Self-portrait by Mary Jo Steger. 

Stage Four: A Love Story was filmed over the course of five-plus years while Mary Jo and her family rode the emotional roller coaster of her precious last years of life. Almost four years later, the Stage Four Team, siblings Benjamin Steger (Director/Producer) and Kate Steger (Outreach and Marketing Coordinator), intend to contribute to and manage this blog as a way of generating support for and to dialog with others in similar circumstances. We are interested in thoughtful and articulate contributions that enrich our collective understanding of sickness and health, love and forgiveness, life and death, and in the role that film, and other art forms, can play in helping us reflect on and tell even our most difficult stories.

We welcome your voice in this dialog! Please feel free to leave your comments below each post. If you would like to make a longer contribution in the form of an essay, a poem, a photograph or another work of art, or if you have suggested links to other online reading material or resources, please contact us


Hospice and the Peaceful Home Death

More great news today!

We're very grateful to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization for publishing an article Kate wrote on their blog, Moments of Life. The article shares the story of how hospice supported Mary Jo's family as she reached the end stage of her illness. While Stage Four: A Love Story focuses on Mary Jo and George's relationship, it also furthers the lessons hospice teaches, that quality of life doesn't need to be compromised as death approaches.

“Mom wanted us to know that death was a natural part of life and not an alien, antiseptic, hostile event that had no place in the family home. With help from hospice, Mom was able to give us this final, precious lesson on living well all the way up to the end.”

— Hospice and the Peaceful Home Death

You can read the whole article on the Moments of Life blog.