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For a long time my Goodbye work seemed at odds with my role as a gratitude ambassador. I used to try and keep the two separate. But the more I explored change, loss and death the deeper I moved into gratitude...... the two are now interwoven.

 

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 The Goodbye book took me 5 years to complete because partway through the process my own life fell spectacularly apart. My marriage ended, and the business I had poured my heart and soul into stayed with my ex. One of the biggest losses I had to adjust to was sharing custody of my 3 children.

The book became more personal as I wove more of myself into it. It taught me to open, exhale and ultimately helped me to heal. Once published it seemed to take on a life of its own. It led me to meet many people breathing life into death and loss: Dr. Lois Tonkin who encouraged me to do a Certificate in Grief Support, Zenith Virago who danced me through DeathWalker Training and Dr. Lorraine Hedtke who introduced me to Narrative Therapy.

I’m part of a growing network of people throughout NZ who are re-imagining how we do death. We are mixing in some of the old ways with some of the new and sharing practical knowledge and skills to allow us to make preferred and informed choices during the various stages of the death and dying process.

 

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Death cake pic

Participate in a conversation
about death and dying at a local Death Cafe

The Death Cafe movement began in London, in 2011. Since then it has swept across Europe, North America and Australasia.

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death in a supportive environment. It is a group directed conversation about death with no agenda, objectives or themes. A discussion rather than grief support or counselling session.

People participate for different reasons: out of curiousity, to confront their fears, to gain more perspective, to connect, to learn, or to share ideas and experiences.

Participants are encouraged to support each other free of any particular conclusion, belief system or course of action. I believe the more we can loosen up about death the more we can embrace life.

Most Death Cafe events are promoted on the main DeathCafe.com website. It is easy to find out if there is one happening nearby. No experience is necessary, but courage, curiousity and a sense of humour helps.

Christchurch Death Cafes are also posted as events on my facebook.com/Goodbye page and/or you can join the Death Cafe Christchurch facebook group to stay informed and included: www.facebook.com/groups/217668121940285/

 

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Death Walker Training & Funeral Masterclass Training with Zenith Virago.
'Doing death well'
www.naturaldeathcarecentre.org

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Narrative Therapy to Help with the Dying and the Bereaved with Lorraine Hedtke, PhD. 'The dead travel with us'
www.rememberingpractices.com

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Certificate of Grief Support
with Lois Tonkin, PhD
'We can grow around grief'
www.loistonkin.com

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Dying2Learn online course. Exploring death throughout the ages, in art, in the media, and in different cultures. www.caresearch.com.au

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Practicalities of Death
• The Intimacy of Death & Dying, by Zenith Virago
• Better Send-Off, the Ultimate Funeral Guide [NZ], by Gail McJorrow
• Living Legacies, by Lynda Hannah

Loss and Grieving
[there are so many specialised books in this area - this is just one I read recently on Resilient Grieving]
• What Abi Taught Us, by Lucy Hone

Aging and End of Life Care
• Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
• When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
• Dying, A Memoir, by Cory Taylor

Provocative
• Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty
• Grace and Grit, by Ken Wilber
• Boy, by Kate Shand

Beyond Death
• Destiny of Souls, and all of Dr. Michael Newton’s books of case studies explore the life of the soul between lives. newtoninstitute.org
• Kelvin Cruickshank is a psychic medium. His books share his and his clients’ experiences. kelvincruickshank.com
• Dolores Cannon’s The Convoluted Universe series

Philosophy & Spirit
• No Death, No Fear, by Thich Nhat Hanh
• The Tibetan Book of the Dying
• Stillness Speaks, by Eckhart Tolle

 

If you are in a hurry and want to find as much info as possible in one place visit this wonderful site www.bettersendoff.co.nz

Exploring and embracing death
www.naturaldeathcarecentre.org {Deathwalker Training]
www.dyingmatters.org
www.openlearning.com/courses for Dying2Learn course

Preparation and advocacy
theconversationproject.org
www.advancecareplanning.org.nz
www.naturaldeathcarecentre.org/downloads

Doula work [caring for and being with the dying]
• North Island: www.companionforthedying.com
• South Island: taniajohnsonscott.co.nz

Funeral arrangements and DIY
livinglegacies.co.nz
www.choicefunerals.co.nz
www.bettersendoff.co.nz
www.diyfuneral.co.nz

Bereavemeent, Loss and Growth
• Death Cafe.com to find one closest to you
• The Grief Labyrinth
• Lois Tonkins 8 point PDF ‘A Brief Guide to Grief’:
• griefcoachingcertification.com - The Creative Grief Studio

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