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.


How to Be a Health Care Proxy – Redux

Have you been asked to be someone’s health care proxy? Do you understand your person’s wishes and choices for end-of-life care? Do you understand your legal responsibilities as a proxy? This workshop may be useful:

  • if you’ve been asked to be someone’s health care proxy, but don’t really know what that entails; or
  • if you haven’t chosen a health care proxy for yourself and want to get a better sense of who might best serve you in that role.

We did this workshop live in early November and recorded it. Watch it here to learn more about what it means to serve as someone’s health care proxy. You’ll want to download the following documents before you watch:

About Us

Angela Mennitto is a death midwife and community educator. She organizes community education events to promote death literacy—the practical know-how needed to plan well for the end of life—to help normalize conversations about death and dying. She has been hosting a Death Café in Ithaca since 2013.  The last three years she organized, together with Deb Traunstein, a community event called “Talking About Death Won’t Kill You” that brought together staff from local organizations to help people explore the many aspects of advance care planning. She is passionate about any activity that helps normalize conversations about death and dying in our culture, anything that helps us “bring death out of silence.”

Deb Traunstein, LMSW, MBA, has worked as a medical social worker for the past 40 years. She has held positions in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, homecare agencies, hospice services, palliative care programs, private practice, and most recently as the co-creator of an out-patient palliative care program at Visiting Nurse Service of Ithaca called Advanced Illness Management (AIM). Deb is especially passionate about educating the general community and healthcare personnel about the importance of Advance Care Planning, and uses actual clinical experiences to illuminate various aspects of this critical topic.