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Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing with Kathleen Vallee Stein

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Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing with Kathleen Vallee Stein

When author Kathleen Vallee Stein sent Jane her book “Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing” she couldn’t wait to dig in. The story is raw, authentic, sad, beautiful and uplifting all at once. This is Kathleen’s story about how her family chose hospice at home for her father’s final 29 days of life and all of the struggles leading up to this decision.  It’s a book with an enormous amount of truth and grace. Kathleen tells Jane one of the best pieces of advice that she can offer to you if you have a loved one who is suffering and near death. “If you’re afraid to take them home, do it anyway.” It’s all about loving choices and a peaceful passing this week on The Next Room.

[Click here to Listen]

Kathleen_Headshot_695672196.jpgAs director of an advocacy program administered by the California Department of Aging, Kathleen Vallee Stein became familiar with the Medicare Hospice Benefit and the reluctance of families to consider it. Most people think choosing hospice care is “giving up.” When Stein’s father was terminally ill, she experienced first-hand the difficulties families face when confronted with end-of-life issues. The dreaded decision to stop curative care and begin comfort care was monumentally difficult but resulted in a transformative experience  for Ms. Stein and her family. After her father died, Stein was moved to write a book about  it. Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice was recently awarded the Independent Press NYC Big Book Award.  

Ms. Stein’s opinion pieces have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles  Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News, Orange County Register, and the  Jewish Journal for more than twenty years. She writes about a variety of life experiences,  such as caring for aging parents, raising children, and reflections on work, friendship, and  nature. Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice is her first  book.

 Ms. Stein was the Manager of the Los Angeles County Health Insurance Counseling and  Advocacy Program (HICAP) for the California Department of Aging. She trained volunteer  peer counselors in Medicare and related health insurance, provided community education,  and advocated for changes in Medicare law to benefit seniors. 

Ms. Stein received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State  University – Northridge. 

Find her opinion pieces on caring for aging parents, videos on a variety of topics about  her family’s hospice experience, podcast interviews, and more about the book at


About Jane Asher:

Jane Asher has always been a natural connector who has enjoyed a successful career in media and the music industry, most notably at major radio stations in San Diego and Santa Barbara. Several years ago, she stepped away from terrestrial radio when Empower Radio reached out and asked her to create a show about her passion. The Next Room podcast was born.

Demystifying death daily, she interviews professionals and practitioners from diverse backgrounds about death, dying, grief, beliefs and cultural traditions surrounding the journey we all must ultimately make. The show airs across 11 platforms and has connected her with extraordinary people throughout this community. The Next Room has recently become the official podcast of the Beautiful Dying Expo.

Jane is also passionate about being involved in mission work. She has been part of a team for over five years that has built homes in Tijuana for families in need through Lutheran Border Concerns. She has traveled to El Salvador to feed the homeless, Malaysia to help build a school on Borneo, and Armenia to work with women and children in the small village of Amre Taza. Most recently, she was on a humanitarian mission in the Dominican Republic. 

Her book, The Next Room is a story transcending space and time, of a relationship between mother and daughter that grew stronger through death. Written together, by initially enlisting interpretation through a psychic medium, The Next Room takes us on a daughter's journey through learning eternal life lessons on forgiveness, grief, grace, gratitude, and the limitless love of all, God.

Jane lives in San Diego with her husband, Tom. She is now answering her passion-filled purpose and writing daily alongside her puppy and muse, Mamba.