A visit to my gravesite

Donna Belk texts to Ellen Macdonald, Eloise Woods Natural Burial Park Hi Ellen I saw you drive by when we were leaving the woods. It was around Wolf Lane when I saw your car, and I couldn’t roll down my window fast enough to hand wave to you. I...

Last Words

Roundhouse Writing Group 6-4-18, prompt “Write about questions you have for the universe.” “I love you so much, sweetie. You have your whole life ahead of you; years and decades of life to live. I wish I had wise words to share with you and offer you guidance, wisdom...

Roundhouse Writing Group

4-8-18, Prompt: It wasn’t exactly dark … It wasn’t exactly dark and it wasn’t exactly time but she still decided to do it. She had waited until she was sure she wanted to go through with it. But once she decided, she was ready to make it happen. The...

Update 2018

True to the way of life, things have been changing for me. I am still involved in death and dying work / conversations / teaching but I’ve added another piece to bring more balance in my life. And that piece has to do with living in beauty and joy. ...

“Going Out in Style”

Just finished reading this wonderful book, “Going Out In Style: A Guide to Planetary Departure” by Marcia Beachy, M.S., L.P.C. It is an excellent read with some very far thinking perspectives, and some very practical tools for us to use here and now. I especially enjoyed the chapter on...

Please Dance at My Funeral

I recently saw this book and thought it was right in alignment with the work that I do on death midwifing. There are far too few resources on the topic of speaking about death and planning for the deathing process, so I am sharing it as a resource to...

Transitions for Mom

I recently met with siblings who were trying to decide on what actions to take concerning their mother. She was currently in an assisted living facility and had declined to the point where she was now bedridden and requiring 24-hour care. The underlying issue was trying to decide what...

A Blessing for Death

Below is a Celtic blessing for death, from the book Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue. He is my favorite poet and I am so sad that he died. I keep thinking, “How could he leave me?” A Blessing for Death I pray that you...

Takes two to pray

I recently presented at the annual conference of the Association of Death Educators and Counselors. I did a secondary presentation to the local Funeral Consumer Alliance affiliate while I was in Kansas City. An elderly gentleman, about 87 years old, attended the workshop. He said his wife had Alzheimers...

Don’t shut them out

Here are some words by Quaker writer, William Littleboy, from a piece he did in 1917 tittled, “Our Beloved Dead.”  I feel this is a very appropriate posting since today is Easter Sunday. Don’t shut them, your loved ones, out of your life as if they were gone indeed....

Loving life AND death

Found this beautiful (5 min) youtube video from some of the leading thinkers on the topic of death and dying. It has been my experience, and is reflected in this video, that the more one studies and prepares for dying, the more one appreciates and loves both Life AND...

Grief educates

I just finished leading a weekend retreat about death and dying. Part of the workshop was going over the “5 Wishes” document where people can consider different things that they want as they die. We also discussed the article I wrote, “Signs of Approaching Death.” If we know what...

Dying: You can’t do it wrong

As a hospice volunteer I am blessed to be included at the end of people’s lives. My daughters and friends sometimes ask me how I can do it …. thinking that it is icky or heart-wrenching. But to me I am the one receiving the benefit … not necessarily...