Notes from the Regional Gathering

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Regional gathering attendees. Photo by Linda Bergh

On Saturday, October 6, 2018, the MTN Twin Cities hosted our third regional gathering. The event brought together people from throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin to discuss what’s going on in our communities around conscious dying, family-directed after-death care, and green burial. The meeting was held at the home of Linda Bergh. Nineteen people attended.

In the morning, each group checked into to tell us all about what they’ve been up to. Here are some general notes from those reports, although no notes can ever capture the true richness of experience represented in that room.

Southeast Minnesota Threshold Network (Rochester area; Deah reporting)

  • Feeling of dwindling. Would like thoughts on how to grow the network and do work in the community.
  • Series of meetings to get to know each other by talking about what each person wants for their own death.
  • Decorated a “coffin” and had each person lie in it. Others talked about what they would miss about the “dead” person
  • Trainings in body-washing and supporting grieving families
  • Sunday, November 4: death open mic in Rochester
  • Elephant in the Room is a local collaboration of hospice, library, medical society, SE MTN, & many others who have worked together for several years. They’re planning a month of death-related events in November called Community Reflections of Living & Dying. Kickoff on Thursday, November 1.
  • Question: how can groups support each other?
  • Facebook: SE Minnesota Threshold Network, Elephant In the Room Network – end of life planning

 

Threshold Care Circle (Viroqua, WI; Liz reporting)

  • Groups size has ebbed and flowed. In a “small” phase right now.
  • No green cemetery in the area; in Vernon county, people can bury on their own land.
  • People are now contacting them for help with both personal and policy questions. Helping get laws changed/helping people understand the law in their area
  • Group has diversified, which has allowed them to offer different kinds of workshops
  • It may seem like not much is happening, but you never know what the impact has been and how far the ripples have gone out
  • Question: when we have materials, how do we most effectively get them where they need to be?
  • Facebook: Threshold Care Circle

 

Tabooyah (Menomonie, WI; Terri reporting)

  • Small core group
  • See themselves as a resource group
  • Name comes from “taboo” + “booyah” (how cool is that?)
  • Rochelle Martin TED Talk, “Let’s Talk About Death
  • Had a table at local farmer’s market to Tell your Story on end of life
  • Investigated and learned that  residents of their county have a choice to be buried on homestead property. Easements may be required if the land is subsequently sold.
  • A lot of personal growth and commitment to the work
  • This work happens all the time. People die whenever they do; they don’t wait for a convenient time
  • Want to do more work in their community. Want to get ideas and energy around what they’re doing.
  • Question: how can groups offer each other energy and support?
  • Email address: tabooyahwi@gmail.com

 

Duluth, MN (Dana reporting)

  • Dana is new to this and very excited.

 

Mankato, MN (Mary Ann reporting)

  • Deva Nation. Nonprofit linked to an international movement of compassionate communities. A public health movement.
  • US is the only country with a for-profit healthcare system, which is why we don’t have any compassionate communities for end-of-life.
  • Public Health Palliative Care International
  • Want to create a compassionate town council. Each sector comes forward with policies to create a town charter that will be reviewed each year.
  • One Bright Star: nonprofit for families who have had a child die.
  • The vision: when anyone in the community is dying, caring, or grieving, we will all know what to do.
  • Question: how do we get Mary Ann some more people?!?
  • Birth, Breath, and Death, Amy Wright Glenn

 

 

Mind-Body Solutions (Minnetonka; Catherine reporting)

 

MTN Twin Cities (Linda, Karen, and others reporting)

  • Stay With Me Awhile, Mary Johnson and Barbara Means Frasier. New thirty-minute version on December 11 at Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community
  • Opening up the leadership team, restructuring the leadership team, reconsidering the mission
  • Question: how does leadership move into this new time with authenticity? How to do organization differently?
  • Question: how to bring younger people into this conversation?
  • Question: how to balance people who do this as a side passion with people who are doing it as a job and need to make money from it?
  • Started a mentoring framework: one person who’s been doing this for a while partners with one new person for each meeting

 

General Thoughts

After lunch, attendees held a planning discussion regarding the National Home Funeral Alliance 2019 national conference, which will be held in Chaska, Minnesota from October 4-6, 2019. Anyone who’s interested in helping plan and/or volunteer during this event is asked to contact Mary Ann Boe at maryann @ devanation . com

We are grateful to everyone who made the trek to this gathering, and to Linda for hosting. Let’s keep the ideas and enthusiasm flowing between us.

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Regional gathering attendees. Photo by Ellen Hufschmidt
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November Meeting: The Art of Natural Death Care

MN Threshold Network invites you to attend:

THE ART OF NATURAL DEATH CARE: a movie, discussion, and demonstration

art of natural dying
Cover Image from Katelyn LaGrega’s “The Art of Natural Death Care”

The movie is Katelyn LaGrega’s documentary about loving, heart-felt, sacred, and compelling stories of how we can care for our own loved ones after death.

