All Souls Stories: Two Tales from the Vault

Participating in a powerful community mourning and remembrance ritual Each year, Halloween looks more like Christmas. The lights are orange and white instead of red and green; fake spider webs stretched over hedges, instead of fake snow; the… Read More

The Perils of Autonomy & Independence

It’s often said that the Baby Boomers – 10,000 of whom are turning 65 each day now – are going to transform how we age and how we die. But I’m troubled by the form this seems to… Read More

The Brilliance of Dying

On the eve of the Autumnal Equinox, a story by Carrie Stearns “about the grace of turning toward death with my beloved partner Sarah”. From the blog of Holly Pruett, Life-Cycle Celebrant The air is taking on that… Read More

A Finished Heart

In advance of his Sept. 26 performance, a deeply moving, thought-provoking conversation with author and composer Eliott Cherry On September 26, Death Talk Project presents A Finished Heart, written and performed by Eliott Cherry. A Finished Heart is… Read More

The Clootie Well

I know virtually nothing about how my ancestors cared for and carried their dead. I was 25 years old when I first visited a cemetery that contained the bones of my relations. I had to travel nearly 6000… Read More

Dying in Community

An antidote to “My life. My death. My way.” While considering one’s death has been central to many spiritual and cultural traditions through the ages, the modern incarnation in our individualistic, me-first society can become something of a… Read More

A Sad Farewell to the Man Who Started a Movement

Six years ago, a man and his mother started a worldwide movement. The 50-country-strong Death Café community is rocked today by news of the sudden death of founder Jon Underwood. Jon, who inspired, guided, and supported hundreds of… Read More

“We’re Meant to Carry Each Other”

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… Read More

Die Remembering

Some thoughts on the eve of an ancestral pilgrimage Among the promises of a better life and a better death that fill my in-box is this recent promotion for a high-profile event dedicated to remembrance: “…embracing our roots,… Read More

Keening: “To Publicly Display, Articulate & Channel the Grief of a Community”

Among the phrases I hear most often in my work as a funeral celebrant is,  “I don’t want anyone to be sad.” Among the most common sounds at a burial service: silence. Only rarely do I hear the bereaved… Read More