April MTN Event: Writing Advance Directives with Laurel Riedel

Your Health Care Directive

Take time to dive deeper into your own end of life intentions. Join us Tuesday, April 19th from 7-8:30 CT  during National Health Care Decision Week for the conversation. Bring a candle, a picture of yourself now or an earlier self, perhaps a special object and we will each create a space to contemplate and discuss documenting in a Health Care Directive. Bring your questions. To download a Health Care Directive go to Honoring Choices Minnesota and download their nine page long form.

Presenter Bio:
For 30 years, Laurel Riedel guided women and families through the miracle and mystery of birth as a nurse midwife at Hennepin Medical Center. She also cared for both of her parents through the challenges of aging and dementia while also taking on the role as their Health Care Agent. She was at each of their bedsides during their final days.

Being deeply invested in the transitions into and out of life, her passion now is to help people write thoughtful Health Care Directives, and more importantly, to befriend the conversations about end of life.

During COVID-19 and the time of zoom Laurel helped many of her own family members consider and document their end of life intentions.

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MTN March Event: Grief, Creativity and Nature in honoring those who have passed

Event Description:

Come join us as we share some of our experiences of death and loss, and unique ways we honor them through ritual. The discussion includes the role of nature and creativity. Karen will share her experience of a memorial service at a park. She was invited to facilitate a Celebration of Life in a park near a lake last summer. The woman who passed was an avid outdoor enthusiast. Her family and friends wanted to honor her by celebrating her life in nature.

Kyoko will share her experience of being with her husband’s living and dying, and how she continued to care for him after his death through stages of ceremonies. When he died, her grief seemed unbearable and unending to her. During this period, she journaled, and with encouragement of her friend Linda Bergh, she painted, expressing her complex emotions. Several years after his death she published a chapbook, Wings above the Sea: A story and images of loss and transformation that includes the paintings from that period.

Presenter Info: 

Karen Greer is a grief educator, celebrant and life transition consultant.  In 2015, Karen experienced a series of death events which started her asking “what’s the message here?” Since that time, she has become certified as a Grief Educator, started a neighborhood grief group and teaches at Pathways, in addition to being a celebrant for Memorial Services.

Kyoko Katayama, Ph. D., was a psychotherapist for over 35 years, now retired. Since 2011 until the Covid, she has been teaching Befriending Death: Embracing Impermanence with Courage, Love, and Equanimity at Common Ground Meditation Center and other venues. She is a writer and also an accidental artist.

Zoom Info:
Topic: MTN March Event
Time: Mar 15, 2022 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 813 1276 9011
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February Event: Less Fear, More Love

Please join us for the next MTN event Tuesday, February 15th from 7-8:30 CT.  MTN member Cindy Vernosky will host a presentation focused on facing our fears of death and dying.  See below for event description and details.

Event Description: Death is 100% guaranteed for all of us.  When? Where? How?  These questions often remain unanswered until the moment death arrives at our door—as an uninvited stranger.  On 2/15 we’ll turn toward these fears.  Cindy will share her experience of befriending death.  We’ll hear a story about a home funeral, and listen to music and a poem written by Karly Wahlin, a young artist who passed away at age 27.  We’ll have time for sharing and discussion as we begin to establish a closer relationship with our most loyal companion, Death.  By the way….no answers to the questions above, just less fear and more love.

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Meeting ID: 885 5048 4483
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January Event: Staying Green in Final Disposition

We’re excited to ring in the new year by focusing on the important topic of Green Burial on Tuesday, January, 18th from 7-8:30 CT!  Presenters Marilaurice Hemlock and Anne Archbold are co-founders of Final Blessings. They are active members of the Land Conservation Natural Burial Project, a local group working to establish a conservation burial area in the Twin Cities metro area. You won’t want to miss this! See below for event description and zoom details. 

Event Description: 
A natural burial creates opportunities to ritualize the cycle of birth-life-death that connects us with the entire earth community. We will view and discuss portions of a video of a natural burial graveside service conducted by funeral celebrants, Anne Archbold and Marilaurice Hemlock. You’ll hear stories from Heinz Brummel about how he helped carry out his dear friend’s wishes for a natural burial and what that experience was like for him. Along the way, you’ll get information about natural burial, local options for natural burial and resources to continue your learning on this topic. We also look forward to discussing how you can incorporate environmentally-friendly after death care options in conversations with individuals, families and their support networks. This is a very important topic but it is not only about death. It is about tending the Earth, living mindfully, and dying consciously according to our deepest values and beliefs. We welcome you to share in this conversation.

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Meeting ID: 836 9389 5590
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November Event: Minnesota Death Collaborative (MNDC) Shares Mission and Leadership

Join us on Tuesday, November 16th from 7:00- 8:30 PM CT!

Description: The MNDC is a group of integrative death professionals who serve the community in a variety of ways. They are end of life doulas, home funeral and vigil guides, celebrants, green burial advocates, body workers, and much more. They work together to provide integrative death care opportunities to those who are dying, their families, and their support network. MNDC leaders Anne Murphy, Janet Brown, and Nina Guertin will join us to share stories and gifts for the community. This event will be helpful for locals and for those who are developing services related to the threshold of dying.

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Meeting ID: 896 7798 6317

October Event: Conscious Dying and a Home Vigil and Sacred Closing Ceremony

Join us on Tuesday, October 19th from 7:00- 8:30 PM CT!

Description: Marianne Turnbull died at home and was not only involved in planning her home vigil and memorial, but wished for her death to become an education for others. Her daughters Julia and Nicole were actively involved in accompanying their mother throughout the journey, and creating beautiful rituals. Julia will share stories of her mother’s conscious dying process and home vigil, along with Lisa Venable & Wayne Swanson, who served the family as guides.

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Meeting ID: 813 6109 9158

September Event: Home Vigil Story & Water Ritual Blessings for Grief

Minnesota Threshold Network begins its yearlong focus on Home Vigils with a deeply personal story and an opportunity to participate in a Water Grief Ritual. Join us on September 21st from 7-9 PM CT.

Home Vigils exist in all cultures, but for many people, death has been separated from life by our institutions. MTN shares examples of how home vigils can become commonplace again. We want to inspire those who are closest to the deceased to personalize their own approach to say their final good-byes. Home Vigils are often in addition to more formal public funerals.

Home Vigil Story – Part 1

Join us for Paul Treuer’s compelling story of his father’s 3-day home vigil. Paul’s children had been born at home, and Paul recalled how important that had been for his wife and him. However, a home vigil is not part of normal hospice care and would not have happened without Paul’s desire to care for his father’s body and provide space for the family to honor and grieve him at home. Thankfully, the hospice team included someone who could facilitate a seamless transition from hospice care to family care. Paul hopes you will listen to his radio interview and formulate questions. 

Water Ritual Blessing for Grief – Part 2

Join us for a ritual that offers an opportunity to express grief for any losses you may be experiencing, past or current. The ritual is simple, private, and intimate. In preparation, you will receive an email from MTN before the event with ideas on how to build a simple altar to recognize and honor the loss.

Paul Treuer is a retired college educator from Duluth. His story was part of, Through The End of Life series by Two  Harbors Community Radio. Stream it at KTWH.org, Episode 6. Ellen Hufschmidt is a Chaplain, Ritualist, Counselor, and Author of With Our Own Hands: A Guidebook for Ritual Blessing of the Dead. She served as a Grief Counselor for 10 years at Essentia Hospice in Duluth, She was a co-producer and lead interviewer of Through the End of Life Series Ellen is on the Minnesota Threshold Network leadership team.

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Meeting ID: 882 7684 6054