The Muscle of Remembrance

On the Eve of an Ancestral Pilgrimage We gathered around a table strewn with flower petals, each of us holding a sprig of cedar. Cedar, known by some in this part of the country as the First Ancestor…. Read More

Keeping Our Dead Afloat

A mother orca’s devotion to her dead calf raises questions about how we humans carry our dead The internet has been abuzz with news of a mother whale who for a week now, “has been carrying her dead… Read More

What We Do vs What We Want: A Lament for What We’ve Lost

Death, according to the New York Times, is “having a moment in the sun.” Good news, or troubling? The June 22 article, “The Positive Death Movement Comes to Life” is one of the most-forwarded links to hit my… Read More

Come of Age: Stephen Jenkinson’s New Book

How we approach death and the dying, how or whether we remember or care for the dead – these questions are inextricably bound up with how we age, or don’t, in the dominant culture of the West –… Read More

Staring Down Fate

Watch Staring Down Fate, an important new documentary about mortality and the state of our planet When Chris Lucash was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 53, he and his wife Alisa and their three young children… Read More

Is Dying “Not As Bad as You Think”?

What’s your take on the popular BBC “IMHO” video? My first thought was that Dr Kathryn Mannix is a Mr Rogers for the dying: who wouldn’t want her warm and normalizing bedside manner at the deathbed? I appreciate… Read More

“Aqua Green Cremation” Comes to Portland

Spaces are filling fast for the workshop that will introduce this option to Portland While I try to avoid euphemisms, I’ve yet to find an elegant way to refer what to do with a dead body. Straightforward terms… Read More

A Village-Making Death

One year after my friend Marcy learned she would die decades sooner than she would have liked, she wrote a letter to the core group of women she called her Sisterhood. “Death is not my friend but it… Read More

Viking Funerals: Personal Style Events?

Our approach to ancestral burial sites may say more about us than them I often begin my discussions with community groups asking, “How many of you grew up going to funerals? How many have bathed the body of… Read More

2017: A Year in the Life

Where my work as a Life-Cycle Celebrant and community conversation leader took me 2017 was the 3rd year in a row that saw me attend the death of a member of my inner circle 5th year of co-leading PDX… Read More