Fostering Better Communication

By providing a platform for the sharing of information, resources, communication and experiences of those living their final days fully, the vision of Life Matters Media is to create a community for ones facing the end of life and for those that care for them. Ultimately, we seek to foster a greater understanding of the capacity that end of life decisions have to nurture the human spirit.


Personal narratives of challenges, decisions and triumphs.

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Clear, concise analysis of research impacting you and your family.

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Columnists provide multi-disciplinary expertise to help you plan ahead.

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One-stop, comprehensive aggregate of end of life issues in the media.

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President’s Report


Dear Friends,

Our busiest season to date is set to begin, and I wanted to thank those of you already participating in our campaign to Learn, Give Thanks and Resolve!

Life Matters Media was just awarded a $40,000 matching grant from the MR Bauer Foundation. We are most grateful for the confidence in our work, and we are asking you to “join the movement” in three simple steps outlined below.

We have received a great response so far, but I wanted to pass along the story and “steps” that one supporter, Nadine Boyle, was kind enough to share with us. Through her participation, Nadine honored her late husband, David R. Boyle, and late brother, Paul W. Harris, pictured below. May this inspire you to Learn, Give Thanks and Resolve!


David was the most fearless person I have ever met. Besides being my best friend and husband, he was a carpenter, a community activist and a lawyer. He took tremendous glee in confronting corrupt government officials and organized crime members. He wasn’t even afraid of his own death, however he knew his diagnosis would freak me out- and he was correct. I think that’s why we never spoke about end of life issues, because it terrified me to think of life without him. I think he was trying to bolster me and protect me from the reality that I was given. 


Paul was so kind and gentle and loved people. He could converse with a homeless person as easily as with a head of state. When he told me his disease was terminal, I froze. We hugged and cried, but neither of us could speak. Both David and Paul were young, they were at an age where you just don’t think death will visit your door. 

I know now the importance of letting family know your end of life plans. It is easier for your family to know that you want a burial or cremation, that health directives are in order, and where you want to spend your last days. So much is going on when a person is dying that to have “housekeeping” issues in place gives a family time to concentrate on a loved one’s passage rather than agonizing over the decision of when, where and how to let the loved one go.

You have inspired me to have the end of life conversations with my nieces and nephews. I plan to have a weekend morning gathering titled something like “Eggs Over the End.” – Nadine Boyle

We hope this story also inspires you to Learn, Give Thanks and Resolve! Here’s how:


As our children and grandchildren have headed back to school, we ask you to get back to learning, too. We invite you to determine how best to take care of those you love most. Check out our website to investigate how to talk about your end of life wishes with loved ones. Get to know their preferences, too!

Send us a message about what you found most helpful as you begin the process. Such feedback can guide us as we grow. Email me at


The MR Bauer Foundation will generously contribute an equal amount as supporters donate through December 31st, 2014. If we raise $40,000, we receive $40,000 more!

Please partner with us in this effort to expand our services online and throughout our Chicago community. Urgency and passion drive us to do this work in end of life education, but we couldn’t do it without you. This is an excellent opportunity to make your 2014 charitable contributions go twice as far. If you, a family member, friend, colleague or charitable organization with which you are familiar really “care” about end of life care, please share our goals! Or point us to them!

Consider a donation of $50 in memory of someone you wish you could have talked to about his or her end of life preferences.

Consider a donation of $50 in honor of someone with whom you have already had this conversation.

If you have reviewed our website or attended one of our educational programs, a $10 donation would be a great way to participate in this campaign. That $10 will turn to $20 through the generosity of the MR Bauer Foundation!

You can donate online:

You can also send donations through mail:
Life Matters Media
517 North Racine Unit 2
Chicago, IL

Please consider sharing a photo of the person you are remembering or honoring in your donation, as did Nadine. Tell us about him or her in an email to me at Let us know why you are donating, and we will honor that gift on our website. We look forward to sharing your stories and making your money go far!


We invite you to resolve to have such a conversation with someone else. Share your end of life preferences, and then learn theirs.

When you do, tell us how the conversation went! We would like to collect your stories about this conversation, so we may share the gift of experience with others looking to get started themselves.

That’s our campaign! Easy!


Life Matters Media is happy to present educational forums at the following locations. A * denotes an official Life Matters Media event. We will also list here some of the events and seminars our team is attending. 

If you are planning a program about end of life care, caregiving, or advance care planning, we are happy to help. Contact us at


“Starting the Conversation” *

This fall, Chicago’s seniors will learn how to initiate dialogue regarding their end of life care preferences, as Life Matters Media presents: “Starting the Conversation.” 

A 2012 study from the California Health Care Foundation reports that if diagnosed with a serious illness, 80 percent of those surveyed reported that they would want to have a conversation about end of life care with their physician. But only one in ten reported having done so. Less than 25 percent of Americans have completed advanced directives.

These conversations are ones we all know we should be having, but that we often find too difficult to start. We aim to make the process a little easier for Chicago seniors.



American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) 2014 Annual Meeting

Bayfront Hotel
San Diego, CA

“Disparities and Barriers in Advance Care Planning: A City-Wide Analysis of Chicago Seniors”
Oct. 16-17 (12:30 p.m.)

