Dying in Community

Read a full report on the pilot “When I Die Dialogue” in the July Death Talk Digest
Tuesday June 27, 7pm: Home Funeral Documentaries

Among the insights offered after a home funeral workshop I led earlier this month was this:

“Several of us stated that one criterion for our own funerals was ‘minimizing the bother/hassle’ to those charged with conducting our funerals. Few of us had considered the possibility that a home funeral might actually be a gift to the community… an opportunity to connect to one another and experience an essential part of the human experience.”

Join us at June’s edition of Death Talk Goes to the Movies for two documentaries illustrating the ways community can be strengthened by how we care for each other after death.

Party with a Purpose

Saturday, June 24: 50th Birthday Fundraiser for Death Talk Goes to the Movies

Help support the valuable community resource, the Clinton Street Theater, and our monthly movie series, Death Talk Goes to the Movies.

The Clinton Street Theater opens its doors to so many community groups, and is now in the third year of hosting our monthly movie night. While our Death Talk films and discussion always get rave reviews, the donations at the door aren’t covering the theater’s booking costs. Read More

An Afternoon with the Threshold Choir

click to download flier
Crossing the Threshold: Sunday, July 23 in Portland

Over my years as a Celebrant and Home Funeral Guide, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the Threshold Choir a number of times – even receiving their soothing song-presence myself, in a time of depletion. (Read more in my post Swaddled by Song.)

Now, as part of an international gathering of Threshold singers, they’re issuing this invitation to you:

Come join us for an afternoon of song, presence and reflection. Through words, music, silence and movement, we’ll explore thresholds that may be calling for attention in our lives. Those present may choose to receive personalized song-care, walk a labyrinth, and contribute to a communal art project. Bring a journal and water bottle, if desired.


  • Sunday, July 23, 2:30-4:30pm
  • Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College
  • Doors open at 2:00pm
  • Cost: FREE ~ donations welcome
  • Free parking: use Entrance 2 (Griswold, Fir Acres lots) or Entrance 4 (Akin lot) for ADA.
  • For more information, please contact Kri at wildgreenwonder@gmail.com.



“We’re Meant to Carry Each Other”

Shroud hand-made by Chris, a steward at White Eagle Memorial Preserve.

DIY Coffin Clubs, Handmade Caskets and Shrouds

Some retirees join bowling teams or bridge clubs. But every Tuesday night in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, several dozen gather to engage in what the New York Times reports is “a hobby that has gathered followers across New Zealand” – building coffins.

The Hawke’s Bay D.I.Y. Coffin Club has 120 members, average age in their mid-70s. Following the lead of a palliative care nurse who started the country’s first coffin club in her backyard, the clubs build the coffins from particleboard kits that cost around $170.

More than a good deal, getting together to build coffins with others builds community. Read More

Other Events: Summer 2017

click to download flier

Death Talk Project sponsors these regular events: Death Talk Goes to the Movies and PDX Death Cafe. Check out what these good folks are offering in the coming months:

Grief Rites is a monthly literary showcase about all things grief, loss, death and dying. Post 134, 2104 NE Alberta St, Portland.

Saturday, June 24, 7pm, Clinton St Theater, fundraiser for Death Talk Goes to the Movies. Details.

Sunday, July 23, 2:30pm, Lewis & Clark College, An Afternoon with the Threshold Choir. Details.

We’re happy to publicize events offered by others in the community in exchange for reciprocal promotion of the Death Talk Project. Read More