S4-EP14: Debbie and Julie-Roxane on Messy Conversations About Old Age and Dying

Apr 8, 2022


Debbie and her producer Julie-Roxane talk about how to have messy conversations around old age and dying with family, friends, and elderly parents.



Debbie hands over the mic to her producer, Julie-Roxane Krikorian, for a deep dive on the conversations we need to have about old age and dying. 

Together, they unpack the difference between theory and practice when it comes to these emotionally-loaded conversations. They talk about the challenges of becoming weaker and more vulnerable as our bodies decline as well as the flipping of the dynamics of care between parents and children at the end of life.

They discuss the difficulty of giving space to our aging parents all the while trying to support them with practical help. They also talk about a reframe from weakening to softening and how to become elders who lead the way into the unknown of aging and dying.

Debbie shares her personal journey with this topic as a daughter, a big sister of four, and a mother of three. She even reveals what her “dream death” is. 

This is an honest account of Debbie’s experiences and, we hope, a useful conversation to anyone navigating the complex waters of aging parents and/or aging yourself.

PHOTO AT TOP: the broad beach at Modern Elder Academy in Baja, MX


More episodes with Debbie and Julie-Roxane:


Note from Debbie

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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."