Making Sense of Life & Death
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A few months ago I was at a social gathering and was talking to someone about Willow and end-of-life planning. As if he’d heard the answer many times before, he asked “So, you’re going to tell me that the first thing I need to do is write a will, right?” “Actually, no.” I said, “The first thing I think you should do is spend some time making sense of life and death.”
Read the most recent posts below or explore by topic.
Making Sense of Life & Death
Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills
When was the last time you heard or used the word funeral? Not, celebration of life, not memorial service but funeral? Ahhh, not so much these days in our increasingly secular world. And when was the last time you said, “So and so is dead” or even more rare, “So and...read more
Did you know that passing on messages to guide future generations is at least as old as the Old Testament? Jacob, one of the Torah’s patriarchs orally passed on values to his sons, reflected on some of their actions and/or traits, and made some predictions about their...read more
When I was on the path to becoming a licensed funeral director, I was on fire with a sense of possibility. I imagined that I would be a hip, eco-friendly funeral-service provider appealing to people like me — someone who appreciates beauty, walks lightly on the earth...read more
Don is an author, retired minister and humanities professor and founder and member of various social-justice organizations. Of all his lifetime accomplishments, however, it’s his ability to cultivate meaningful relationships that’s serving him most in his final days....read more
Cultivating courage arose when my family and I visited Ottawa last summer and almost melted during the heatwave. My pre-teen daughter and I noticed how lush and green the lawns were at Parliament Hill. Back home in Vancouver, brown lawns were the norm due to drought and major watering restrictions.read more
You know that you exist, and that some day you will die. This knowledge of your mortality can either be a terrible burden or a great opportunity to transform your life. The good news is that you get to choose! Consciously contemplating your death and mortality facilitates personal development and compassion and helps you become more self aware and in control over the choices you make in your life.read more
Have you ever asked yourself why the 2016 US election campaign and other divisive xenophobic movements around the world are causing you such obsessive and personal angst? Well, besides the racism, increase of violence and hate crimes and the potential for global...read more
Earlier this year, we both spent time actively being with the fact that we are going to die and we don’t know when; could be tomorrow, could be next week or 37 years from now. It changed our lives. We each wrote a Heart Will to be read at our end-of-life rituals, and Love Letters to our respective school-aged daughters to have when we die. The impact on us continues to be profound.read more
My first and last encounter with Mrs. X was in the cooler. Mrs. X was a widow who died in hospital with her devoted son and daughter-in-law at her side. From her hospital room she was taken to the hospital morgue. With her son’s permission, she was then transferred...read more