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Through an Intimacy with All of Life
End of Life Planning & Paperwork Workshop

A Deep Dive into Death Literacy, Death Empowerment, Death Acceptance, Death Positivity, & Conscious Death Practice

End of Life Preparation

A 13-week Deep Dive from Fall Equinox to Winter Solstice 2024

This is a practical, emotional, spiritual and community building journey for folks of all ages and stages!

Creating clear end-of-life intentions is important for all stages of life and health. Preparing both internally and externally is a life-long endeavor. As you get clear about your intentions, writing them down helps guide you and loved ones when the time comes, allowing us to turn our attention to the mystery and magic inherent in the dying process. In this six week journey, we do that together, step by step.

From Fall Equinox to Winter Solstice 2024
Thirteen Weeks LIVE and ONLINE Series

Tuesdays from noon to 2pm Easter.
Each week is a 2 hour class.
For a total of 26 hours together.


The sessions will be recorded.
I ask that you are able to attend at least 2/3 of the sessions live (8 out of the 13).


To get the most out of the course plan to spend 5-10 hours (in addition to class time) to complete the assignments. 

September 17, 2024 to December 10, 2024.

Curriculum

This series is an overview of many aspects of end of life preparation including advanced life directives, after death options, financial choices, building death community, and preparing for death internally. How much paperwork you “finish” is entirely up to how much time you dedicate to the process.

The Five Wishes document is an internationally renowned advanced directive often described as a “living will with a heart and soul.” The wishes are: 1. Who do I want to make decisions for me when I can’t? 2. What kind of medical treatment do I want or not want? 3. How comfortable do I want to be? 4. How do I want people to treat me? 5. What do I want my loved ones to know?

Week 1
9/17/24

Introduction, Intentions, Overview, Invitation

Week 2
9/24/24

Wish 1 (from the 5 Wishes), Patient Advocacy, Death Care Teams, Addendum

Week 3
10/1/24

Songs, Chants, Journal Prompts, Poems, and Other Mystical Traditions for Exploring “Beyond the Veil”

Week 4
10/8/24

Wish 2 (from the 5 Wishes), Medical Interventions, Pain Management, Go-Wish Cards, Addendum

Week 5
10/15/24

Integration, What Makes for a Good Death Contemplation, Death Traditions from Our Past

Week 6
10/22/24

Wishes 3, 4, 5 (from the 5 Wishes), Finalizing 5 Wishes, Dementia Directives, MOST, DNR, Medical POA

Week 7
10/29/24

Psychedelics & The Practice of Dying

Week 8
11/5/24

Honoring the Dead: After Death Options including Home Funeral & Home Burial

Week 9
11/12/24

After Death Options Continued including After Death Paperwork

Week 10
11/19/24

Financial Considerations & Strategies for Purging “Stuff”

Week 11
11/26/24

Building Death Literate Community, Death Humor, Death Resources

Week 12
12/3/24

Saying Yes to Death, Making Peace with Death, Embodied Living & Dying

Week 13
12/10/24

Discretionary Time (in case something big comes up or we need to add a week because we ran over or something we still need to unpack)

“Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She helps us to discover what matters most.”

― Frank Ostaseski, The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

Why End of Life Preparation?

We know not the day nor the hour, says the Bible, with an admonition to prepare ahead. Most traditional cultures have death and dying practices. From ritual initiations to death contemplations to psychedelic experiences these practices help us grapple with our death long before we’re faced with the actuality. 

The result is being more prepared for our eventual death and embracing life before it occurs. Leaning into death at every step of the way encourages us to be more present.

During this six week experience we will take a journey together to prepare for the end of life. Some folks take this course to help a loved one prepare or to prepare for someone else’s death or to get their own affairs in order. All these reasons are valid. In order to help someone else get right with their own death, we must also get right with our own. 

Whether for yourself or for a loved one, intentionally preparing for death honors life and greatly increases the likelihood of having a good death.

As we make the time and space to contemplate important end-of-life questions, we become more comfortable considering, discussing, and deciding on all aspects of the ideal journey.

During our time together, you will receive an overview of the entire spectrum of end-of-life paperwork, focus extensively on end-of-life directives, dive into after-death options, and come away with a profoundly expanded understanding of end-of-life options. 

