Thinking About Dying

(New Ways of)  Thinking About Dying

A three-part series on new ways of approaching dying, grieving, and burial.

Presented by The Friends and Health Advocates—a Saint Paul-based public health consulting group which promotes communication that bridges differences in culture, language, and class.

From ‘conscious dying’ at home, to family-designed home vigils, to green burials, dying people and those who care for them are rediscovering and redefining what happens before, during and after death.


2016 Season (complete)

HospiceIt Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Choices in the Dying Process

Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016, 7 p.m.
Presented by Colleen Cooper, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Fairview Hospice

Ethical wills, hospice, palliative care, health care directives; all are components of health care focused less on cure, and more on reducing symptoms and addressing the spiritual and emotional concerns of a gravely ill person. Colleen Cooper, MD, who has worked with elderly and chronically ill patients for several decades, will review new care options open to a dying person. She’ll also talk about how best to consider, convey, and implement critical end-of-life choices.

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Home FuneralBringing Death Back Home: The Family-Directed Funeral

Thursday Oct. 27, 2016, 7 p.m.
Presented by Anne Murphy, Home Funeral Guide, “A Thousand Hands”

A home funeral takes place in a familiar space and involves the family or friends in washing, dressing, and laying out the body for viewing. Home funerals and other family-designed rituals are legal in Minnesota and growing in popularity, as they can often more sensitively reflect the life and values of the person who has died. Anne Murphy has helped many families create and carry out a home funeral. She serves on the National Home Funeral Alliance Board and Minnesota Threshold Network Leadership Committee, and directs the death education group, “A Thousand Hands.”

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Green FuneralsUltimate Recycling:  After Death Choices for the Body

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, 7 p.m.
Presented by Anne Archbold and Marilaurice Hemlock, Final Blessings Minnesota

Options for after death care of the body range from what has become known as ‘conventional’ burial through ‘green’ or ‘natural’ burial to ideas so new they are still in the planning stages.  Anne Archbold and Marilaurice Hemlock, Death Educators and Funeral Celebrants, will present these options with an eye toward the social and environmental impact of each.   They will also discuss current availability in our community, and offer suggestions on how to begin family conversations about an after-death plan that most reflects your life.

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