Caring for our Own: After Death Care Workshop



The Vigil Continuum: Caring for Our Loved Ones from Pre-Death

The Minnesota Threshold Network invites you to a free Public Forum

The Vigil Continuum:

Caring for Our Loved Ones from Pre-Death

to Post-Deathpath

Tuesday, June 14, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church1895 Laurel Ave, St Paul, MN, 55104. Unmetered on-street parking available.

Forum topics include:

  • Holding a vigil in the last days or hours of life

  • Holding an after-death family-directed vigil

  • Legal issues involved with vigils

Featured guests include State Representative Carolyn Laine and former Rochester Mayo chaplain Mary E. Johnson of The Vigil Project.

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.

May 12 Twin Cities Meeting: Recent Home Vigils

Kari Olson will share the story of her 26-year-old son Morgan, who died of metastatic melanoma in December 2013. During Hospice and the 3-day vigil, friends and family surrounded Morgan, and Kari had the opportunity to explain home vigils to many young people who had not experienced them before. Community members, including MTN, lent support.
Kari and Morgan. Photo by Louise Hill.
Kari and Morgan. Photo by Louise Hill.
Marti Martin Robinson will share the story of the home vigil for her husband, Jeff, who died on hospice from terminal brain cancer (glioblastoma) on November 1, 2014. Marti had an open house over two days, using the MTN community coffin.
Marti and Jeff
Marti and Jeff
Meeting will take place Tuesday, May 12, 7-9 p.m., at the home of Anne Murphy, 2183 Wellesley Ave., St. Paul. MTN meetings are free and open to the public.

Please join us: upcoming MTN meeting dates

Mark your calendars for upcoming MTN 2014-2015 monthly meetings, all on Tuesdays: October – 14 –  Movie night:  A Will for the Woods November 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

We hope to see you there.

Feb. Movie Night; great article; Home Vigils part 2

MTN’s February Movie Night will feature Departures, the 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film. A young Japanese cellist moves back to his small hometown when his orchestra disbands. Desperate for work, he takes a job as a “Nokanshi,” a funeral professional who prepares bodies for cremation. Daigo is too embarrassed to admit his new career, even to his wife. But while working with the families of the departed, he discovers an aptitude for the work and embarks on a spiritual journey to a powerful climax that brings the fragmented pieces of his life together.

Monday February 18, 2013, 7PM at the home of Julie Tinberg, 6801 W. 83rd Street Terrace, Bloomington, MN. 55438, 612-245-3137.
Popcorn and other snacks provided. Free and open to all. Bring your friends and family,

Newsweek’s free online arm, The Daily Beast, is featuring an article “Inside a Home Funeral. It begins,
“This is the first time I am so close. There is a body bag on the table, waiting to be opened. Our best friends’ 22-year-old son’s body is inside. His mother and father are across from me, brothers beside, with several women gathered to form the circle around the table. These women will become my sisters in the next five hours, as we prepare the body together.”
You can read the story at

Twenty-five people attended the MTN meeting on January 22 to hear stories of home vigils, led by Linda Bergh and Kyoko Katayama. There was interest in learning more about the specifics of caring for our own loved ones at death, so Home Vigils part 2 will be offered March 18, 2013, for those who want a deeper understanding of what is involved in this sacred time.

This meeting 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. Free and open to all.