Making Sense of Life & Death

Death is the one thing in life we’re most certain of, yet most people would do anything to avoid talking or even thinking about it. For most of us, it takes death itself—whether recent or impending—to prompt us to bravely consider the reality of our mortality.

People in their dying days often speak of experiencing enormous growth and transformation. Dying can be a time of truth seeking and risk taking. Many have observed that in the face of death, people tend to focus on what gives (or has given) their life meaning.

Perhaps you’ve experienced something similar around a health crisis or the death of someone you knew. The truth is, you don’t need to wait until someone dies or you’re faced with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness to experience these benefits.

Your mortality is an opportunity in disguise.

Many of us know the benefits of preparing for our one-day, some-day death. But sometimes it’s hard to get started. All this planning-ahead business feels overwhelming and fragmented. Or perhaps some basic planning pieces are in place but it feels like who you are isn’t showing up in your planning documents.

Making sense of life and death before making practical arrangements helps ensure that your end-of-life planning reflects your values and priorities. Whether you have days or decades left to live, we believe that thinking about and preparing for your death will inspire you to live your best life now.

What are your hopes and fears around your inevitable death?

7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death: A workbook to explore the reality of your mortality

This 52-page, print or fillable digital workbook pulls together our favourite and most effective self-reflection exercises from the workshops and coaching we’ve done. It will help you base your planning on your values and priorities and lay the groundwork for you to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable. Whether you have days or decades left to live, thinking about and preparing for your someday, one-day death will inspire you to live your best life now.

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This self-guided program will help you base your planning on your values and priorities and lay the groundwork for you to be as prepared as is possible for the inevitable. Focused around the digital, fillable workbook, the program, pulls together our favourite and most effective self-reflection exercises from the workshops and coaching we’ve done for the past few years. This program offers additional tools including:

  • nine videos with Reena and Michelle walking you through the workbook exercises and accompanying you with examples, stories and additional tips and resources,
  • a community forum, and
  • seven bonus items that provide additional inspiration and clarity.

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How Identifying Your Core Values Will Help You Live and Die the Way You Want

Dear reader,  Identifying your core values—the second tool in Willow’s 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death workbook—is a critical part of the foundational work of end-of-life planning. Seeing your values reflected in your end-of-life plans also keeps you accountable to living the life you want. Let me share how this works for…
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Why Naming Your Hopes and Fears Around Your Inevitable Death is Essential to End-of-Life Planning

Dear reader,  “I was so relieved when I named and declared my fear around my death and dying. I’ve been carrying it around for so long, and thought I was the only one.” This was shared by one of the participants at Willow’s Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills workshop this past weekend in Vancouver,…
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How Ram Dass Inspired Me to Co-Create Willow

Dear Reader, Ram Dass (Of Blessed Memory), an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, author and one of my sources of inspiration, died on December 22nd, 2019. His teachings inspired me to co-create Willow. During my 2016 training in community deathcaring, I listened to a Ram Dass lecture on YouTube (Facing Death, Ram Dass Full Lecture 1992)….
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Interested in producing a Making Sense of Life & Death 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!

Learn more about our areas of personal discovery and planning.

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