planning ahead

Planning Ahead: Death Cafes and more

Maybe you have ideas or questions related to death that you haven’t had a chance to explore out loud. Maybe you’re not sure how to voice these thoughts or would like to hear the thoughts and questions that others have for themselves. It’s generally noted that we have a death-denying culture here in the US and that this is true for many other countries, too. Enter  The Death Cafe– started by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid in London in September 2011. “At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death… Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’’” They’ve estimated that 6,289 Death Cafes have been held in 56 countries – approximately 63,110 people talking! “A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: insights from bereavement researchers and therapists

In the Boston area, Mourning Dove Studio started with me working directly with families. I wanted to be as competent as possible while helping them, so I began taking workshops and an annual weeklong seminar. Eventually I realized that some of the work being presented would be very helpful to know when planning ahead and in the immediate time after a death. The 5 Stages of Grief model from Elizabeth Kubler Ross is the classic work known by most people. Many presenters I’ve heard let us know that this model has come to be understood more like commandments, whereas they are merely one framework offering some understanding and guidance. It’s important to know that her model does not mean that grieving must happen in a linear fashion and to know that there are other models with useful perspectives to offer us.  The dual process model is well respected, for example. In future [link to read more…]

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