10 Lessons I’ve Learned About Living from the Dying By Diane Button
“As a death doula, I often say that sitting at the bedside of the dying is one of the greatest privileges of my life. Their final wishes, tears, joys, and
The Sharing Place
Death can shatter a family. And when that family includes children, it can be even harder. It can be a challenge to know how to begin to help those young
Recipe for Remembering: Lunn Family Beef Bourguignon
Johanna Lunn’s father, Jim, died when she was young. Years later, facing a crisis in her life, she wished for her father’s advice. So she decided to invite his memory
Recipe for Remembering: Ukrainian Pyrohy (Perogies)
For Amy Soloway (Solowij), being in the kitchen with her mother, Eveleen is a cherished memory. It was filled with laughter, lessons and of course, good food. Her mother embraced
Going to the Dogs
Many animal lovers will leave provisions to care for their furry friends. And for some, that’s more than your average kibble. Meet Gunther. Well, actually, Gunther the 6th. He
Recipe For Remembering: Nana’s Banana Bread
My earliest memories are of my Grandmother, Fairy Belle. She was very present in our lives and for a time, lived with us. I remember coming home from school and
Swedish Death Cleaning: What is it and why should you start now?
Spring cleaning has become almost a biological ritual. The winter has gone, the windows are open and we suddenly want to give the house a freshening up. We wash, we dust, we sort. Some things are tossed or re-homed. But what if we cleaned, not with the birth of a new season in mind, but use our own death as motivation instead.
Celebrating Easter After the Death of a Mother
Holidays can be difficult when you are missing and grieving someone. But it seems a bit harder when it’s your mom. Usually it is our mothers who organize family dinners and events, so when she’s gone, how do we approach the holiday without her? The folks at Cake have a website of resources and tools to help with grief and end of life and general “navigating mortality”.
How Memorial Tattoos Help the Bereaved
“Tattooing one’s grief can be an act of resistance to the notion that grief can or should be cured … The act of tattooing suggests that grief is permanent and
Helping Children Cope with Grief
We are living in a sad and confusing time, especially for a child. From COVID to the Ukraine, we are saturated with loss. And even if your child has been spared the horrors of the nightly news, the odds are they will experience, at some point, the death of a pet or grandparent or family member or friend or teacher or…. Grief and loss are part of life, but how do we talk to our children about it?
Millennials Are Feeling Their Mortality
It isn’t just the senior population that have their last wishes recorded. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the pandemic has changed the way younger people are looking at getting
Buried at Sea
Interested in being buried at sea? Full body sea burials are eco-friendly and affordable. This service is offered on the Southern Pacific Coast of California, but check your area to
How You Can Support a Grieving Friend Through the Holidays
There is a good chance that you know someone who is facing the imminent holiday with impending dread. It’s hard to know what to say to a friend who is grieving, and the holidays can be a particularly difficult time to face. There are ways to help (or not!) but the main rule is to follow the lead of the person who is grieving.
When Charmaine Haddad’s parents were both gone, the family still had items and clothing that had belonged to their mom and dad. Charmaine’s sister, Charlotte, took her mother’s fur coat
How Talking About Death Has Changed My Life
If you had told me a few years ago that thinking and talking about death would make my life better, well, I might have just died from shock.
An Interview with Francesca Arnoldy
Join Francesca Arnoldy (Contemplative Doula) and Johanna Lunn (When You Die Project) for a robust discussion about Lunn’s new documentary, including Q&A with end-of-life doulas.
What A Hospice Physician Who Interviewed 1,400 Patients Can Tell Us About Dying
Visions and vivid dreams are end-of-life experiences that are seldom talked about. They often include reunions with deceased loved ones — and can provide dying patients with profound comfort.
Giving Space to Grief
In Ghana, Funerals Are A Party.
But My Dad’s Couldn’t Hold My Grief.
An Interview with a Grave Gardener
It is because of my grave gardener mom that I’ve grown to become a death-positive woman. I’m a woman who considers death a part of life.
Lessons from an Unexpected Widower
Everyone’s grief journey is different.
Near Death Transformations
It’s difficult to know, because a lot of people are not willing to talk about these experiences.
Lessons For the Living From the Dying
From every loss in Amanda Carr’s life has come a deeper understanding of the dying experience and a greater appreciation for life.
Each culture has its own traditions, rituals and ways of expressing grief and mourning.
Thanatophobia and How to Overcome the Fear of Dying
It’s not unusual to fear death. It is the great unknown, after all. It brings the ultimate sadness and enormous loss. But to carry that fear always, obsessively, makes it a phobia. And that phobia has a name: Thanatophobia.
Self-care in the Time of COVID-19
With COVID-19 very much a part of our lives, we have collective feelings of being uncomfortable or out of sorts. This feeling can be attributed to a global grief, and the antidote is being tender with ourselves – and others. Stressed out has become the new normal, and, clearly, it’s not healthy.
The world can certainly do with a little more kindness
“Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth.” —Naomi Shihab Nye
Protecting Our Kids From the Emotional and Physical Toll of COVID-19
“Teaching my children, and myself, that you can’t always have things your way.” Emily Dagostino writes about teaching her children to be brave. Read the full article here > >
Racism and Death: Is it Possible to Die in Peace?
Death doula Alua Arthur brings six Black death positive leaders together to talk about racism in a predominately white industry and how to change it. The LA Times covers this ground
Sayin’ It Louder
As we look and try to learn more about (and how to battle) racism in our society, we realize that racism and anti-black racism permeate all aspects of life. And
StoryCorps—the organization that encourages us to “help create an archive of the wisdom of humanity”—now has an app available through Google Play and the App Store. Go to: https://storycorps.me/ One man
A Will for the Woods
A Will for the Woods, which charts the story of Clark Wang, who was dying of lymphoma and wanted to organize his own green burial. http://www.awillforthewoods.com/#home
Crossings: A home funeral and green burial resource center.
“What is the single most prevalent fear for humans? Death. And what is the single most healing act available to humans? Love. In caring for the dead, we love. As
A Family Undertaking
A movement in support of home burials in North America has gradually gained momentum over the past decade. Here’s one film that got the ball rolling, A Family Undertaking (2004),
Tender Funerals: A Community Undertaking
A home-burial movement is getting started in Australia, too. This documentary profiles the work of those trying to reclaim the care of their dead from large funeral businesses who monopolize
Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death
Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death by Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson (2011)—Slocum—once an investigative reporter who was shocked to learn how difficult it is to apprehend information
Grave Matters: A Journey Through the American Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris (2008)—Environmental journalist Harris follows families who opted out of chemical embalming and
The American Way of Death
The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford (1964)—the classic exposé that reveals the inner workings of the American funeral industry with humour and insight. Robert Gottlieb says in his
The Art of Dying
This book by Peter Fenwick and Elizabeth Fenwick presents “accounts by the dying and those who have been with the dying in their final hours” in order to help readers
The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us Live More Fully
Dr. Penny Sartori’s book is based on her extensive doctoral research and her 17 years of experience as a nurse in intensive care. Through documented research, anecdotal evidence and case
The D-Word: Talking About Dying
Brayne’s The D-Word is another practical guide to navigating a part of life that can arouse fear, awkwardness, even embarrassment. This in turn can “cause us to shy away from
Nearing the End of Life: A Guide for Relatives and Friends of the Dying
Sue Brayne’s Nearing the End of Life, written with Peter Fenwick, provides an unvarnished yet sensitive guide to what to expect during the dying process of a loved one. The
What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying
purpose right now, without waiting until our last breaths,” says author Dr. Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. “This is the gift left behind by those who have already passed on before us:
Conversations on Dying: A Palliative-Care Pioneer Faces His Own Death
This is an intimate and honest conversation with palliative-care pioneer Larry Librach throughout his own journey from cancer diagnosis to his death in 2013. Librach dedicated his life to helping
Caitlin Doughty speaks to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross
Caitlin Doughty is out to reclaim death. The Los Angeles mortician, author, and founder of the ‘Order of the Good Death’ and ‘Undertaking LA’ speaks to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about
When a friend dies, what do I say to the family?
What do you say to someone when they have lost a loved one? Here are a few helpful hints when it comes to offering your support. Ann Nemann, from the
If you are trying to plan what will happen after your loved one dies, or you are simply interested in different ways to relate to bodies after death, take a
There’s a lot out there on green burial these days. Here are some of the basics to get you started! Eternal Reefs Bio Urns Tree Urns Not Accepted in Some
CINDEA is a Canadian-based organization, which respects the wisdom of ancient death traditions and encourages the renewal of older death practices that are appropriate to our modern-day life. In the
Best Movies About Death and Dying
While death in the 20th/21st centuries has often been relegated to the realm of our private lives, never meant for public display, cinema has acted as the mirror to the
Avoiding the Topic of Death
In our crusade to bring the conversation of death back to life in our society, it’s good to know that others are doing the same. Kay Vandette, a writer with
How to live and die without regret: learning from those facing death
Many of us become distracted by the pressures of work, the expectations of others and the demands of every day commitments. But nothing can change your priorities quicker than being
What Happens in the Days Before you Die?
If you have never experienced watching someone die, you might not know what to expect. This article from HelloCare walks us though the stages that lead to death . Here’s
What Happens to Our Bodies When We Die?
Since people first walked this earth they have been living and dying. But what actually happens to our bodies in death? This Ted-Ed video breaks down our breaking down. Tags
Good Ground Great Beyond – A Place to Contemplate Death
Good Ground Great Beyond is 63 acres of land in Midcoast Maine available for individuals and communities to contemplate, remember and engage death differently. The intention for the land is to
Communicating End-of-Life Care Wishes With Clinicians and Family
Nursing@Georgetown created a new guide to help individuals with terminal conditions navigate and effectively communicate difficult end-of-life decisions to their family and clinicians. This comprehensive resource includes a list of
How to Write an Obituary
Whether you are writing your own obituary to leave behind, or one of someone you love, how do you condense an entire life into a small space of words? Modern
How to Tell People You Are Dying
For those with a life-ending diagnosis, there is so much to process. But one of the hardest things may be telling those you love. Click here to read the full
Talking to Dying Children
By their very nature, children are curious and questioning. But how much should they be told if they have received a terminal diagnosis? Barbara Karnes, an RN who has worked
Sympathy Words For Loss Of Pet
From Amy Davis’ article on UltimatePetHub.com Finding the right Loss Of A Pet Message is hard. You just want to get it right and showing your support when someone losing
Parents Rethink End-of-Life Decisions Because of COVID-19
Holly MacDonald recently turned 40 and is on maternity leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. The global crisis made Holly and her partner seriously consider their end-of-life decisions. If they were