Now on YouTube: The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman

Celebrate and honor the life and death of Jack Heckelman.

As we pass the 15th Anniversary of Jack Heckelman’s Passing, April 24, 2020, Jack’s movie, The Most Exellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman, is now available for free on YouTube.


January Gathering: Showing of “In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye”

The documentary “In The Parlor: The Final Good-Bye,” written by Heidi Boucher and directed by Heidi Boucher and Ruby Sketchley, is an intimate portrait of three families opting to care for their loved ones after death.

Watch the trailer here:


MTN Twin Cities invites you to a showing of “In the Parlor”
Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 7:00-9:00 pm
Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ
1795 Holton St, St Paul, MN 55113 (click for map)

MTN events are free and open to the public. Donations of the heart accepted.

December Movie Night: The Art of Natural Death Care

art of natural dying

Katelyn LaGrega’s 2017 film, “The Art of Natural Death Care,” from the Sophia Center in North Carolina, shows families caring for their loved ones after death. The 27-minute documentary, which was presented at the 2017 National Home Funeral Alliance conference, includes clips of MTN’s Linda Bergh.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5, at 7:00 PM at 21 E Rustic Lodge, Minneapolis, MN 55419.

All MTN Events are free and open to the public. Donations of the heart accepted.

November Twin Cities Meeting: Home Funerals: Family directed after death care

Hand Candle

Presented by

Minnesota Threshold Network – Twin Cities

Ellen Hufschmidt, MA, chaplain and hospice grief counselor,

and Kyoko Katayama, PhD, LICSW

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 -7:30pm

The Community Gathering Space at 514 Lowry Ave NE

(Adjacent to Carma Coffee Shop)

Did you know that

  •  when a loved one dies, family and friends can care for the deceased and hold the visitation and ceremony at home?
  • a deceased person is not unsanitary or unsafe to the living or to the environment
  • embalming is not legally required
  • green burials are available in Minnesota  

This event is FREE and open to all. Please join us and learn about your options.

Until every Minnesotan is informed–Make it known; it can happen at home.


November 2015 Twin Cities meeting: The Vigil Project

Photo from a vigil, used with permission of National Home Funeral Alliance
Photo from a vigil, used with permission of National Home Funeral Alliance

Tuesday, November 10, 2015: The Vigil Project: a theatrical presentation by Mayo Clinic chaplain Mary E. Johnson

The Vigil Project presents death vigil stories of everyday people. Mary E. Johnson, creator of The Vigil Project, was chaplain at Mayo Clinic for over 30 years. Since most people don’t have many opportunities for vigil experiences, the Vigil Project gives voice to vigils’ healing potential.
Mary E. Johnson of the Vigil Project
Mary E. Johnson of the Vigil Project

After the presentation will be Q&A and sharing of other before-death and after-death vigil experiences.

The meeting begins at 7pm at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave, Mpls, 55410. Phone: 612-927-0894.

MTN meetings are free and open to all.

WGBH on home death care

WGBH in Boston has a great 9-minute video and article on growing interest in home death care.

A quote from the piece:

“It’s nice to be able to spend time with the body even though the spirit is already gone,” she said. “It’s just the shell. But you can still grieve for yourself.”

Photo by Peg Lorenz via WGBH.

Interest in Home Funerals in Two Harbors

DSC02085Rep. Carolyn Laine and Nancy Manahan gave a presentation at Two Harbors Public Library on September 26, 2013, about home funerals and green burials. The event drew an attentive audience of 40 people who had many questions. The Lake County News Chronicle published an article featuring Carolyn and Nancy:  It is clear that interest in green burials is growing.


The next day, Carolyn, Nancy, and Becky Bohan visited the Duluth Casket Shop at the invitation of the proprietor Jude Collins, who makes a range of caskets and urns, some appropriate for green burials. She also offers handmade shrouds, one which can been seen hanging on the wall behind Nancy and Jude. Jude does education on natural burial and is encouraging owners of Duluth cemeteries to accommodate green burials. For more information about her company, see

Report from May 13, 2013 Meeting

Lakewood Cemetery

Thirty people gathered at the home of Nancy Manahan & Becky Bohan May 13 to learn about conventional burials, pictured above, and green burials. Excerpts from a TED-X Talk on conservation burials and a KARE-11 story on alkaline hydrolysis (“flameless cremation”) were shown. For these videos and other resources, visit the MTN Resources page, and scroll down to section C, ECO-FRIENDLY FINAL DISPOSITION RESOURCES.


Eli Effinger-Weintraub recommended an informative and amusing website: The Order of the Good Death from a young California mortician who answers questions about death care on “Ask a Mortician.”



The Minnesota book launch for Charlene Elderkin’s new anthology Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises: Stories of Death and Renewal will be Sunday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Nancy and Becky, 21 East Rustic Lodge Avenue, Minneapolis (612.823.1910). Four authors from the Minnesota Threshold Network will read from their pieces.

Where the Tree Falls

Lawrence Doe announced his One Hundred Souls Project which offers workshops “designed to awaken possibilities in the dying process, to change fear into awe, and to add a sense of mystery and adventure to the sorrow and loss in death.” A website is not up yet, but Lawrence can be reached at

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church had a funeral planning workshop last week. There are indications that the church may be interested in a presentation from MTN.

MTN member Leslie Reindl died Tuesday night. A vigil is being held through Thursday. A private funeral was held on Friday. Blessings on your journey, Leslie, and thank you for inviting Threshold members to share your passage.

The next meeting will be June 26, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Roseville Public Library, 2180 Hamline Avenue North, Roseville. This is the annual MTN public

Edith Bohan's grave Nancy snoveling

informational forum on Home After-Death Care and Green Burials. The event is free and open to the public (as are all Threshold meetings!!).

Becky Bohan


March 18 Home Vigils-the basics

The March meeting topic, Home Funerals 101: The Basics of a Vigil, is the second in a series of instructional meetings on family-directed after-death care and environmentally-friendly final disposition.

The meeting is for those who want a more practical and personal understanding of the basics involved in a home vigil, which can be very special for a family — particularly if there is clarity about after-death care for the beloved.

This is a good time to bring friends and family and to learn more yourself about vigils. We will also discuss ways that Threshold Network members who are interested can volunteer to assist families.

Facilitated by Heather Halen, March 18, 2013, 7pm, at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. Minneapolis. Tel. 612-927-0894. Free and open to the public.