Dear reader, When someone we care about is dying, family and friends are often kept in the loop via text or email or a community-care app or website. The person dies and if we’re lucky there’s a gathering of sorts to bring people together to honour, remember, mourn and celebrate this person we must now…
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, whether she grew up in Manila, Manchester, Minneapolis or Montreal. Taking care of our own dead used to be the norm. Now, more and more folks want to reclaim what’s been lost.
Community deathcare does away with default decision making.
Today’s standard practices usually involve a lot of outsourcing and little meaningful involvement of family and friends. Across Canada (and around the world), there’s a growing movement centred around the desires of people to get back to caring for our own dead in meaningful and holistic ways. This movement is commonly known as community deathcaring or DIY deathcare. In Canada, this movement is led by Community Deathcare Canada (CDC).
Willow is in complete alignment with CDC’s statement about its upcoming Swan Song Festival, of which we’re proud to participate:
Community Deathcare Canada believes in the healing and transformative possibilities that come with a more intimate and participatory relationship with dying and deathcare. We believe death is a profound, mysterious and universal part of life, which presents opportunities for loving and compassionate responses.
Informed, empowered and inspired decision making can be yours.
Mindful decision making about how you and yours will be cared for requires that you first be informed about the scope of choices available to you. Next, you need to feel empowered and inspired to create your personal Departure Directions, the term we use to describe the written guidelines or instructions based on your values, priorities and beliefs, for how you’ll be cared for after you die.
At Willow we’re honoured to help you move towards clarity about who and what matter most to you in all realms of life and death and in particular, around your final wishes.
- Download our free tool, 9 Things to Include in Your Departure Directions.
- Read more about Departure Directions in our blog archives.
- For Vancouverites, attend an upcoming Willow event such as Oct 21 Community Deathcaring and Nov 23 Departure Directions
- For folks across Canada, visit https://swansongfestival.ca/events and find an Oct 19th event near you.
- For everyone who wants to dip or dive in, search online and on social for “community deathcaring.”
What matters in the end, matters now.
With love and light,
Michelle + Reena
What about you?
What examples of community deathcaring have been meaningful for you?Tags: community, death care, decisions, departure directions, funeral, mindful, swansong