Recommended Reading 

  • The Needs of the Dying … David Kessler

  • It’s OK That Your’re Not OK … Megan Devine

Websites:  - very thorough guides and videos on making your plan


speakupontario provides many resources and tools around End of Life, Goals of Care and much more.  

    What is Anticipatory Grief?




Anticipatory grief is: preparing for a loved one's end of life. Some of the most common symptoms of anticipatory grief are: depression, anxiety/worry, irritability, rehearsal of the loved one's end of life and mourning changes in their personality or physical  appearance. It can mean feeling helpless. It can mean a long goodbye.

According to Dr. Charles Garfield, there is no single path through the dying time. Our presence with our loved ones means everything. Our bodies know how to die - it's a natural process. The struggle and suffering that has come before generally subside and with proper pain medication (if needed) most people die peacefully.

Our nurturing and support can ease the way to the end.


Grieving is not just something that happens AFTER someone passes away.

  • Death Storytelling 

  • Death Cafe 

  • Compassionate Community Creative

  • Grief and Bereavement Support Group


When we can't say goodbye ...

If you find yourself in the position of not being able to attend conventional rituals of death,such as being at the bedside during final moments, and you need/want to do something but don't know what to do, I offer you Eli Effinger-Weintraub's meditation/action/prayer to call on to help yourself through such a difficult time. 


[Name] I honour the body that you were

The words you spoke

The passions that moved you

The love you shared 

The life you lived

These were not always easy to live

Or to live with

But they were always you

And I honour you in that wholeness

I grieve that you are no longer present in my life

I regret I could not be with you at the end

I allow myself to hurt and heal

Whatever form that takes

However long it take

Whole and holy Earth, take back the body of [Name] that was formed from you

Make new forms and lives from it

May a piece of [Name's] life infuse the new lives

That grow from it

May the passing forms of this life and the tears of our grief sustain the web of your creation

The Marks Life Leaves ...

The marks life leaves on everything it touches transforms perfection into wholeness.


Older, wiser cultures choose to claim this wholeness in the things they create. In Japan, Zen gardeners purposefully leave a fat dandelion in the midst of the exquisite, ritually precise patterns of the meditation gardens. In Iran, even the most skilled of rug weavers include an intentional error, 'the Persian Flaw", in the magnificence of a Tabriz or Qashqa'i carpet. In Puritan America, master quilt makers deliberately left a drop of their own blood on every quilt they made and Native Americans wove a broken bead, "the spirit bead" into every beaded masterpiece

Nothing that has a soul is perfect. When life weaves a spirit bead into your very fabric, you may stumble upon a wholeness greater than you had dreamed possible before."

... My Grandfather's Blessings, Rachel Naomi Ramen, M.D.

What is Green Burial?

Green Burial is a statement of personal values for those who seek to minimize their impact on the local and global environment. For people who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life, green burial is a spiritually fulfilling alternative to conventional burial or cremation. It is an environmentally sensitive practice: the body is returned to the earth to decompose naturally and contribute to new life.  


The five principles of green burial are: No Embalming, Direct Earth Burial, Ecological Restoration & Conservation, Communal Memorialization, Optimize Land Use.

Approved Ontario Green Burial Options: Willow's Rest Green Burial Section - Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls and Glenwood Cemetary Green Burial Section, Picton.

Want to know more?  Green Burial Society of Canada,