Questioning ourselves to death
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Questioning ourselves to death

When you die, how will your absence affect the people, places and things in your world? That is one of a half-dozen questions that WILLOW uses as a warm-up exercise before people dive into writing their Heart Will. For those of you who’ve perused the WILLOW website, or have first-hand experience with WILLOW services, you…
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Are funerals dead?
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Are funerals dead?

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 so is dying?”…
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How to live until you die
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How to live until you die

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 future. Had he written it down, we at…
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The Greenest way to "go" - the positive impact of a Green Burial
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Green Burial: the greenest way to “go”

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 and tries to make the world a better…
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Don Grayston - In the end, it's all about relationships
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In the end, it’s all about relationships

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. Fifteen years ago, Don was diagnosed with a degenerative lung condition. Recently he sent a health update…
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Cultivating Courage - Peaceful Vigil for Quebec Mosque Shooting. Photo by Hugo St. Laurent
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Cultivating Courage

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.

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Imagine your death and enrich your life. Promise.

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.

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Engage your core in these troubled times

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 destruction (and the list goes on), consider that everything those disturbing movements stand…
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Your mortality is an opportunity in disguise

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.

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