LEARN ABOUT NATURAL DEATH CARE:

•Options that exist no matter where someone dies for grief vigils and funerals
•Facts about legality and lowered costs
•Ways that open the heart when it hurts the most
•Demo on blessing or washing a loved one’s body

DATE: Wednesday, Nov. 7th  (please VOTE on Tuesday the 6th!)
TIME: 7-8:30pm
LOCATION: Nokomis Square Senior Coop
5015 35th Ave. So., Minneapolis, MN 55417
Community Room (parking and entrances in front and back of building).
FREE OF CHARGE. Treats welcome. Tea will be available. Donations of the heart accepted.

***Invite your own family members, such as adult children and grandchildren, and close friends (in other words, your “peeps”). It’s a great opportunity to have a the discussion that isn’t easy, but you may secretly want to have. Face the elephant in the room with support from this program.***

2018 Book List

We had a wonderful gathering at Anne’s home on September 12. Seventeen people were present to share a heckuva lot of death- and grief-related books that have touched their lives and hearts. I’ve made an attempt to sort them into categories this year. Not sure how well I did, though. Enjoy!

Books about death: they're made of dead trees!

Children’s Books

Death Practices

  • From Here to Eternity, Caitlin Doughty. “World tour” of death practices. Observations of death detachment in US vs. participation in the rest of the world.
    • Notes about cremation: in other cultures where cremation rates are high, families/communities are more involved. Is increasing awareness of witness cremation part of our work?
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Caitlin Doughty. Good introduction to the topic. Accessible.

Fiction

  • Being Dead, Jim Crace. Novel about murdered couple whose bodies aren’t found for over a week; weaves in updates on what’s happening with the bodies.

Lessons For the Dying

Lessons for Caregivers and Other Beloveds

Memoirs and Personal Accounts

Metaphysical

Poetry

Uncategorized

Podcasts

  • Death, et seq.Interviews about all aspects of death in US culture
  • GeriPal: Geriatric palliative care physicians
  • Kaddish: Rituals for death from around the world

 

 

MTN Regional Gathering Saturday, October 6

Minnesota Threshold Network is delighted to host our third regional gathering of home funeral advocates on October 6.

OPEN TO ALL – PLEASE JOIN US

We invite representation from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to share visions, challenges, and plans. We look forward to strengthening our regional connections and mission.

Also, the National Home Funeral Alliance is holding its national conference in Minnesota next year (Oct. 4-6, 2019), and we want the Midwest to be a strong presence there. Plans will be shared.

The gathering will be held Saturday October 6, from 10am to 3pm, at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. S. Mpls. (click for map). 612 325 2775. Please bring a potluck item to share!

RSVP to Linda at hellolindabergh @ gmail.com

2016 Regional Gathering Attendees
Oct. 2016 regional gathering at Linda Bergh’s home with seventeen home funeral advocates/educators from nine towns and three states

September Book Sharing

Books about death: they're made of dead trees!

The annual MTN book sharing will be at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 12 (since our usual 2nd Tuesday is Rosh Hashanah this year). It will be at the home of Anne Murphy, 287 Mt. Curve Blvd, St. Paul.

Be thinking about your favorite death and dying book to share and/or swap. Go home with a reading list of great books for the rest of the year.

Local Event (non-MTN): Walking with Death

Upcoming local event hosted by Deva Nation and Conscious Dying Institute:

Walking with Death: Conscious Dying Practices for Compassion & Transformation

Friday, July 13, 2018, 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Center for Intuitive Living
5356 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417-1734
COST: $35

Join us for an evening with Echo Bodine & Tarron Estes, founder of Conscious Dying Institute. This evening event introduces us to Conscious Dying’s sacred, healing practices for the caring of self and others during the end of life journey, and to Echo Bodine’s exploration of the soul’s perspective on consciousness that can be accessed before, during, and after death.

For more information, visit DevaNation.com

This event below features an intro to Conscious Dying Institute’s 3-day Conscious Dying Training in Mankato, September 6-8 at Sibley Park Pavilion. This Conscious Dying Training In Mankato will also double as Phase I of the Sacred Passage End of Life Doula Certificate. Phase II of the EOL Doula Certificate will be offered November 27-Dec 2 at a Buddhist Retreat Center on a lake north of Mankato. CDI is planning to run these to two events every year; the 3-day community event in the Spring (as a stand-alone or as a prerequisite to EOL doula certification) and the 5-day doula certification in late summer. For more information on this training, call 303-440-8018 or email info@consciousdyinginstitute.com.

Walking With Death

 

June Forum: Dying to Know: conversations about the end of life

The Minnesota Threshold Network invites you to our annual June Forum

Dying to Know: Conversations about Choices at the End-of-Life

open to friends, families, groups of all ages to explore together the choices around end-of-life
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The Concept:

Participate in lively conversations about death and after death arrangements for yourself and/or loved ones.

Questions such as “What would your ideal death look like?” “Who would be there?” “How would I like to be honored after I die” and many more… Have the conversation you have wanted to have around death and dying

St. Clements Episcopal Church, Parish Hall

901 Portland Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55104

Tuesday, June 5th

7-8:30pm

Free and open to all. Donation of the heart are welcomed

Interested? RSVP to Ellen Hufschmidt at ritesofchange@gmail.com