Expect expert information, real-life examples, one-on-one and group discussions, opportunities for contemplation, resources galore, and easy discussions, as well as active encouragement for next steps. Working in a group context allows for a depth of sharing that is not accessible in an individual process.

The supportive group atmosphere offers an exchange of ideas, experiences, stories, and support as you work through your process. And you may join in a movement that ultimately builds death-literate and death-positive communities.

This is a group experience, which is part of the magic of this course. Expect sharing, conversation, contemplations, and discussion. 

“There is no task as urgent for us as to learn daily how to die.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke

Instructor

Lee Warren has been fortunate to learn from the dying in the context of a village. Over the course of two years, from 2016 to 2018, there were six deaths at Earthaven Ecovillage, the place she’s called home for more than two decades.

Those deaths, and the generous people who experienced them, were incredible opportunities for service to the great mystery. From end-of-life paperwork preparation, to working with hospice and sitting with the dying, to collaborating with blood families on all aspects of the death process, to tending our beloveds for after death services, to creating home wakes, home funerals, and home burials, the village came alive with cooperation and the magic of synchronized flow.

These end-of-life ceremonies and rituals weave together the fabric of community, which gives meaning to every aspect of the death process. People, both from within and from outside the village, expressed how life-changing and heart-expansive these experiences were for them.

What Lee learned during this sacred time is the following:

  • Death is a gift for all involved.
  • We have everything we need internally for a good death.
  • Conscious and positive death experiences are possible.
  • Preparing in advance, both internally and externally, makes a good death more possible.
  • A village context is by far the best way to depart. So let’s build the village. Everywhere.
  • Tending to the dying creates a bond with the whole in a way that nothing else does.

Lee has woven end-of-life education into her community building work as foundation to becoming alive, present, and embodied humans. 

End of Life Planning & Paperwork Attendee Testimonials

  • “An incredibly helpful workshop. Lee helped me prepare for my own death as well as prepare to serve the dying and their families in my immediate family and others in my death doula work.”

  • “From the opening moments of the workshop, Lee’s wisdom is apparent. Even through zoom, she connects and inspires as through she is in your room. It’s clear that she is a master of all the materials she presented.”

  • Lee’s teaching style has a lovely blend of organizational fortitude and down-to-earth compassion. She’ll keep everyone on task while being warm and genuinely open to input. I particularly appreciated the treasure trove of well-researched resources/experiences that she shared with us, the space she made for us to connect with each other, and her patience while we all navigated new technology.”

  • This topic has been avoided for years. Lee made it palatable: Engaging! I’m motivated to continue! I needed this!”

  • “I highly recommend this workshop. It’s deepest value is in providing an experience of community connection around the often challenging subject of dying and death.”

     

  • “Lee’s experience around death and dying lends to thorough and clear direction for exploring and documenting one’s final wishes. Participation in this workshop is invaluable for peace of mind around your death and for those left to carry out your intentions.”

     

  • “The workshop was as thorough as it was spacious. It covered difficult topics with grace and neutrality. Lee is gifted at managing group process while insuring she attended to individual needs and desires. I highly recommend Lee as a resource for the topic and encourage you to attend the workshop if it speaks to you.”

     

  • “This workshop offers a bounty of resources, including the participants who lend support, education and direction. It’s truly a beautiful unfolding of community in process! I feel so much more well-equipped to address the issues of approaching my end-of-life.”

  • “I highly recommend this workshop to absolutely everyone. And ASAP too! None of us can know when the moment will come that we must leave our body (and life as we know it) behind forever. Being as prepared as we can be for such creates more grace and ease in one’s living.”

