Twin Cities March Event: Death Over Easy

brunch_lg
Join us for “Death Over Easy,” a community brunch with conversations about death.
Circle around the table for brunch and conversation on a topic that we like to keep under the table. We will listen to each other and share our collective wisdom about death. Through exploring thoughts and feelings, we can more readily move through fears, shed inhibitions, and forge deeper connection with our loved ones.  It can be that easy!
Brunch  Details
DateMarch 5, 2016
Time10-Noon
LocationWalker Community United Methodist Church  
                 3104 16th Avenue South
                 Minneapolis, MN 55407 
                  Walkerchurch.org
Bring: Juice, Breads, Fruit Salad, Green Salads, Eggs
Also bring: Your own tableware (plates, cups, utensils, napkins)
Cost:  Suggested donation of $5 to cover room rental
 
PLEASE RSVP to Anne Murphy 651-964-9128annievmurph@gmail.com or Marianne Dietzel 612-743-2370, mariannemdietzel@gmail.com
 
So that we can have starting places for our shared conversations,  we have selected a couple short, engaging, informative, and inspiring pieces that we encourage you to read, watch, and listen.

Bronnie Ware worked for many years with patients who were in the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. She shares the five most common regrets they shared with her.

Watch:  You only die once. Engage with Grace.Eliza Corporation founder Alexandra Drane delivers a passionate talk about the need to discuss end of life decisions, and how we can approach this topic with grace and dignity. At the heart of this short video is a powerful story of losing a family member to cancer.deathoverdinner.org

Listen:  Breaking the Taboo of Talking About DeathMichael Hebb, founder of deathoverdinner.org, says how we want to die represents the most important and costly conversation Americans aren’t having. He explains how this project gives people the tools to move through these conversations.

February 2016 Link Round-Up

The Winter 2016 newsletter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Minnesota is now available on their website.  To read it, go to the FCA of MN home page.

FCA

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rochester

From the Rochester Area Chapter of the Minnesota Threshold Network:

All welcome! Free Will Donation 

You’ve lived a green life – but did you know it is now possible to carry your environmentally-conscious living into your end of life plans?  Green burial is a natural alternative to resource-intensive conventional burial and cremation. Through an informational presentation, video clips of other’s experiences and discussion, we will explore the topic of green burial. Learn the definition, benefits and legalities of green burial, as well as what local resources are available to support your choice to die green

February 16, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm, Dying to be Green, Assisi Heights Spirituality Center, 1001 14th St.NW, Rochester, MNDefinition, benefits, and legalities of green burial, as well as local resources available to support the choice to die green. Presented by the Rochester Area Chapter of the MTN. To register call (507) 280-2195.

Thanks to Deah Kinion, the Rochester Chapter now has a presence on Face Book.  It is a public page, so you don’t have to be a member of FB to access it.  Please “like” it and then invite all your friends to like it too.   Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/RochesterChapterMNThresholdNetwork/?fref=ts

 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Late Life: A Conversation with Atul Gawande 

http://video.tpt.org/video/2365637252/?utm_source=Late+Life%3A+A+Conversation+with+Atul+Gawande&utm_campaign=Late+Life%3A+A+Conversation+with+Atul+Gawande+Airs+on+TPT+Starting+This+Weekend!%3A+&utm_medium=email

Episode: Dr. Atul Gawande, author of “Being Mortal,” shares his vision of healthcare that helps people live well to the end.

Upcoming Broadcast Dates:

  • Sunday, Feb 7| 1:00 a.m. CT (channel: TPTMN)
  • Sunday, Feb 7| 7:00 a.m. CT (channel: TPTMN)
  • Sunday, Feb 7| 1:00 p.m. CT (channel: TPTMN)”

 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Mary Hanson Show: Special Mini-Series for Black History Month, tpt 2-2, the MN Channel, Mondays at 10AM, 4 PM, 10 PM and 4 AM

 March 21 – Preparing for End of Life Healthcare Decisions – Guest:  Anne Elizabeth Denny, Consultant, speaker and author of My Voice, My Choice

Rochester Chapter Event November 1: Death & Dessert

tastier than death!
Photo by Kimberly Vardeman via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license.

