How to live until you die
,

How to Live Until You Die

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 behaviours and traits, and made some predictions about their future. His lasting messages were, in essence, oral Love Letters.   At the…
Keep Reading
The Greenest way to "go" - the positive impact of a Green Burial
, , ,

Unpacking Green Burial

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 open a hip, eco-friendly funeral home appealing to people like me — someone who appreciates beauty, walks lightly on the earth and tries to make the world a better…
Keep Reading
Don Grayston - In the end, it's all about relationships
,

In the End, it’s All About Relationships

Don was an author, retired minister and humanities professor and founder and member of various social-justice organizations. Of all his lifetime accomplishments, however, it was his ability to cultivate meaningful relationships that served him most in his final days. I wrote this story during the last year of Don’s life. Fifteen or so years before…
Keep Reading
Cultivating Courage - Peaceful Vigil for Quebec Mosque Shooting. Photo by Hugo St. Laurent
, ,

Cultivating Courage and Being My Word

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.

Keep Reading

, ,

Imagining Your Death Will Enrich Your Life

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.

Keep Reading

, ,

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…
Keep Reading
,

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.

Keep Reading

,

I Will Not Get Rid of You

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 from the morgue to the refrigeration…
Keep Reading
,

Mother’s Day Can Be Complicated

Mother’s Day can be complicated. It all depends on where you’re at in your relationship with your mother, motherhood, and mothering. In our work with people who see pragmatic end of life planning as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation, we help uncover who and what matters most. Mothering, more so than mothers, is…
Keep Reading