The Results Are In!

Hi, all. Eli here with a list of books, articles, films, podcasts, and ideas shared at the September Excitement Swap!

This year we heard so many amazing suggestions, in so many different media, that I’ve broken them into categories. Entries are arranged alphabetically by title (my apologies to librarians and library-lovers). When possible, I have included the sharer’s name and any commentary they offered on the work. Caveat lector: I am but one fallible mortal who was trying to keep up with a delightfully lively discussion, so there’s a very real possibility that I missed things. If you see errors or omissions, please let me know!

get-excited-and-make-things-happen

MTN Twin Cities Meeting, September 19, 2017
Book, Article, and Idea Share
Anne Murphy’s home (thank you, Anne)
19 attending
Notes taken by Eli
Opening: “Epitaph” by Merritt Malloy

BOOKS

PODCASTS and OTHER AUDIO

ARTICLES

WEBSITES

FILMS

THEATER

  • Stay With Me Awhile Mary Johnson & Barbara Means Fraser. Rochester Civic in February. Karen G. will be coordinating an MTN group trip to this event.

QUESTIONS

  • What is the connection between mainstream fear of/separation from death and the hatred, violence, and oppression we are living in now? (Eli)
  • Can we meet hatred with love? How? (originally posed by Carolyn Laine; relayed by Eli)
  • Are people being given the choice of not having morphine and experiencing the pain at end of life? (Marianne)
  • Palliative and sedation. Are we as healthcare agents and other end-of-life tenders listening well enough to advocate for what the dying person truly wants? (Kathy)

UPCOMING EVENTS

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Kyoko is creating a chapbook based on her experiences with death, grief, and healing in the last months of her husband’s life. She will share more information when it’s available.
  • Karen G. has started giving talks on facing our mortality. The next one is at Sunday, November 19, 1-5 p.m., at Wellsprings Farm in Annandale. Contact Karen for more information.
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Friends of the St. Paul Public Library series: (New Ways of) Thinking About Dying

MTN Twin Cities members Anne Murphy, Anne Archbold, and Marilaurice Hemlock will presenters in the St. Paul Public Library’s upcoming discussion series “(New Ways of) Thinking About Dying.”

Presented by The Friends and Health Advocates—a Saint Paul-based public health consulting group which promotes communication that bridges differences in culture, language, and class.

From ‘conscious dying’ at home, to family-designed home vigils, to green burials, dying people and those who care for them are rediscovering and redefining what happens before, during and after death. Continue reading “Friends of the St. Paul Public Library series: (New Ways of) Thinking About Dying”

MTN at MNHP conference

The Minnesota Threshold Network was a presence at the Minnesota Hospice and Palliative Care conference, April 19-21 in Bloomington. MTN shared an exhibitor table with the Funeral Consumers’ Alliance of Minnesota, with Anne Murphy and Heather Ferguson volunteer staffing for MTN and Jody Bystrum for FCA. Anne, Heather, and Jody spoke with many nurses, social workers, and volunteers and encouraged them to get to know utilize our organizations as a resource.  Anne reports that it was a very receptive crowd, and many of them commented that they are noticing that people are wanting to find ways to honor and celebrate life in new ways.

Our thanks to Anne and Heather for staffing the table, to FCA for the table-sharing arrangement, and to everyone who stopped by to talk about this important work.

 

partnering to share knowledge and resources!
Jody Bystrum and Anne Murphy at the MNHP conference.

Correction 5/8/15: our table was staffed by Anne Murphy and Heather Ferguson! Thanks, Heather.

MTN “Caring for Our Own” workshop largest ever

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.

Workshop participants prepare a gracious volunteer “corpse” for disposition. Beautiful cloths and flowers offer one last chance to show love and care for our beloved dead.

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:

  • Green burials
  • Being with the dying
  • Minnesota laws (Come to the Dec. 9 MTN meeting for this!)
  • Facing our mortality
  • Home vigils