Departure Directions

Articulate how you wish to be cared for after you die—based on your values, beliefs and priorities—with Willow’s free tools and empowering workshops on Departure Directions.

Maybe you’ve experienced the overwhelm and frustration of arranging a goodbye ritual (funeral, celebration of life, wake, etc) for someone who didn’t leave any directions. You’ve struggled with trying to honour what you think were their wishes and meet the needs of those left behind, including you. You don’t want this to happen when you die, but you don’t know what you can do about it.

Your Departure Directions is a planning tool that provides specific or general guidance regarding what you want and don’t want to happen after your death, and what choices you would prefer to leave to other people. It includes how your body will be cared for and by whom, how you will be laid to rest, who you would like to be involved, and what rituals, if any, will be carried out.

All that matters in the end is what matters now.

It’s our conviction that you can honour your own values as well as the wishes of important people in your life. Completing your Departure Directions will give you peace of mind that your instructions will reflect who you are and what matters most to you, while alleviating stress, chaos and worry for the people you leave behind.

In becoming empowered to make choices about how you want to be cared for after you die, you’ll deepen your curiosity about the mystery and potential beauty of death. Writing your Departure Direction is an expedition into all that matters in the end, and therefore all that matters now.

How will your final wishes heal and nourish others?

9 Things to Include in Your Departure Directions (Free)

This free tool provides a template from which you can build your Departure Directions. The nine headings will ensure that you consider all aspects of your after-death care, including sharing the news of your death, roles for your loved ones to make it meaningful for them, expenses and logistics and more.

Death Education that informs, inspires and empowers A Day-Long Workshop

Saturday, November 23, 2019
9:30am – 5:00pm
Celebration Hall, Mountain View Cemetery, 5455 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC
FREE, compliments of Mountain View Cemetery

Register here.

Informative and inspiring death education starts with personal reflection, including how you make sense of your finite life and your inevitable death. In a safe, creative and fun workshop you’ll identify your core values and explore your relationship with the reality of your mortality. You’ll dive into five core factors that influence your decision making for how you’ll be cared for after you die, including ecological + social impact. You will begin to craft your personal set of Departure Directions, WILLOW’S term for the written instructions or guidelines—determined by your values, beliefs and priorities.

Participants will engage dynamic self-discovery exercises that include personal reflection, journal writing, pair sharing and group discussion. Poetry, song and video / film are also used to enhance the learning experience.

Having difficulty with registering? Email us here.

Free Event

Community Deathcaring: A Swan Song Festival Event

Monday, October 21, 2019
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Celebration Hall, Mountain View Cemetery, 5455 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC

Across Canada (and around the world), there is a growing community deathcare movement centred around the desires of people to get back to caring for our own dead in meaningful and holistic ways. Please join us for an informative and inspiring evening of exploring community deathcaring: what’s it about and why does it matter?

Full details and registration

Read blog posts about Departure Directions


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.

Interested in producing a Departure Directions event for your community?

Hire us for custom, experiential learning for your workplace, clients, community outreach, conferences or retreat events. If you can imagine it – an hour, a day, a weekend – we can make it work!

Email us here

Learn more about our areas of personal discovery and planning.

Making Sense of Life & Death
Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills
Departure Directions