The Community Death Care Project’s blog is an archive of our activities. We will:

  • share information that has been created for and in our workshops,
  • share experiences and images from the sessions and events,
  • publish recorded online workshop sessions and transcripts (written text) so you can view them on your own time,
  • show community artwork and creations that are submitted with permission to the project.

If you want to share something on the CDCP blog that you have made or written that is related to death work and your lived experience, please contact

This is Assisting Living: Author reading by Dr. Stefanie Green & Q+A

Dr. Stefanie Green read three passages from her new book This is Assisted Dying. The first was a story of Ed, which let us know that death isn’t always morbid work, that it is individuated. The second was about how the work is not always easy and that clinicians are cautious and fear criminal charges. And the third was a beautiful example of how this work impacts Dr. Green’s life, letting us into her life, relationships, and personal reflections.

Memory Is a Living Being: A Eulogy Writing Workshop with Hari Alluri

I acknowledge that if you’ve come to this workshop, you’ve come to do what may be difficult work.

I acknowledge and welcome you to acknowledge that grief is one of the strongest feelings we can experience.

I welcome you to acknowledge that loss, no matter how deeply personal, is one of the experiences that connects all beings.

I acknowledge that it is difficult to be compassionate toward each other when we aren’t compassionate towards ourselves, so I welcome us to be in our highest compassion towards ourselves today, so we can be in our highest compassion towards each other.

In doing so, I acknowledge that feelings of guilt and shame and fear often arrive side by side with loss:

I welcome us to acknowledge these feelings AND also to ask these feelings to give us space to do the work we have come here to do today:

I ask us to welcome the emotional beings of Love and Memory and Curiosity and Wonder to be our primary guides as we do our work today.

I welcome us to acknowledge that each of us, and each of those we love, is a full and complete being, that we are complex wholes and that part of the urge inside this workshop is work with the wholeness of us and those we love.

At the same time, no single workshop can carry the fullness of a life: a eulogy is always partial even as it welcomes wholeness: let’s be compassionate if what we write feels incomplete, knowing that we are working with our intentions, and intending this work to be as complete as it can be within the time we have to share.

I give thanks to each and all of you for being here, in mind and body and emotions and spirit.

Collective Poem 1: gathered by Hari Alluri’s workshop group with language from the readings

with language from: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Etheridge Knight, Paul Celan, Alberto Ríos, Jónína Kirton, Joy Harjo


to anyone listening in the dark, let me hear you

your death ash[es] in my mouth

They did not disappear

we are the secret citizens of the city

And we travel unmapped roads.

your soul may play you

in the unbound

to be dismantled tomorrow

dope death dead dying and jiving

bright bone white    crystal sand glistens

the world is bare [without you]

the grey of your absence, the color of poison, of thorns,

the yellow of autumn, the red of flowers, of flames,

the gold, the season ablaze,

when we meet again, this is your homecoming

Original: live gathering of language in relationship to the questions:

with language from Jana Lynne Umipig, Jónína Kirton, lucille clifton, Joy Harjo, Alberto Ríos, Cemal Süreya, Chris Abani, Nikki Giovanni, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, César Vallejo, Etheridge Knight, Willie Perdomo, Rita Dove, suheir hammad, Yannis Ritsos, Paul Celan, Adam Zagajewski, Hari Alluri

what is to share:

go home I am waiting for you there

comforting silence around

what inspires us

you sing to him softly in a language only the 2 of you speak

my own blank space sitting exactly like me

all enough you will want

what is real?

pumped blood

sharp sounds by the door drowning in whisper

grit on my teeth

some of us are born with nerve endings longer than our bodies

the sea and trees and the sky and birds and fuck

what is death?

our age ends

the future in sunlight

“when somebody psses away, depending on the connection, you’re left with a space that’s no longer filled

 with that person”

the future never happens

a man, god, a language

my own blank space

we are transforming into a greater, truer self

what is transformation?

the sky was the dead end of sight

the road was just a road, wine merely wine

as if some ceremony keeps tugging at my [your] coat

you will want to be brave

death always has a shape to introduce

what is invitation?

the air conditioner is connected

Don’t leave now that you are here, the sky

the rest is prayer and even more prayer

chorus for the coming of

babies taking a handful of sand or dirt into their mouth

the mating call of motorcycles

Come on shake a leg,

what is control / autonomy / its opposite?

you will cry water into flames

vulture your own heart to feed

down them, my heart is walking on foot

their attempts to wash away do not work

even thirst is a gift

sit beside a tree and sip tea

what is care?

my best friend scolded me the way you hug me now

come here she said I’ll teach you a poem

if we’re lucky larger than real life inside this poem

must learn to bear the pleasures as we have borne the pains

All poets understand the final uselessness of words

We are chords other chords to other chords, if we’re lucky to melody

Nikki Reimer’s GRIEFWAVE

Nikki Reimer’s GRIEFWAVE is an elegiac response to the life and death of their brother, Chris Reimer (1986-2012), a Calgary-based indie musician. It is also a meditation on the oscillating nature of loss and grief, and the ways in which mourning changes when it takes place in public, digital spheres.
Zoom recording of Nikki Reimer’s discussion on her GRIEFWAVE project
Zoom recording of Annie Leung’s talk on Wills and Estates in Cantonese
Zoom recording of Melody Jobse’s Advance Care Planning talk
Zoom recording of Chris Heslinga’s Intro to Wills and Estate Planning

A conversation with Emily Bootle of
Koru: Cremation, Burial, Ceremony

Wills and Estates in Cantonese

Annie Leung hosted a workshop on Wills and Estates in Cantonese. It was well attended both online and in-person at Carnegie Community Centre. Similar to our workshop in English, these seniors learned quite a bit about planning their personal estate and preparing their wills. At the end of the workshop, there was a q&a segment where attendees were able to ask Annie some specific questions they had regarding these topics.

Thanks Annie!

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) remember those they have lost

“Death is not the end for us revolutionaries” (VT)
Rest in Power.

Walking tour of the Mountain View Cemetery

This is a lovely shrine that was created during today’s Sacred Memorial Shrine Workshop for was hosted online and in-person at Carnegie by Marina Szijarto and Paula Jardine.

The workshop was open to frontline staff and volunteers serving the public in the DTES.

Participating in the workshop, I found the instructional portion useful, as I’m not someone who necessarily knows how to process or express grief and the shrines I think will be a nice way to honor someone who has passed.

The sharing portion of the workshop was a very moving and intimate experience and even though I’m a fairly closed off person, it helped me to share and allowed me some time and space to consider my loved ones who I’ve lost. It also allowed me to shape some of my thoughts and fears for the people we serve and work with in the DTES.

I’m very grateful to Marina and Paula for creating the space for us.
Today we had Mono Brown, a Vancouver-based Death Doula, visit the Carnegie Theatre for a warm and caring session exploring dying and grief. With a candle lit, Brown guided the group through the concept of loss and, by the same token, an exploration of what makes us feel alive.

I really valued hearing others’ stories of loss and the chance to share my own thoughts. I left with an appreciation for what I enjoy about living and a sparked curiosity for the process of letting go at the end of life. (IS)

Mono Brown will be joining us again at Oppenheimer Park on Tuesday, April 19th from 10:00AM – 12:00PM for a session that focuses on grief work and grief rituals.