Until just weeks ago, the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of the bereavement industry, or death trade as it’s sometimes called, wasn’t even listed as an essential service. Despite this recent shift in designation, I suspect there’s little or no applause or acknowledgement for the essential workers like the ones named by our provincial government: coroners and workers performing mortuary services, including: funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries and workers supporting the appropriate handling, identification, storage, transportation, and certification of human remains.
If your 90-year-old Aunt Bettina died tomorrow, there’s a pretty predictable pattern for what would happen next and how she’d be taken care of—unless, that is, you understand the scope of choices available to you, including, caring for your own.
There’s a good chance Aunt Bettina witnessed community deathcaring as a young girl, whether she grew up in Manila, Manchester, Minneapolis or Montreal. Taking care of our own dead used to be the norm. Now, more and more folks want to reclaim what’s been lost.
Community deathcare does away with default decision making.
Today’s standard practices usually involve a lot of outsourcing and little meaningful involvement of family and friends. Across North America (and around the world), there’s a growing movement centred around the desires of people to get back to caring for our own dead in meaningful and holistic ways. This movement is commonly known as community deathcaring or DIY deathcare.
Informed, empowered and inspired decision making can be yours.
Mindful decision making about how you and yours will be cared for requires that you first be informed about the scope of choices available to you. Next, you need to feel empowered and inspired to create your personal Departure Directions, Willow’s term for the written guidelines or instructions based on your values, priorities and beliefs, for how you’ll be cared for after you die.
Willow’s tools can help you move towards clarity about who and what matter most in all realms of life and death and in particular, around your final wishes.
- Download our free tool, 9 Things to Include in Your Departure Directions.
- Read more about Departure Directions in our blog archives.
- For everyone who wants to dip or dive in, search online and on social for “community deathcaring.”
What about you?
What examples of community deathcaring have been meaningful for you?