“Absence of record doesn’t mean there’s an absence of consciousness…Ultimately, what we’re saying is, ‘This is the great unknown. We’re in uncharted territory.’ And the key thing is that these
It started with Itaru Sasaki in Otsuchi, Japan. Devastated by the loss of his cousin and a strong desire to talk with him once again, a thought stirred in his
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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”.
“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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
In Ghana, Funerals Are A Party.
But My Dad’s Couldn’t Hold My Grief.
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.
Everyone’s grief journey is different.
It’s difficult to know, because a lot of people are not willing to talk about these experiences.
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.
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.
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.
“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
“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 > >
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
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, 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
“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 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),
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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:
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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