Natural Passings: Reclaiming the End of Life

an ongoing discussion


March 27th, 28th and 29th, 2009


A grassroots look at Death, Dying and Burial, this weekend workshop will introduce participants to green burials, ethical wills, home funerals, options for funeral ceremonies and alternative ways of interring our loved ones.

Families and caregivers deserve meaningful participation in and support for handling the end of life. We will be looking at ways of reclaiming our rightful place in this most final of passages. We will provide a dusting off of some of the old ways and an introduction to some new ways to embrace and take personal responsibility for death's details.

Things to be considered when we talk of reclaiming the end of life are taking responsibility to make plans for your own death (creating ethical and living wills), planning your own funeral, planning a funeral for and caring for the body of a loved one, and choosing a way of interring a body that fits your own values.  What rights do we have?

In order to make these choices we need information. What are our options - spiritually, emotionally, physically, and legally? What can we do? The short answer is, a great deal. And it is our intention in this workshop to highlight some of the ways you can reclaim this often-challenging aspect of life passages. Topics to be covered may include, but not be limited to:


Ethical and living wills

Easing someone’s death:

          From music to toch, what can you do?

Someone has died - what now:

          Legalities & rights

          Care and keeping of a body

          Ensuring your final wishes

          Creating ceremony

          Casket alternatives

          Internment options -

                   family/funeral home relations

                   green burials



Death is an auspicious time in which to weave tradition and meaning into the fabric of our lives. Moreover, we can reclaim this time, in any number of great and small ways, when we become informed, empowered and inspired.

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