An Afternoon with the Threshold Choir

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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



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

“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

Die Remembering

L’Envers, in the Italian Piedmont, ancestral home of my mother’s people; click image to read about my trip back with my mother.

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, family histories and feelings of loss can create unparalleled opportunities for self-awareness, personal growth and creative fulfillment.”

As an ardent believer in remembrance, and a practitioner of remembrance as a creative act, I might have held out this carrot myself, a few years back. But I’m now persuaded that treating remembrance as one more commodity in the spiritual marketplace of self-improvement schemes for self-fulfillment is part of the problem, not a solution. Read More

The Dilemma of Death & Language of Loss: A Conversation

Register for the full conference with the promo code DISCOUNT50, and $50 will be deducted from the price of your general admission ticket! Click image to go to conference page.
“Palliative care is one place where euphemisms go to enjoy job security and long life.” Stephen Jenkinson, Die Wise

Join me at the 7th Annual Afterlife Conference in Portland June 1-4, 2017 (see image caption for a great $50 discount) where I’ll facilitate a May 31st opening night community discussion on the language we use: The Dilemma of Death & Language of Loss: A Conversation.

Read on to meet the panelists who will get our May 31st conversation started: Karen Wyatt, MD, hospice physician and founder of End-of-Life UniversityWilliam Peters, MFT, MEd, director of The Shared Crossing Project, a research initiative to examine the shared-death experience; and Austyn Wells, spiritual medium who combines her certification in grief counseling with shamanism, energy medicine, and intuitive client interaction.  Read More