Across the country and around the globe, celebrations took place throughout the month of June to honor the LGBTQ+ community! The Styx Chyx loved it, and we waved our rainbow flags in support. Even though June has now passed, we are deeply committed to being an ally, no matter what day, month, or year it is.

The Styx Chyx believe that it is only in recognizing what makes us unique that we can come together as a society that lives in the truth — a society that supports individuals in the ways that they need to be supported because they…

The Styx Chyx was established in early 2020 with the goal to remove stigma from the oft-avoided subjects of death and dying. We spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and writing about death in an effort to spark dialogue about a universal topic that our society has deemed taboo. Within this work exist many uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and social interactions. By hiding what’s difficult behind closed doors we do more harm than good to our society. As it turns out, tackling a long-standing cultural taboo is not merely an exercise of having a conversation, hosting an event, or writing…

A woman lying down in the snow
A woman lying down in the snow
Thea practicing savasana near Lake Tahoe, California

On a snowy day in mid-January, Emily and I sat in a church conference room and talked dying. We were in New Mexico to host a few events and plan what 2020 would look like for our nonprofit organization. (Writing this on March 31, I chuckle sadly at the state of ignorant bliss in which we existed in January.) “What about a campaign?” Emily said. We were in the midst of the social media segment of this particular strategic planning session and we recognized this was an area of improvement for us. “Like a 30-day challenge. If it works for…

Chama River, Abiquiú, New Mexico. January 2020.

Neon sunsets, green chile, and wide-open spaces. Deserts, mountains, rivers, and canyons. With all this to offer — and so much more — New Mexico’s title of the Land of Enchantment could not be more fitting, both for its physical beauty and for the creativity it inspires.

Before sharing updates from our time in New Mexico, I’d like to share The Styx Chyx genesis story.

Art by Nicole Adrienne Fisher:

“The dark and the light, they exist side by side,
Sometimes overlapping, one explaining the other.
The darkened path is as illuminated as the lightened…”
― Raven Davies, Between Here & There


Winter. Regardless of whether we observe the season’s holidays, this time of year is often filled with activity. External activity — New Year’s resolutions (organizing! exercising! prepping a week’s worth of healthy meals!), social obligations, shopping, traveling, the list goes on… — and also internal activity: the emotions and thoughts that swirl within us. As darkness takes over the days, we may find that our hearts and…

Image credit: Dadu Shin, New York Times Disability Series

“Personal stories are narratives that we share to make sense of, to give value to, the present moment. The present moment is all we have.” Adam Hayden (Glioblastology Adam Hayden) is a philosopher, writer, advocate, and organizer for the brain tumor community. Since being diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2016, he has written and presented on topics related specifically to his disease as well as more broadly on the philosophy of illness. When Adam spoke at the #EndWell19 Symposium, he was speaking to everyone.* It was during his presentation that the conference’s third theme emerged: this conversation is for you.


Image credit: KindPNG

I first heard this phrase in what I often refer to as ‘a lifetime ago’ or ‘in a previous life.’ Of course, it was not that long ago, and it was indeed in this — my — life. I was working at a large tech company in the San Francisco Bay Area and I had the privilege to work with By Code for America, a non-profit organization that “uses the principles and practices of the digital age to improve how government serves the American public, and how the public improves government.” (

One of the organization’s key operating principles is…

Image credit: End Well Project

We live in a country with a 100% mortality rate.

Given that we all will die, and knowing that some of us will become patients before our deaths, how might emergent technologies offer new propositions for models of care? What are today’s cultural, spiritual, and traditional belief systems and practices that might more fully empower our relationship with mortality? These are just a few of the many questions explored during the #EndWell19 Symposium in San Francisco.

The Styx Chyx had the opportunity to participate in this annual event and while processing the myriad ideas, projects, and tips that were shared…

The Styx Chyx

Emily Liddle and Thea Smith Nilsson are two zany chyx on a mission to bring the topic of death out of the darkness and into the conversation. Let’s talk dying.

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