Learn about home funerals and green burials and how to plan ahead for a personalized, Earth-friendly end of life.
My guest Lucinda Herring has worked at the cutting edge of the green funeral movement for more than twenty years. Today she is one of the leading voices for more healing and ecological ways to care for our dead. She will discuss how we can prepare in advance for after-death care, including her new book “Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials.”
Learn about a beautiful documentary film that you can include in a community workshop on home funerals and green burial.
In this episode I share a “legacy interview” with two of the directors of the documentary film “A Will for the Woods” – Amy Browne and Brian Wilson. This is one of my favorite films and I encourage you to consider bringing it to your community for a screening and discussion about home funerals and green burial.
Sign up for A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group for 2018 here.
This episode is sponsored by my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu. Thank you today to Holly Randall for increasing your monthly pledge! I appreciate all of the donors who have been chipping in over the past year-and-a-half to keep this podcast on the air! You can join the team for as little as $1 per month at Patreon.com/eolu.
Filmmakers Amy Browne and Brian Wilson discuss their award-winning film, A Will for the Woods, the story of a man near the end of his life who prepares for his own green burial. This film has been named “One of the 9 documentaries you must see this year” by the TED blog and has won numerous awards at film festivals around the country. In this interview you will learn:
what inspired 4 young filmmakers to spend 4 years filming this end-of-life journey
what the movie teaches us about death and burial customs
how this film can change the funeral industry
how to plan your own green burial and create a “green will”
Co-Director/Producer, Amy Browne, grew up in Australia and moved to New York City to study theater at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and film at The New School University. Her film credits include Associate Producer for Crazy & Thief (LA Film Festival 2012) and I Used to be Darker (Sundance 2013), as well as work on The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (Berlinale & Tribeca 2011). She also recently commenced work as the Producer on upcoming documentary As Worlds Divide. When her sister Sophie introduced her to the concept of green burial, which connects the profundity and beauty of nature with the cycle of death and life, Amy was inspired to further explore the idea through film.
Co-director/Editor, Brian Wilson, graduated from Brown University with a degree in Comparative Literature and History, and works as an editor in New York. Passionate about the natural world and its protection and restoration, he is pleased to be exploring and raising awareness about green burial with A Will for the Woods. He became interested in developing deeper insight into death after his mother died in 2008, and has been grateful to find it through working on this project, which he hopes will offer similar comfort and understanding to many viewers.
It’s a brand new year! Let’s look ahead and see what’s possible in 2017!
In today’s episode of the podcast we’ll look ahead at the coming year, study the trends in the death-positive movement and discover where it might be possible to create new volunteer and career opportunities for ourselves and our communities in 2017.
First I’ll share my own goals for the coming year, which include revising, editing and publishing the two books I wrote in 2016. I also plan to release two new training courses this spring and have lined up a fascinating group of speakers for the End-of-Life University Interview Series. To stay up-to-date on all the latest interviews and offering from EOLU, be sure to to sign up for the mailing list here.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the contributors to this podcast on Patreon.com/eolu. Your support helps pay for the expenses of creating this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series. If you’d like to become a patron just go to Patreon.com/eoluand sign up to contribute just $1 or $2 per month.
Here are some of the Trends I’ll be watching in 2017:
Increasing number of Palliative Care Programs in hospitals across the country. Though many of the current programs are either understaffed or underfunded, these problems are likely to be corrected in the near future. To meet current standards, each palliative care team must have a chaplain and a social worker so if you have training in either of those fields you might find employment opportunities in a palliative care program in your community.
Need for creative solutions for hospice care. Because for-profit hospices are taking over many of the smaller non-profit hospices there is a risk that uninsured patients or those with needs for expensive care might be turned away. There is a need for social-model hospices (see Episode 23) and possibly for community-based non-profit, non-Medicare-certified organizations that can help bridge gaps in services for hospice patients. Here are some recommended training programs for becoming an end-of-life doula or midwife:
Need for more caregivers. As baby boomers age and approach the end-of-life the caregiver shortage will become a much greater issue. Opportunities will exist to create caregiver training and support services in communities and even to start businesses that employ caregivers.
Community outreach can help support the changes that are slowly occurring in the healthcare system. One of the best ways to encourage change in healthcare is to empower consumers to demand changes from their physicians. This will require outreach and education in the community. Here are some ideas for outreach and links to learn more from previous podcasts:
Create an “Inreach” for members of the EOL community by starting a discussion group, networking event or collaboration opportunity for those who are already working in this arena.
Bring volunteer movements to your community. Consider starting a group of volunteer caregivers who can provide respite care for family caregivers or start your own chapter of Threshold Choir, Twilight Brigade, or No One Dies Alone.
Provide education for your community either as a voluntary act of service or as a paid instructor. Here are some possible ideas:
Assist people to correctly complete their advance directives.
Teach a community class on death and dying.
Teach about green burial, promote a natural burial ground in your community, help people access green burial supplies
I hope these ideas inspire your own personal goals for 2017! Stay connected with me and keep tuning in to the podcast. Let me know your own inspirations and plans for the New Year by adding your comments.
Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Irina Jordan, Founder and Owner of ARTISURN, an online marketplace for handcrafted cremation urns, jewelry and keepsakes made by talented artisans. We will discuss the role of the creative arts in remembering our loved ones or beloved pets at the end-of-life and in healing grief. According to Irina Jordan, ARTISURN craftsmen are sensitive to the deep emotional component required in creating sacred objects and we will learn how they do this work. In this interview you will discover:
how cremation urns are created and measured
why a handmade cremation urn is preferred
how cremation jewelry is made, using ashes fused with glass
You can download and print Irina’s gift: Coloring Through Grief – a beautiful adult coloring book – at this link: http://tinyurl.com/artisurnYou’ll receive a promo code for a 10% discount you can use on any Artisurn handmade cremation urn.
Thanks for tuning in! Remember to support this podcast and the EOLU interview series at www.patreon.com/eolu !! Thanks to Irina Jordan and Artisurn for their support of EOLU!!
Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses several “Action Steps” you can take in your own community to help improve end-of-life care. Change begins with the individual and if you want to ensure that your own dying is handled with respect and dignity then you should start now to help implement change. This podcast offers tangible steps you can take–some are easy, some will require a lot more effort–to get your community talking about and making changes in how death and dying are managed. Some of the tips include: