Death education workshop participants

Death Education Workshops – a Safe Space to Learn

Do you have questions about “the end” and no one with whom to explore these questions – the foundation of which is life’s greatest mystery?

You might not be surprised if I told you that many, many people have the same questions as you do – and have no one to ask. 

What happens when you try to talk about dying and death with your family and friends? Do they embrace the conversation or do they try to change the subject as quickly as possible? While there are some families that are able to talk openly about difficult subjects, my experience is that most people shy away from tackling and end-of-life conversation.

Several studies have shown that thinking about death actually helps us create and maintain healthier habits, and make better choices for our own wellbeing. Isn’t that amazing?

What Do We Need?

We need a safe space to talk about dying and death, so that we are better able to advocate for ourselves, and help our loved ones. With that in mind, two years ago I started researching and writing a workshop series. 

When I was finally ready to present my idea to the world, twelve brave people registered at our local community center, and came for ninety jam-packed minutes every week to learn about aspects of compassionate care and end-of-life. It was so well received that the same community centre ran the series again, and another community centre contracted me to deliver my series a third time in the autumn of 2023.

“This was the best workshop I have ever attended. The content was comprehensive and covered difficult topics in a thoughtful and compassionate way. Lots of group participation and discussions-there were tears and there were laughs. Everyone agreed that we left with a much better understanding on something that we will all experience and gained a wealth of knowledge on topics that are often not discussed. Thank you, Laura!”

The Death Education Workshops have been tweaked and refined at every iteration. They remain fluid and current. For example, I now have a segment about dementia and end-of-life because so many people had loved ones suffering from dementia and didn’t know what to expect, or how to handle certain issues. 

I also have a segment on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) because people ask about that – a lot.

Together, we cover topics ranging from legacy work and obituaries, to what active dying looks like, and where one’s cremated remains can be scattered. Every attendee finishes the series with knowledge, resources and tools. It is a safe space for everyone. There are even some subjects we can approach with humour!

The headstone of Rodney Dangerfield with "There goes the neighbourhood."

Registration is Open!

I am pleased to announce the Spring 2024 Death Education Workshops. They are available online, or in person at the Oakridge Community Centre here in Calgary, Alberta. You can register for them on my website.

I would encourage you to consider bringing a partner, loved one, family member or friend. We actually have a wonderful time, and friendships develop through meaningful conversations. Spaces for these workshops fill up quickly.

“What an eye-opening and energizing experience! It was an absolute pleasure to work hard on this matter of living and dying we humans share in such a safe space.”

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