Reimagining End-of-Life Care | Kate Riley | TEDxSunValley


LAUNCHING VEE’S CHARIOT: An End-of-Life Tale (Balboa Press/Hay House 2016)
Foreword by Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones, award-winning author of The Art of Uncertainty

Book available now. Please order here: Online Bookstore

Book Description:

Dying a good death is Vee Riley’s final wish, and she believes a good death is a conscious death. In the grip of end-stage cancer, she decides how she will interact with her deteriorating physical condition, while letting go of family and friends, her home, and her independence. For most of her life, Vee pursued a daily spiritual practice that included artwork, writing, meditating, and communing in nature, and she devoted herself to compassionate service enriching the lives of hundreds. Now, at 87, Vee knows the door to life is closing, and she valiantly engages her daughter Kate as her ally. Vee’s goal is to die at home, but the process is not as straightforward as she envisioned.

Mother and daughter find themselves entering the mystery, where they apply the wisdom of mutually intelligent hearts to overcome each obstacle that threatens to derail them from fulfilling Vee’s ultimate goal. With fortitude, integrity, and compassion, Kate supports her mom every step of the way home. Vee’s death is not pretty, but it is enlightening. Her final act takes us through a labyrinth, and the supernova of Vee’s leave-taking illuminates a way for all who choose to live consciously into death.

Book Reviews

“You are a champion, Kate Riley… You’ve written a beautiful and inspiring book. […] I found myself not only “leaning” into Vee’s dying and death, but also leaning into your openly shared experiences as her loving, loyal and courageous partner on the journey. […] Thank you for your soul-enhancing gift.”  __Robert Browbridge

“I learned things about the end of life process and choices for myself going forward. But more powerful were the range of emotions experienced, shared, through your words. Also, I was left wondering what your sisters are thinking and feeling about their role and loss of their mom. I guess in most families, one never knows.” __Anonymous

To read more reviews, check out


“The Green Velvet Journals: A Mother and Daughter Journey of Healing, Love & Trust” (In The Beam Publishing House 2004) – co-authored with my mom, Vee Riley.




“Launching Vee’s Chariot: Local woman writes on the power of the dying process” – Special Feature/Editor’s Selection – The Weekly Sun – May 25, 2016

“The Death Café Movement” – The Weekly Sun – September 16, 2015

“Miracle on Main Street” – The Weekly Sun – December 24, 2014

“Looking From the Outside In: Living in the Mystery” – The Weekly Sun – April 23, 2014

“Local Writing Groups; Writer’s Share Their POV” BOISE MAGAZINE – Spring 2010

“The Bus and Its Final Stop” – Funeral Consumers Alliance of Idaho – Spring 2009

“Conscious Dying” – Funeral Consumers Alliance of Idaho newsletter Spring 2009