Ep. 065 | The View From Here
A Message for the Living from the Lonely Mountaintop of Terminal Illness, with Pam Blackburn
Pam Blackburn loves to climb mountains.
Pam is also dying.
In this episode, Pam shares what the view is like from her lonely mountaintop of terminal illness. This is her final word to the world, prepared courageously and graciously to serve all of us who don't have access to the same view.
There are things we need to hear and things we need to know that only those, like Pam, inhabiting the sacred and surreal space between life and death can convey to us. And there are things we need to do as a result of the insight we gain.
I feel so fortunate to have met Pam and to count her as a new friend. She is full of life and warmth and mischief--more vibrantly alive in the midst of her suffering than most people I know. She is so clearly being transformed by her ongoing dance with Death, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that there are ways in which her encounter with Mortality has actually saved her life.
This episode doesn't follow the usual conversational interview format you've become accustomed to on this show. Instead, if you tune in, you'll hear only from Pam--reading her final word to the world that she poured her heart and soul into preparing for you and me.
Also, about 11 minutes in, Pam mentions "the glittery little children" that cancer leaves behind just waiting to come to life. She's referring to cancerous cells that are undetectable by scans but inevitably cause trouble down the road.
Some Highlights from Pam’s Message for the Living
How Pam’s terminal diagnosis has been a gift and given her tremendous newfound freedom.
How Death has brought Pam to life.
Pam’s top 10 tips for how to live well.
Pam offers her final words to her husband and five kids.
Tune in for all of Pam’s message to the living!
Making It Matter in YOUR Life
In this episode, we were welcomed into the heart of a fellow human who is staring her Mortality squarely in the eyes. We ascended briefly to the lonely mountaintop that Pam stands on and shared her view from there. What an astounding gift. Thank you, Pam.
What will you do with Pam's gift to you?
Don't wait until Death comes knocking on your door to WAKE UP and acknowledge the reality of your Mortality. Instead, courageously and voluntarily confront your Mortality to harness its incomparable motivational power and live YOUR one and only life with guts, gusto, and abandon.
You can start today.
What lessons will you take to heart from Pam's report from the frontlines? What's just one thing you are willing and able to change today--the only day we've got--as a result of what stuck with you?
I’m Motivated to Let My Mortality Motivate Me! What Do I Do Next??
It's one thing to tap into Mortality's motivation to live YOUR one-and-only life with guts, gusto, and abandon. But it's another thing entirely to sustain it and act on it day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out, over the course of your lifetime. It's a discipline and a practice, and it happens best with the support of others who are on the same path.
That's why I created The Graveyard Group. In small group settings, you and your very own confidential board of advisors help each other leave it all out on the field of life. You clear obstacles, mend relationships, summon the courage to pursue your dreams, and give the things that matter most the attention they deserve--before it's too late. You become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live
I'm excited to share that a new women's Graveyard Group is forming after Labor Day, with my colleague, the amazing Beth Romano, serving as its facilitator. Beth pioneered the first women's Graveyard Group this past January, and she's ready to welcome more women into the experience.
Remember: You ARE going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it!
Connect with Pam
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New to Andrew Petty is Dying?
And if you're new to this show, welcome! I invite you to browse the archive of past interviews with fascinating people and short, topical solo episodes--all designed to equip you with the mindset and the means to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. We flip the script by inviting our ancient foe, Death, to become an unlikely ally in our heroic journey to leave it all out on the field of life. Turns out, Mortality might just be the best motivator available--blasting us out of our ambivalence and complacency and toward the fullness of our potential.