HSD Project

You are invited to join this network of sharing and learning, using personal stories and shared reflection about those questions about death and dying. This page is for you if you are:

Curious about the process of creating resilience out of chaos, and want to know more about how human systems dynamics (HSD) offers powerful theory and practice to transform intractable problems into patterns of possibility.

Asking Questions about meaning in your life and how to move forward as you relate to the death of a loved one, loss in your community, or the possibility of your own death.

Involved with human systems dynamics and would like to inquire together about how the practice of HSD applies to personal and practical questions at the end of life.


Sharing stories of patterns
with death and dying

This page offers a network that is essentially about the patterns we can shape around our experiences with illness, death, and dying. HSD defines patterns as similarities, differences, and connections that have meaning across space and time. The network of resources and opportunities consists of this page for sharing stories, our Patterns with Death Group on Facebook, which can be found by following this link, and our Patterns with Death with Death Channel on YouTube, which you can find here. As you explore this page, you will see invitations to join the conversation and share resources on Facebook, to share your own video with us to include on our YouTube channel, and to visit here to see this site, in connection with the rest of the network. 

In this page, we’ll consider patterns at many levels, including:


Glenda's story explores an individual pattern of loss and transformation:

  • What legacy do you leave after you die? How do you influence those patterns in preparation for the end of life? 
  • How do grief and loss reshape the patterns of who we are?
  • How do the patterns of loved ones continue and change after they die? How do we see and influence these patterns after their death?

See Glenda's story below.

Family and community

Sam's story shares patterns of relationship that extend beyond time and space:

  • In view of our own limited lives, how do we receive, influence, and pass on patterns frtom previous and future generations?
  • What family and societal patterns show up in relating to the end of life? How do we see and influence those patterns?

See Sam’s story below.

Health and health care

Mary tells the story of relationship and loss, as her wife experienced the system of care:

  • What patterns of health care shape end of life?
  • How do patterns shift from working for survival to release into death?

See Mary’s story below.

Nature and transcendence

Michael weaves a story about patterns within and beyond:

  • What larger patterns are we a part of that transcend and include our finite, individual lives?
  • How do we connect with and contribute to these larger patterns in the time we have?
  • What natural systems are we a part of and how are they both a resource and something we influence as we die?

See Michael’s story below.

Our Stories

Wendy Morris and Glenda Eoyang set the stage here for sharing these videos of personal storytelling from Michael Bischoff, Sam Grant and Mary Nations. Listen to their stories and consider sharing your story here, joining our conversation on Facebook, and bringing family, friends, and colleagues to join this growing network.

Wendy’s Story

Wendy sets the tone for the sharing and learning space as she honors the past and introduces the stories to come.

Glenda’s Story

Glenda explains what we mean by “patterns at death” by sharing the story of the patterns she experienced through the final days in the life of her husband, John.

Mary’s Story

Mary shares stories of the loss of her wife, Kristel, and how she has seen and influenced patterns in her roles as partner and caretaker during Kristel's illness,  and now as widow with relationships continuing yet different.

Sam’s Story

Sam’s is a three-part story, all about his experience of the deaths of, and new relationships with his mother, his father, and his best friend. He shares how, in his continuing relationships and ongoing dialogue with them, he is now able to be more mindful and respectful as he embodies and carries forward their legacies in his work.

Michael’s Story

Michael shares his stories of living with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. His work with HSD and seeing, noticing, and influencing and how he has seen and noticed, and influenced patterns in that process has been the foundation for this series. Hear Michael talk about these patterns, as they emerge in his family life, in his health and treatment, and in his identity.


Join the Conversation on Our Facebook Page

We want to build an ongoing conversation about people’s experiences with this work. Please join the conversation on Facebook. Share your questions, learning, fears, resources there.

Join The Conversation
Share Your Story

We would love to share your story with others on our website and on our YouTube channel. We invite you to create a brief video of your story (max 15 min) and load it up wherever is convenient to you and where we can download it.

Share the link with us at patternswithdeath@hsdinstitute.org. In that email please include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Phone number
  • Preferred email address
  • How you found out about us
  • Link to your video

We will curate each video to ensure it meets the following standards:

  • Videos are of a quality that makes them easy to watch and understand
  • Videos treat the topic with respect and are free of explicit language and images that can be considered biased or offensive to others
  • Videos are original works that you create
  • Decisions of HSD Institute staff about appropriateness of the content and quality of video will be a final decision. You will be notified when the video has been added to the collection, or if it does not meet the standards we notify you, providing feedback in case you want to re-submit.

Please note that by submitting your video, you are confirming the following: