Based on the work of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz, the Death Café was developed by Jon Underwood to help all of us change our relationship to the truest fact of life: death. Whether we are caring for an elderly parent, grieving the death of a loved one, working in a health profession, or young and fit, we all must confront mortality, our own and that of those we love. Especially now.
At a Death Café, we gather and, with gentle prompting, chat about death from our own experience and perspective. By sharing, we expand our awareness, help heal our society’s relationship to death, and remember to make the most of our lives. All perspectives are treated with respect.
Virtual Death Café via Zoom Brookline Adult and Community Education Fall 2021 dates TBA. Contact Sarah Jane to be alerted about fall events.
EOL Course: Mindful Approaches to End-of-Life Matters (Online)
Life and death are inextricably linked. Recognizing the fleeting nature of life can help us live with more purpose and joy. It can also motivate us to plan so that the dying process may be lived through with less distraction, and with fewer worries for our loved ones.
In this 3-week course we discuss cultural variations in approaches to death, our ideas of empathetic care and a good death, and the practical paperwork that will take the guesswork out of decisions for all involved. We start each session with a short mindfulness meditation and undertake exercises that gently open the door to topics that may seem taboo. As we go, we clarify our values, which transforms how we live now. This course is for people interested in or engaged in matters relating to death, dying, bereavement, palliative and end of life care, personally or professionally. Interactive components meant to enrich our relationship to complex topics will be facilitated under guidelines that promote respect and privacy.
Fall 2021 dates TBA. Contact Sarah Jane to be alerted when registration opens.
Doula Care: Mindfulness-Based Companionship and Guidance for Clients and Families
Moving mindfully toward death can infuse the life we have available to us right now with greater poignancy and joy. Sarah Jane is a certified end-of-life doula with a mission to companion with mindful presence folks who are living with a terminal diagnosis or approaching the end of life. Through online consultation or regular in-person sessions, Sarah Jane encourages peace and meaning at the end of life by sensitively and respectfully assisting in the following ways:
Companioning by reading, walking, guiding meditation or gentle movement, or holding silence
Developing legacy projects, from recording life reviews to editing memoirs
Supporting cooperation between client, family members, healthcare team, and hospice
Providing resources for alternative death care options and green burial
Home vigil planning, including setting up an environment and communicating client's desired visitor protocols
Serving as a steady presence and resource for family who may feel anxious or uncertain
Each person's end-of-life needs and wishes, and the types of support welcomed by their families, are unique. Therefore, each doula-client relationship and arrangement is unique. Please contact Sarah Jane to discuss your questions and interest.