Departure Directions

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Doing away with default decisions: the power of community deathcaring + FREE DOWNLOAD

Dear reader,  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 Betttina witnessed community deathcaring as a young girl,…
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New FREE TOOL and the Magic Combo of Self Awareness + Structure

Dear reader, “Ah-ha, that’s it!” I said to myself this morning, in the sleepy state of barely awake after my early-morning alarm. After struggling to figure out when in the day would work to visit my elder parents, I felt a surge of clarity and happiness. I have two deadlines to meet, a daughter on…
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Are Cemeteries Dead?
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Are Cemeteries Dead?

I consider cemeteries to be beautiful, fascinating places whose look and feel informs us about current and historical cultures and societies. They also honour people who never made it into the history books and help us to imagine the lives of people from long ago.

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Options, opportunities and openings: The Impacts of Greening your Death

Options, opportunities and openings are the promise of greening your death, in particular what happens to you after you die. For those of you who couldn’t join us at the May 28 gathering, here’s a wee snapshot of what unfolded at our first of two Greening Your Death workshops (the 2nd event is June 25,…
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Attending Funerals: What’s in it for You?

One of the reasons I co-founded our company WILLOW is because 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…
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Taking Care of Death is Taking Care of Life

We hope you had a chance to read our previous newsletter and blogpost Deathcare: Not just another retail transaction. In it you had the opportunity to fill in a short survey about an online course we’re developing to guide you to write your Departure Directions: Our term for your written instructions or guidelines—determined by your…
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Deathcare: Not just another retail transaction
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Deathcare: Not just another retail transaction

Michelle here: When someone dies, there are choices to be made. What do we lose when we approach those deathcare choices like just another retail transaction? Let’s look at two deaths I was involved with recently. Coco died over the holiday season. It was a sudden death that took us by surprise though it shouldn’t…
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A New Age of Funeral Services

As WILLOW unfolds, Reena and I continue to learn and grow in all ways. We do our best to translate that learning into useful tools and thoughtful opportunities to inform and inspire you to make the most of your finite and precious life and to explore the mystery that is death. One of my mentors…
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Oh, How I Love a Good Funeral!

In honour of Donald Edward Grayston, 1939 – 2017. About the only thing worse than experiencing the death of someone you care about, is doing it without the the kind of good-bye rituals that truly reflect their essence. Fortunately, I knew this would not be the case when our dear friend Don Grayston died last month.