If you would indeed behold the spirit
of death, open your heart wide
unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the
river and sea are one.—Kahlil Gibran
This program facilitates a process of personal reflection, learning, and spiritual growth focused on the topic of death and dying. It brings death, dying, and grief into the light of our daily lives and out of the dark, macabre recesses to which we often relegate it. The program is not a grief support group, nor is it an intellectual study of death. It includes sociological information and reflection, theological reflection, personal and shared narrative, creative expression, journaling, and practical learning and preparation. It helps participants move from viewing death as an abstract concept to developing a personal recognition of its meaning in their life, with the goal that all who participate in the program find a closer and more comfortable relationship with their own inevitable death. This program invites participants to experience death and dying as a healthy part of life, including the preparation, the moment of death, the grieving, and the living on.
Facing Death with Life includes eight two-hour workshops, plus material for participants to read or view in preparation for each workshop. In addition, one or more field trips to a funeral home, cemetery, or crematorium are recommended between Workshops 7 and 8. The eight workshops build upon each other in both content and development of community. The program culminates with participants sharing their creative projects during the last workshop.