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 documentary “In The Parlor: The Final Good-Bye,” written by Heidi Boucher and directed by Heidi Boucher and Ruby Sketchley, is an intimate portrait of three families opting to care for their loved ones after death.
Katelyn LaGrega’s 2017 film, “The Art of Natural Death Care,” from the Sophia Center in North Carolina, shows families caring for their loved ones after death. The 27-minute documentary, which was presented at the 2017 National Home Funeral Alliance conference, includes clips of MTN’s Linda Bergh.
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.
After the presentation will be Q&A and sharing of other before-death and after-death vigil experiences.
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.
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.
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.
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
Feb. 18 MOVIE NIGHT
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,
GREAT ARTICLE ON A HOME FUNERAL
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 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/05/inside-a-home-funeral.html
HOME VIGILS PART 1 ATTRACTS 25 PEOPLE — HOME VIGILS PART 2 MARCH 18
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.