. The film opens with on the street interviews in New York City.
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