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Learning to Die – Cystic Fibrosis & Transplant

By on October 18, 2014
Carly-Jay Metcalfe


Learning to Die | Carly-Jay Metcalfe | TEDxBrisbane

Carly-Jay Metcalfe is stuck between being an award-winning writer and learning to be a spiritual carer and death midwife.

She is a full-time healthcare provider (to herself), after receiving a double lung transplant at the age of 21 in 1998, with only days to live.

Cancer tried to kill her in 2007, but failed (again), which lead her to believe that she’s impossible to kill, despite having a plethora of other medical issues, meaning she still requires hospitalisation.

Carly-Jay is ridiculously happy to be alive.

Having been interested in palliative care since her transplant, Carly-Jay’s life direction changed in 2010 when she discovered her true passion and purpose in palliative care through Karuna House – a hospice in Brisbane run by Buddhist nuns. As well as university, over the next semester Carly-Jay will be engaging in other death education such as a Death Midwifery course with world renowned death educator Dr. Michael Barbato, and ‘Deathwalking’ with Zenith Virago from Byron Bay’s Natural Death Care Centre. Over the summer break she is hoping to complete a ten week pastoral care certification through the Queensland Institute of Clinical Pastoral Education – that is, if they take agnostics. The natural death care movement has Carly-Jay absolutely intrigued, and she would also like to be a funeral celebrant – she’s seen enough bad ones to know that she can provide a better service for bereaved families.

Carly-Jay Metcalfe

Carly-Jay Metcalfe

Carly-Jay was a speaker at TEDx Brisbane in October 2014 where she spoke about her life, her deaths and her passion for caring for the dying. Through her work, writing and speaking, she is hoping to get as many people thinking and talking about death and dying as possible. Carly-Jay hopes that by speaking/writing in the third person, that all of her dearly departed friends can hear her talking to them.

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