Please join MTN for a recap and lively discussion on the National Home Funeral Alliance biennial national conference, which was held this October in Minnesota. Some of the conference participants and presenters will report on our experiences, including the mock vigil room, the Saturday night art share, heart connections, and more. We’ll share patterns we noticed, things we’re excited about, and actions we’re inspired to take next.
Participants may include:
St. Mary’s has both single- and all-gender restrooms and an elevator. All Minnesota Threshold Network meetings are free and open to the public; we gratefully accept donations to help pay for meeting spaces. Please feel free to contact us with questions.
For an honest 15-minute TEDx presentation, check out the 2015 “Let’s Talk About Death” by Rochelle Martin, a Canadian crisis-care RN and death midwife.
A recent New Republic in-depth story on family-directed after-death care represents “an unprecedented effort to truly listen to Elizabeth Knox and Merilynne Rush” (home funeral educators in Maryland and Michigan respectively) according to National Home Funeral President Lee Webster.
Who Owns the Dead?
“It was a Sunday in the autumn of 1995, and Rob Sanders was driving his three kids from his house in Baltimore to the house of his ex-wife, Elizabeth Knox, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The kids rotated who got to sit in the front seat, and today was seven-year-old Alison’s turn. The boys wanted to hear the Redskins game, and when Alison leaned forward to fiddle with the radio, Sanders told her to sit back—he would find it.
“When he looked up, the light had turned red, and he braked, belatedly. Skidding into the intersection at about 14 miles an hour, he hit another car, and the passenger-side airbag deployed. The airbag—one of those early models designed to protect a full-sized adult male in a much more violent crash—struck Alison “with the force of a heavyweight boxer,” as Knox would later put it, rendering the girl unconscious and braindead in an instant.”
Update from National Home Funeral Association Conference in Boulder: The conference was successful–lots of information. One development was that NHFA may offer a bi-annual conference schedule, with regional conferences possible in the alternate years.
About 20 people toured Prairie Oaks cemetery with developer Chip Fort. People thought the cemetery was lovely, and they like the variety of ecosystems. Some people felt that costs were high, but understood that green burial plots require double the space for a conventional grave. Steve Willwerscheid of Willwerscheid Natural Burial and Cremation said that some metro area cemeteries are open to shrouded bodies and bottomless vaults, and that many cemeteries will start to open areas for green burials once they perceive a demand for them. Since several people were unable to attend the Prairie Oaks tour, another one will be offered Monday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m.
The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Linda Bergh’s home, 4315 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis. Linda’s phone number is 612 927 0894. We will be showing the film Griefwalker.
Heather Halen and Rep. Carolyn Laine spoke to 200 attendees (including about 60 funeral directors) at the Forensic Science Seminar sponsored by the Minnesota Coroners’ and Medical Examiners’ Association.
Heather and Carolyn will speak this month to a group of about 100 deaf senior citizens.
Heather, Carolyn, and Theresa Purcell, president of the Full Circle Project (formerly Trust for Natural Legacies), will do a workshop at the Northland Bioneers convention November 12 at Macalester College. Gloria Steinem and Philippe Cousteau will be featured speakers from the National Bioneers Conference.
Honoring Choices airs Oct. 28-31. The tpt website contains the programs that have already aired and all sorts of additional information, including extended interviews of MTN members Linda Bergh, Heather Halen, and Nancy Manahan.