This weekend we have gathered accomplished speakers and pioneers from our Art of Dying program, each of whom provides a unique perspective on compassionate and wise ways of addressing death.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
(Schedule in EDT)
9:30 – 10:15 AM
African American Grief and Loss– Tashel Bordere, Ph.D.
In this talk, Tashel Bordere will offer us an inside look at historic and modern-day healing rituals for death as well as significant non-death losses for Black families. The subjects she will explore will include: the multifaceted processes of grief and coping; the historical and contemporary lived experiences of trauma, loss and “suffocated grief;” current end-of-life care options; culturally responsive after-death care rituals for both the deceased and the bereaved; and distinctive Black funeral rituals and practices.
10:15 -11:15 AM
Dia de Muertos Ceremony– Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl in Ixachitlan
The Day of The Dead, originating in southern Mexico but now celebrated throughout Latin America, is a magical, festive community celebration that includes meditation, dances, altars, and ritual. It is a time during which perception should be especially alert so we can receive the energies of ancestors and guiding spirits. In this ceremony some members of the Cetiliztli group will offer a brief presentation on the tradition, practices and meaning of the Dia de Muertos followed by the creation of a traditional altar to honor and remember loved ones who have died. Each participant will have the opportunity to make a virtual offering to the altar and to meditate on those who are no longer with us.
11:30 – 12:15 AM
Music as Medicine at the End of Life–Catharine DeLong
Music at the bedside can bring beauty, intimacy, and comfort to end-of-life patients. It invites listeners to be present to what is going on both inside and around them. Focusing on the most effective uses of live vocal, instrumental and recorded music for palliative individuals and their loved ones, Catharine DeLong will share some of her experiences as a certified music thanatologist, contemplative musician and end-of-life educator and discuss how music can provide a vital support to patients and their families, helping them encounter the dying process as a natural passage.
2:15 – 3:15 PM
After Death: Creating Empowering Experiences for Healing– Rev. Olivia Bareham and Amy Cunningham in conversation with Jeannie Blaustein, PhD, D. Ministry
Intelligent and compassionate end-of-life design can empower those who are dying as well as those who remain when they’ve gone. The moments, hours and days after someone dies can offer beautiful, empowering, and transformative healing experiences. West Coast death midwife Rev. Olivia Bareham and East Coast funeral director Amy Cunningham, in conversation with Jeannie Blaustein, founding board chair of the non-profit, Reimagine, will explore the movement to redesign end-of-life experiences, including increasing the opportunities to say a final farewell in the hours after death, and alternative funeral options such as home funerals, witnessed cremation and green burials, and how these practices can bring enhanced healing to families and communities.
3:15 – 3:30 PM
3:45 – 4:30 PM
Grief and Bereavement: A Spiritual Healing Journey–Simcha Raphael, PhD
Classical models of grief depict stages of grief moving from the shock of loss through a journey of healing and acceptance of death, but a spiritual vision of grief also recognizes how the grief journey can include awareness of the thread of interconnection between the bereaved and the postmortem consciousness of the deceased. This presentation offers a spirit-based model of bereavement weaving together classical depictions of the grief journey with a recognition of the healing potential of the mystical bond between the world of the living and the ancestral realm of the world beyond.
4:30 – 5:00 PM
Closure — Ralph White