This is a gathering unlike anything you’ve experienced: cider, dessert, and honest conversation about death and dying. Death isn’t the easiest topic, so we want you to feel like you’re among friends – welcome, relaxed, safe. Let’s have a conversation.

Sunday, Nov. 1 from 4 – 6 PM

People’s Food Co-op, 519 1st Ave. SW, Rochester, MN

Everyone has questions and opinions about death and dying, but we rarely get a chance to share them. We want to give you that chance. This is not an educational program or a grief support group. We don’t subscribe to a particular belief system, and we aren’t selling anything. Death & Dessert is an opportunity to explore our thoughts and feelings about our own mortality and our experiences around the loss of loved ones, in the distant or recent past. Viewing death as a natural part of the life cycle lessens our fear of it and frees us to live more fully and joyfully right now. When you leave Death & Dessert, we want you to feel more comfortable with death and more excited about life.

Space is limited; please RSVP by calling 289-1199, by noon, Friday Oct. 30.

 

“If you can begin to see death as an invisible, but friendly, companion on your life’s journey … then you can learn to live your life rather than simply passing through it.”

— Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, ‘Death and the Final Stage of Growth’

 

October Event: Death Over Dinner

Death Over Dinner logo
Join us for a potluck dinner and engage in a conversation that we usually keep under the table. This is not meant to be a morbid conversation, but instead a very human one where we consider what we want, both in life and during its closure. Through sharing our thoughts and feelings on this subject, we can more readily move through our fears, shed inhibitions, and forge deeper understanding and connection with our loved ones.
Tuesday, October 13 at 6:30pm
Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church
To learn more about this unique project, visit http://deathoverdinner.org/.

So that we can have starting places for our shared conversations, we have selected a few “homework” assignments for all of us to read, watch, and listen to before we gather at the table. They are very short but are quite engaging, informative, and inspiring.

READ: To One Who Will Shortly Die
Walt Whitman’s poem eloquently invites us to face our impermanence without dread.

WATCH: You only die once. Engage with Grace.
Eliza Founder, Alexandra Drane delivers a passionate talk about the need to discuss end of life decisions, and how we can approach this topic with grace and dignity. At the heart of this short video is a powerful story of losing a family member to cancer.

LISTEN: What Doesn’t Kill You
Tig was diagnosed with cancer. A week later she went on stage in Los Angeles and did a now-legendary set about her string of misfortunes. Please listen from 3:04 – 15:35.

Link Roundup

1. From earthporm.com: “Bye-Bye Coffins, These Organic Burial Pods Turn Your Loved Ones Into Trees”

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.

Unfortunately, Italian law is keeping this at the concept stage 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.

Katrina Spode for the Urban Death Project.
Image by Katrina Spode for the Urban Death Project.

4. “The Trouble With Advance Directives”: New York Times article exploring the shortcomings of the current method of creating and maintaining advance directives in the US.

5. New video from Ask a Mortician: Everyone’s Favorite Conversation ~ Talking about Deathwith your parents.  Caitlin Doughty makes it almost fun, with some good questions at about 4 minutes in, to ask yourself first and foremost.

6. And be sure to catch Doughty’sirreverent take on traditional vs. natural/green burial.

January meeting: Death and Cookies – an open discussion about death

tastier than death!
Photo by Kimberly Vardeman via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license.
Often MTN meetings are educational, focusing on legal and practical aspects of home after-death care and natural burials. January’s meeting will be an opportunity to reflect more personally on death and share our diverse experiences. MTN welcomes people from a variety of backgrounds and philosophical understandings. Come with your thoughts and questions.
Cookies will be provided, but feel free to bring treats to share.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 7-9pm, at the home of Linda Bergh, 4315 Xerxes Ave. S., Minneapolis. Meetings are free and open to all.

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