Conscious Contemplation

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Learning from Death: A Mother’s Greatest Teacher

Twenty-five years ago, Akasha learned about life from her dying eleven-year-old daughter, Sarah. In a recent conversation Akasha described Sarah’s death as a “beautiful experience that profoundly changed who I am and the way I live my life.” I can’t imagine losing my daughter nor seeing the gifts that might bring. And, truth be told,…
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Attending Funerals: What’s in it for You?

I love attending funerals. I recently learned on Facebook that my friend’s father had just died. I had great respect for his dad, was sad for my friend, and was looking forward to going to the funeral. Unfortunately, I missed it. I was so disappointed. Of course I wanted to support my friend in his…
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Fear, Courage and Promise: The Impact of Our Spiritual Heritage

A while back I bought a book that I’m afraid to start reading. Even though the book was described by author and women’s wellness advocate Dr. Christiane Northrup as “A masterpiece of women’s wisdom,” I hadn’t been moved enough to crack it open. The book is The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey…
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Remembering and Being Remembered

Remembering and being remembered was the focus of a recent gathering we facilitated. Our collective exploring revealed rich insights about why we remember, what we remember and how it makes us feel. It was a transformative evening for me on many levels. What we remember and how it makes us feel Remembering people and experiences…
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Taking Care of Death is Taking Care of Life

Creating your Departure Directions, Willow’s term for your written instructions or guidelines—determined by your values, beliefs and priorities—for how you wish to be cared for after you die will illuminate who and what matter to you, now. How does that work you ask? Here’s how. Heart-centred and holistic end-of-life-planning begins with taking time to make…
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Remembering Amid the Everyday

Sitting in the middle of my fridge, amidst activity registration forms, schedules and a smattering of photos, is a new copy of an old photo. The photo is of my Dad’s dad’s family: my great grandparents and their eleven children, “la famiglia Pante” from the town of Lamon, in province of Belluno, in the Veneto…
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Dying and the Medicine of Healing Relationships

Can we heal the dying? How to heal the dying was a question that weaved through many sessions at the recent BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) Conference that Michelle and I attended. The conference shined a light on the incredible work that so many people do as their vocation, as volunteers, and as…
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Questioning ourselves to death
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Death, Your Pathway to Personal Discovery

When you die, how will your absence affect the people, places and things in your world? Whether you have days or decades left to live, end-of-life planning can be a pathway to live your life to its fullest. By asking yourself some thought-provoking, juicy questions, you’ll gain heightened or fresh awareness about your core values…
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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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