A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death

  Last modified on August 10th, 2019

We prepare for everything in life—except how it ends. Join BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger as they recount the stories and hard-won wisdom that inspired their handbook of practical advice for living life and facing death. In a conversation moderated by Caitlin Roper of The New York Times, Miller and Berger will offer guidance on navigating the medical, legal, logistical, and emotional aspects of one of life’s most profound experiences and one we all share.

It’s a book that every family should have, the equivalent of Dr. Spock, but for this other phase of life.

– Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone.

This event will take place on Wednesday, July 17th from 7:30-9pm at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, located at 334 Amsterdam Avenue (at 76th Street).

The conversation will be followed by a reception and book sale and signing with Shakespeare and Co.

The event will be co-presented by What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life and Reimagine End of Life, a citywide festival exploring big questions about life and death.

And by each of the speakers:
  • BJ Miller (Co-author)
  • Shoshana Berger (Co-author)
  • Caitlin Roper (Moderator)
BJ Miller, MD, is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who has worked in many settings-inpatient, outpatient, hospice facility, and home – and now sees patients and families at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Miller speaks all over the country and beyond on the theme of living well in the face of death. He has been profiled in the New York Times and interview by Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferriss, and Krista Tippet.

BJ Miller

photo by Todd Hido


Shoshana Berger is the global editorial director at IDEO, where she has worked on projects ranging from the end of life to modern Judaism to school lunch. She was a senior editor at WIRED, and has written for the New York Times, WIRED, Popular Science, Marie Claire, and Salon. She cofounded the DIY design magazine ReadMade, later turning it into a book, ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything.

Shoshana Berger

photo by Nicolas Zurcher


Caitlin Roper is the editorial director of NYT Mag Labs. She creates and edits special sections of The New York Times, including The Daily Miracle, a photo essay about the Times’s College Point printing plant, The New York Times Hits the Beach, a recent section celebrating summer, and fiction excerpts, among others. She created The New York Times for Kids, which is now a monthly section produced by her team. She also works on special issues of The New York Times Magazine, events, and scripted film & TV projects. Before joining the Times, she was articles editor at WIRED, and formerly the managing editor of The Paris Review.

Caitlin Roper

Co-presented by:

What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life. We engage New Yorkers in compassionate, value-driven conversations about advance care planning, so they may live with the comfort of knowing that their loved ones and healthcare professionals will honor their choices about end of life care.

Reimagine. Reimagine is a city-wide festival exploring death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, we create a week-long series of events that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation and rememberance.

Learn More + Register

Sharing is caring!