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.
The MTN Twin Cities May event will take place on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 7 – 9 p.m. See the end of this email for details on accessing the meeting.
This session is designed for people who may not feel that they have enough social or personal support to have the kind of end-of-life experience and an intimate home vigil to honor their life, in the way they may want.
There will be two sections to the evening. First how to begin to think about the support you already have. but not fully recognized. The second half will help you learn about resources and volunteers that are available through MN Threshold Network.
Also appropriate for individuals and people who represent social services that work with folks who many find themselves in this situation such a people living in halfway houses, programs, independent elderly with little family, people who feel outside familial social supports, network of friends that function like family, etc. Come join us on-line for the evening’s program.
Based in Italy, the Capsula Mundi project created an organic, biodegradable burial pod that literally turns a person’s remains into nutrients for a beautiful tree growing directly up above. Unfortunately, these burial pods are only a concept idea for now.
2. A Soft Goodbye is the beautifully story of how a Canadian home funeral guide helped the author and her family grieve the loss of a cherished relative. “No one called 911 or a funeral home. Instead, Richard’s family rang their death midwife.”
3. “What to Do With Our Bodies After We Die”: The Urban Death Project is developing a new option which may appeal to those who want to minimize environmental harm and give something back to the earth when we die. It is a system designed for urban settings in which human bodies are transformed into a soil-enriching substance. This choice can provide a deeply spiritual element for those who see something sacred in the cycles of life and the processes of decomposition and regeneration.
March 10, 2015, 7-9 p.m., at the home of Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan, 21 East Rustic Lodge Ave, Minneapolis
A helpful new tool, the Personal Self-Assessment Scale (PSAS), will be available at the meeting. This simple one-page chart can 1) clarify your wishes, 2) guide your choice of a health care agent (not necessarily your spouse or child), and 3) provide an easy opening for The Conversation with loved ones. It also can help you be more prepared and competent when someone you love is dying.
Although we can fill out an advanced directive by ourselves, MTN members find that working in community allows us to hear other points of view and find more clarity for our own questions.
Twenty people attended the all-day “Caring for Our Own” workshop on November 22, taught by three Minnesota Threshold Network home funeral guides. In MTN’s six years of offering after-death care workshops, this was the largest!
After check-ins, the morning began with guided rememberings of death in our lives, as children and as adults. Anne Murphy presented a brief history of after-death care in the US. Linda Bergh guided the group in becoming more aware of the specialness of this sacred time in the hours and days after a beloved has died. Kyoko Katayama shared the poignant story of her husband’s death, care, and home vigil.
Anne led the afternoon session by demonstrating step-by-step practical care of the body, with Linda and Kyoko adding stories to illustrate the uniqueness of each experience, as well as the unifying theme of bringing comfort and meaning to families. Many connections were made as the participants opened to this powerful topic and became a community for the day.
It was a day of soul care as well as body care. As one person wrote on the evaluation, “I got a great sense of what after-death body care really is.” Another participant commented, “The stories made the day’s experience so authentic.” Another said, “I’m going home and writing out what I would like done for me when I die.”
Several people have asked when MTN will offer another workshop. Fortunately the presenters enjoyed working together and found it a good mix of backgrounds, experience, and interest. It’s likely they’ll be doing another workshop. The topics most requested on the evaluation forms were:
Being with the dying
Minnesota laws (Come to the Dec. 9 MTN meeting for this!)
Mark your calendars for upcoming MTN 2014-2015 monthly meetings, all on Tuesdays: October – 14 – Movie night: A Will for the WoodsNovember 11 – Green Burials: the principles and the practicalities — with managers of local green cemeteries December 9 – Story night – A mortician’s experiences with natural burials plus State Rep. Carolyn Laine’s PowerPoint presentation January 13 – Death and Cookies – an open discussion about all aspects of death February 10 – Movie night: This Dewdrop World, connecting a personal death to planetary loss. March 10 – Preparing for death, advance directives, The Conversation(s), advance funeral planning April 14 – Looking at Caregiver Loss after an anticipated death May 12 – Story night: recent home vigils – Practicalities, challenges, benefits, and affects on the grieving process June annual forum TBA
Ars Moriendi : Day of Reflection on the Art of Dying Well
Saturday, January 11th, 2014. 8 AM- 3 PM
St. Joseph the Worker
7180 Hemlock Ln N, Maple Grove, MN 55369
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
COST: $20 for day,includes lunch
Contact Bonnie Steele at 763-400-7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to register!
Workshops will include: exploring end of life medical interventions, caring for your loved one after death, home visitations, natural burials & cremation, palliative care, financial planning, how to choose a health care agent, creating an ethical will, and hospice care.
MTN members Carolyn Laine and Linda Bergh will be presenting a workshop on Home Funerals and Green Burials.
You are invited to come and learn about how to plan for your loved or for yourself!