Death Becomes Us, Part 1

"Still Life with Skull", a flower, a skull and an hourglass stand for Life, Death and Time in this 17th-century painting by Philippe de Champaigne.


Death is called the greatest of equalizers -- the greatest of mysteries. At one time we tended to our dead with home funerals and mourning rituals. Over the last century we pushed death further from our collective mind by outsourcing our dead to mortuary professionals. But our thinking about death may be changing. In recent years, a new phenomenon has taken hold: the rise of Death Cafes -- a place where citizens can explore their fears and concerns about any aspect of death. In Part 1 of Death Becomes Us, IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell explores this growing trend. Part 2 airs Wednesday, May 7.

Listen to Death Becomes Us Part 2

Participants in the program:

Josh Slocum, executive-director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, South Burlington, Vermont.

Rebecca Daum, death midwife, grief and bereavement counsellor, host Hamilton Death Café, Hamilton Ontario.

Kory McGrath, licensed funeral director, student midwife, Bowmanville, Ontario.

Aspen Heisey, lay chaplain at Unitarian Church, life celebrant, Guelph Ontario.

Jerrigrace Lyons, director/founder of Final Passages in Sebastopol, California.

Related Websites:

The Natural Death Centre

Dr. Hannah Rumble

Death Cafe - Impermanence 

Final Passages

Beyond Yonder - Death Midwifery

Funeral Alternatives

Funeral Watchdog

Funeral Consumers Alliance

Grave Matters

Final Rights - Reclaiming the American Way of Death

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