“Engaging New Media to Drive Advance Care Planning”
Oct. 18  (11 a.m.)

“Advance Care Planning Among Seniors of a Diverse City”
The Westin Boston Waterfront
Boston, MA
October 24-25



Chicago’s only theater company composed of senior actors announces its 11th original musical comedy: “Bud’s Café Redux.” Though light-hearted and uplifting, the production is crafted around the decisions and preparation central to end of life experiences. Such preparation is critical to both our senior cast and to theater-goers citywide who either face similar issues or care for ill or aged parents, friends and other loved ones.

Following each performance, a post-show presentation will engage audiences with honest and educational discussion about the many facets of end of life preparation.

Life Matters Media will answer audience questions and empower them with tools to spell out and document their own end of life care wishes. Randi Belisomo, Dr. Mary Mulcahy and members of the Chicago End-of-Life Care Coalition will take the stage after each performance.

Purchase tickets here:

Here’s the cast after a recent appearance on CAN-TV!

“Bud’s Café Redux” *
Presented by Time of Your Life Players
Stage 773
1125 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL

Please visit the Time of Your Life Players’ website:

And don’t forget to Purchase tickets!:

Thanks so much for your support. If you made it this far, you have a real interest in end of life education. So check out some features from our website, like the following from Life Matters Media healthcare columnist Bruce Japsen. He explains new legislation impacting the hospice industry:

And the World Federation Conference for "death with dignity" came to Chicago last week, drawing supporters and opponents from across the country. Our reporter Daniel Gaitan was there and filed this complete report:


Randi Belisomo
President and Co-Founder


Read More >

Life Matters Media’s Mission

Life Matters Media aims to be the premiere provider of information, resources and support for all involved in end of life decision-making. Through fostering better communication, we will empower the ill, aged, caregivers, surrogates and medical providers to navigate this life phase with confidence and dignity.

Life Matters Media’s Values

  • All individuals should have the ability to participate in decisions that affect their destinies.
  • Multiple and varied voices create a richer and more productive marketplace for the exchange of information.
  • A broad range of choices surrounding end of life issues exists. These choices should be considered carefully.
  • Neutral platforms are best to explore this journey and bring end of life issues to the forefront in a reflective forum.

Your Opinion Matters

Website Feedback
Attitudinal Research


Life Matters Media is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for your support in our mission.



What’s New

KKC0477.jpgPalliative Medical Teams Encouraged By Institute Of Medicine’s “Dying In America” Report By Daniel Gaitan

Palliative medicine for the seriously ill should be covered by all payers and provided by all health organizations, said Dr. Diane Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, during a presentation exploring new findings about dying in America.

Meier addressed a widely circulated report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calling for new public engagement strategies to foster informed decision-making.

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DOUGHTYBurial and Death: Author Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes By Daniel Gaitan

Caitlin Doughty, acclaimed author of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory," wants to encourage more open discussion on a taboo subject: death and decay. In 2011, Doughty founded The Order of the Good Death, a group of funeral industry professionals, academics and artists exploring ways to better familiarize America’s “death phobic” society with mortality and its meaning.

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BACKMedia Landscape Opens Opportunity For Earlier, Better End Of Life Care: ASCO’s Inaugural Palliative Care Symposium By Randi Belisomo

The prevalence of end of life decisions in current media and literature provides an opening for physicians to prompt conversations about the subject with patients, said Anthony Back, a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance medical oncologist, in remarks to the Palliative Care Oncology Symposium in Boston.

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Featured News

StoryCorps Chicago: Talking About Death

Co-Founders Dr. Mary F. Mulcahy and Randi Belisomo talk about their decision to launch LMM.

Randi Belisomo and Loyola Bioethics Institute's Mark Kuczewski Discuss Study Findings Regarding Medical Students' Concerns about Becoming Desensitized to Dying Patients

"End of Life Care in a Changing Health Care Environment: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Accountable Care Organizations" was presented to a live audience gathered at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management on November 13th.

Time of Your Life Players Presents "Bud's Café Redux"


Chicago’s only theater company composed of senior actors announces its 11th original musical comedy. Join Life Maters Media for a post-show discussion. Shows run October 22nd through November 22nd.

Chicago End-of-Life Care Coalition Presents "Final Chapters: An Afternoon of Stories" on Nov. 9

CECC Fall Benefit Save the Date

Our Stories

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Life Matters Newswire

10/31/2014 - Palliative Medical Teams Encouraged By Institute Of Medicine’s “Dying In America” Report

Palliative medicine for the seriously ill should be covered by all payers and provided by all health organizations, said Dr. Diane Meier, director of the Center…

Read More
10/29/2014 - Burial and Death: Author Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Caitlin Doughty, acclaimed author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory, wants to encourage more open discussion on a taboo…

Read More
10/27/2014 - One Chicago Catholic Parish Receives End Of Life Education

As Catholics worldwide mark October as a month to “Respect Life,” one Paulist priest told congregations at Chicago’s Old St. Mary’s Church that…

Read More
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