Volunteers from Sacred Grief, one of the groups running Deathly Matters, simulating a home funeral. A volunteer is acting the part of the deceased. (Contributed by Shauna Janz)

Death doulas and home funerals, unorthodox end-of-life conference visits Vancouver Island

Deathly Matters hosts workshops and ‘information market’ on death, dying and grief in Sidney

Deathly Matters, a one day community conference exploring alternative views on death comes to Sidney, May 25.

Have you ever thought of organizing a death doula or conducting a home funeral? Deathly Matters say they can help and are looking at “doing death better.”

The conference aims to showcase “emerging perspectives and voices on death and dying that are not readily found in mainstream dialogue.”

Nine workshops run throughout the day covering approaches often viewed as unorthodox in mainstream funerary circles.

ALSO READ: Canadian poet and novelist Patrick Lane remembered for his timeless works

Workshops include End of Life Ceremony and Ritual, Leaving Our Legacy, Joining Our Ancestors, The Role of Death Doulas, Promoting Health Equity, Home Funerals and Body Care, A Buddhist and A First Nation Perspective on Death and Dying, and Mapping End of Life Care.

“We are looking at reclaiming holistic and grass-roots approaches to death, and empowering families at the end-of-life stage of a loved one,” said Shauna Janz of Sacred Grief, a counseling service that partly focuses on animist beliefs and non-human relationships.

The day starts with a keynote speech from Roseanne Beuthin, who intends to talk about dying, spirituality, end-of-life choices and “the ethics of care by honouring life stories.”

Death Over Lunch follows, which will hopefully just involve the advertised conversation circle, before attendees are offered the opportunity to take part in a community casket art project and listen to local musicians.

ALSO READ: Cannabis medication provides relief for some pain and epilepsy sufferers

One of the most anticipated talks regards Home Funerals.

“A lot of people don’t realize their choices. One is that people don’t realize you can keep the body of a loved one in your own home, to tend them and design your own goodbye,” said Janz.

An “information market,” the Deathly Matters Community Showcase, is open to both event attendees and the general public. Ticket-holders can view it from noon to 1 p.m and the general public from 1:30 to 3 p.m. It will feature a variety of organizations and businesses involved, in different capacities, with death, dying and grief support.

Deathly Matters is produced by Linda Hunter of Dying with Grace and Shauna Janz of Sacred Grief. It takes place Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McTavish Academy of Arts.

Early-bird tickets sold out, general registration is now open and tickets cost $80. For more information and to purchase a ticket, visit deathlymatters.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Group continues to pull sunken, abandoned wrecks from Salish Sea

Dead Boats society inching towards 89 wrecks pulled from Capital Regional waters

People tab ‘Roaring ’20s’ as theme for Parksville sand sculpting competition

‘Topsy Turvy’ and ‘Celebrate!’ also considered for 2020 beach festival event

Port promoting tourism excursions for cruise ship passengers in Nanaimo

Port authority develops partnerships in advance of six ships arriving in 2020

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Don’t be blinded by love: Saanich police warn of online dating red flags

Canadians lost about $25 million to romance scams in 2018

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Court awards Nanaimo woman $300,000 after crash exacerbates her fibromyalgia

Judgment follows 2015 motor vehicle accident on Turner Road

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read