Stories and Inspiration

How honouring another helps us heal ourselves | WillowEoL
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Honour, Healing and a Bed of Cedar Boughs

When we know those we love well, we can honour their essence in life and in death. It’s my belief, that this honouring of another at the time of their death plays a key role in our own healing journey.

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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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To serve or be served?
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To Serve and Be Served

While I’m generally known as someone who generously serves others, I’ve been stingy lately, resisting taking time away from my parenting and daughtering duties or the time I could use to build our business. Recently I had my first solo “Sit with Don” visit at his place.  Don, as Reena wrote about in a previous…
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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…
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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 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…
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Cultivating Courage - Peaceful Vigil for Quebec Mosque Shooting. Photo by Hugo St. Laurent
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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.

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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…
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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…
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