Stories and Inspiration

Learning From Death | WillowEOL.com
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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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Fears, courage and promise | WillowEoL
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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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Cracked Wide Open | WillowEoL
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Cracked Wide Open

We recently wrapped up a Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills workshop series. At the end of the evening we each shared a word or three to capture our sense of the impact of participating. My closing words were, “cracked wide open” and that, my friends, is a precious, luscious way of being. Some folks…
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The Essence of 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.

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Saying Yes to Who and What Matter Most

There are many ways Catherine’s life has changed by working through WILLOW’s curriculum for writing Love Letters and a Heart Will. The exploration brought her and some friends together to delve into the scope of their personal feelings about the fact that someday and they don’t know when, they are each going to die and whether they are intentional about it or not, they each will leave a legacy. They soon discovered or confirmed who and what matter most in their lives.

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Love, Sorrow and the Duality of Death

Sarah attended our first of six Reality of our Mortality Learning Circles at the end of last month and gave me permission to share how exploring love and sorrow in this safe, open-hearted community was exactly what she needed.