For a long time, we took care of our people in the simple ways that humans need to be taken care of, in ways that our bodies crave; giving and receiving touch, nourishment, comfort, sound, scent and so on. For most of our history, we didn't have access to the discoveries of neuroscience that we have today, we just knew it felt right. But now science shows us that these needs are all valid and real.
We never decided to stop taking care of the people we love, we just got talked out of it. With the rapid modernization of how we understood disease, we were convinced that dying was dangerous. From this fear, the modern industrial approach to death and dying was born.
A century ago, all funerals in America were home funerals and most people died at home. We all knew how to help a dying person feel comfortable and we knew how to dress a body after death.
Tending to your person as they died, and tending to their body after death, was not only an incredibly important act of love, but it was also a chance to process a lot of emotions. After death, they weren't immediately taken away. You combed their hair, moisturized their hands, and talked to their body while doing so. You had time, privately or with your closest people, to do some of the most important emotional work of your life. You walked through the garden trimming greenery for their grave. It gave your grief somewhere to go.
And it didn't cost you much at all. Maybe you paid for food that you put out for guests or for someone to help you prepare the body. Today, people easily spend thousands to sit in folding chairs, in uncomfortable clothes, looking at their loved one across the room for a few hours.
We'd like to help change that. So, as a community, where do we begin?
It's a lot to take in, we understand. Maybe today, you just check out our Library.
Or join us for a Death Over Dinner potluck. They really are a blast every single time. Or, if you're ready for deep diving, try a Living Funeral guided meditation. You can find both on our Events page.
It could be that you're interested in taking the responsible next step of finalizing your Advance Care Plans because everyone should have them in order. Yes, everyone. It seems too soon, until it's too late.
If nothing else, follow us on social media to keep learning and growing with us. Thank you.
Events include all of our public workshops, meditations, and dinners that anyone can sign up for. Services are private sessions we provide to families, individuals, businesses and organizations.