Death is inevitable. We can’t change that fact. We can change our relationship to it. We can bring death out of the closet.

Contemplate it. Talk about it. Plan for it. Allow it to inform the way we live—the choices we make. How we die is an extension of how we live.

Use the resources gathered here to develop your death literacy—the practical know-how needed to plan well for the end of life—for yourself or others.


Upcoming Workshop

Poster for Drawing in the Meadow workshop

Drawing in the Meadow,
Reflecting on Impermanence

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
–Mary Oliver

[Click on poster to see larger version. Text below.]
Take time for a Covid-safe art experience in nature at the beautiful Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve. Over the first four sessions you will be invited to observe and sketch outside—insects, leaves, trees, clouds—from the minute to the majestic.

We will offer ‘prompts’ to inspire written reflections between drawing sessions. No need to know how to draw or write to participate. (But you might just discover that you could all along.) For the fifth session, we will share some of our creations, if so moved, and reflect on what our time spent in this place brought up for each of us.

Who:
Camille Doucet
loves to draw and paint the natural world, as well as help others refine their perception and discover their own creativity. She has taught at the Cornell Botanic Gardens for 15 years, and in a variety of other venues for 28.

Angela Mennitto is a death midwife who also organizes community events to promote death literacy and to normalize conversations about death and dying. She has been hosting a Death Café in Ithaca since 2013. 

When:  Every other Saturday from 2:30-5:00 pm beginning July 10 (all dates: July 10 and 24, August 7 and 21, September 4)

Where:  Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, 293 Irish Hill Road, Newfield, NY

Cost:  A sliding scale from $60 to $120. Scholarships supported by Hospicare & Palliative Care Services and On Dying Well

To register, go to: www.naturalburial.org/arts.

Materials

  • One water media tablet as small as 4″X6″ or as large as you wish to sketch in. Choose the size that will inspire and not intimidate.
  • Regular pencils and eraser (yes, it’s acceptable to erase).
  • Markers or felt pen for something more permanent, like a regular pen.
  • For those who wish, please bring any color media you have. During Class 2 or 3, Camille will give a watercolor demo. She will provide plenty of watercolor material for everyone who wants to try. If you don’t like watercolor, you don’t have to burden yourself with the cost of the materials. But if you like watercolor, she will provide a list of materials.
  • A folding chair or stool that would be comfortable for the length of the class.
  • Your mask, water to drink, and a snack if you want.
  • Anything else for your comfort like a sun hat, layers of clothes or bug spray and sunblock lotion.

Video