Who is Stephen Jenkinson?

Stephen Jenkinson is a Harvard educated theologian, culture activist, educator, and creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School.

For years he headed the counselling team of Canada’s largest home-based palliative care programme and he was assistant professor at a prominent medical school. Working with hundreds of dying people and their families, care-givers, nurses, doctors and social workers he encountered the deep death phobia and grief illiteracy that exists in the West. This motivated him to redefine what it means to live, and die well.

He’s the author of several books including: How It All Could Be, Money and the Soul’s Desires, the award winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, and Come of Age: The Case of Elderhood in a Time of Trouble. He’s also the subject of the National Film Board of Canada documentary, Griefwalker, a lyrical, poetic portrait of his work with dying people.

Most recently, he has been performing his Nights of Grief & Mystery Tour, a rich and powerfully nuanced evening woven together by deep storytelling, wondering and music, to sold out venues across three continents.


00.00 Trailer

00.12 Introduction

02.00 What do people never ask Stephen that he wishes they would?

03.50 Stephen on his communication

08.50 How do you communicate to someone that they are dying?

11.40 What does a good death look like?

16.30 What does the word God mean to Stephen?

19.10 Why does Stephen think age intolerance exists today?

25.20 The degradation of culture

31.20 Stephen on his ancestry

34.40 Stephen on his purpose

40.30 Stephen on his legacy

41.20 What kind of imprint has witnessing so many deaths left on Stephen’s psyche?

44.20 How does Stephen define success?

46.40 Best piece of advice

48.30 Speaking to 20 year old self

49.50 Changing the world

51.40 Being the change you want to see in the world

You can find Stephen at: