Stories We Love

We don’t endorse every point of view in these stories but respect them and offer them up in the spirit of reclaiming death as a rich, challenging, rewarding, exhausting, heartbreaking, heart-filling, integral part of our human journey.

Stories

Dog German Shepard Gunther Wealth Finance Pet

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

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.

Keepsake Memories

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

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.

Grief Speaks

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.

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

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

A Family Undertaking

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 documentary

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

Grave Matters

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 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

Burial Practices

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

Green Burial

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

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

What happens to our bodies when we die?

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

how to write an obituary

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 someone you are dying

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

Dying child

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

Loss of a Pet

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

Life and Death, Tragedy and Grief in the time of COVID-19

Grief can be an isolating experience, but as the world adapts to life in a pandemic, we are forced to redesign how we grieve as communities in isolation. And when a community is unable to physically come together in tragedy, they find ways to be together, apart.

Movie Therapy

Movie Therapy

Five classic movies for coping with fear and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus. Go ahead and cry, laugh, release. Read the full article here>> Tags grief, Grief Culture, Therapy,

Living in the in-between

Living In the In-Between

In this time of the corona virus and the death of our former life, we may face terrible realities, but we also face amazing possibilities.

Living in the in-between

In the Realm of Death & Dreaming

An Update on the WYD Documentary Project

Who are we? Does consciousness continue after death? The more I looked into dying, the more intriguing it became, and I realized we are just not talking about these things.
— Johanna J. Lunn