  • “An incredibly helpful workshop. Lee helped me prepare for my own death as well as prepare to serve the dying and their families in my immediate family and others in my death doula work.”
  • “Lee’s teaching style has a lovely blend of organizational fortitude and down-to-earth compassion. She’ll keep everyone on task while being warm and genuinely open to input. I particularly appreciated the treasure trove of well-researched resources/experiences that she shared with us, the space she made for us to connect with each other, and her patience while we all navigated technology.”
  • “I was surprised at how quickly the time went, and I felt completely engaged throughout. Lee and her friends provided a good mix of information, passion, and tips for planning. Lee’s many years of experience and practice with end of life planning imbued the event with thoughtfulness and gentleness. I found her to be organized, informative, motivating — and most of all, human.”
  • “Lee is an experienced and truly competent guide in the vast landscapes of end of life plans. Her thoughtful pacing helps us navigate the territory of decisions to make, who to involve, emotions and choices. as we learn the paperwork. Being supported in preparing for this rite of passage by creating our death care team settles a lot in me. Everyone involved will benefit.”
  • “We all have to face our mortality and make plans for our deaths and burials, yet we all avoid it as much as possible. This was a very helpful workshop. Lee’s intention is to lay out all the practical steps and options involved, but also the more spiritual aspects of consciously choosing how one wants the dying process to go and the afterdeath choices as well. I can’t think of a more important process to consider, and Lee provides clear and thoughtful guidance.”
  • “I really don’t think that the End of Life Workshop with Lee could have been any better. The content is comprehensive, the group size was perfect, and Lee is an excellent sensitive facilitator who is extraordinarily attuned to participants. Lee is also very generous in sharing her own stories of being with those who were dying, and also making her own end of life documents available. Lee really helped me to understand what I need to get into dying order for myself and, to understand what I can do to normalize talking about death.”
  • “This class is an extremely successful combination of the practical issues of end-of-life paper work and also the personal and spiritual aspects of a death well considered. This combination is a wholistic approach, and a very meaningful and important one.”
  • “I went from knowing nothing about end-of-life planning to having the resources I need to not only plan, but to include my loved ones in conversations and planning with me.”
  • “I appreciated this workshop on a very practical level as an orientation to end-of-life logistics and decision-making. With more time and reflection, I see it as an initiation into living and dying as parts of one journey, one of fulfilling my human purpose. It is well designed and led to allow participants to take it in at a variety of levels.”
  • “I have been working on providing this information as a resource for the Black community for several years. Because of my extremely busy schedule, it has not been a priority. After taking Lee’s workshop, I have prioritized these tasks on my personal agenda and will share it with family, friends and the community as soon as I can.”
  • “Thank you for educating me on a topic that has been in my mind and didn’t know how to approach. The information shared in the class was very useful and opens up more avenues for me to explore. It is a doorway towards reflecting on available options and choices related to end of life that is usually avoided or neglected.”

Objectives:

These are some objectives, or outcomes, that guide the course and may help you understand what to expect. I hope that each person who goes through this course will achieve the following:

  • Develop a comfort with end-of-life discussions
  • Understand some new end-of-life philosophies
  • Engage with death-positive cultural mindsets
  • Discuss examples of external and internal preparations for death
  • Consider death experiences from their own life
  • Determine which death experiences they desire
  • Comprehend the importance of end-of-life preparation
  • Receive inspiration for death preparation
  • Discover the categories of end-of-life paperwork
  • Distinguish end of life paperwork that pertains to pre- and post- death
  • Practice conversations with loved ones about end of life topics
  • Experiment with an end-of-life checklist
  • Discuss health care agents and their ideal characteristics
  • Contemplate personal health care agent choices
  • Understand the range of life-prolonging measures
  • Discuss personal desire for life-prolonging measures
  • Discuss and contemplate choices for disposition of the body
  • Learn from others’ experiences
  • Understand end-of-life financial choices
  • Build capacity for end-of-life conversations
  • Learn about the possibilities for death-literate communities
  • Share with others what’s important to them for end of life care
  • Consider internal practices for death relatedness
  • Practice making peace with death

“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance.”

― David Whyte

Sign Up

For This 13-Week Deep Dive


Cost Details:

The fee for this event is on a sliding scale from $911 to $598 per person. 

The bottom end of the sliding scale will be removed on May 31. And then the sliding scale will be $911 to $664. The bottom end of that sliding scale will be removed on July 31. And then the sliding scale will be $911 to $737.

Participation:

Workshop fees are PER PERSON. Please fill out one registration per person. If you’re coming with a spouse or a family member and wish to receive a discounted rate, please be in touch. I very much value families doing this course together. 

There is a minimum requirement of participants for this workshop to run. If we don’t meet the minimum you will be refunded in full. Otherwise, there are no refunds for this workshop.

The Breakdown:

At the high end of the sliding scale, the cost is $35 per hour. At the low end of the sliding scale the cost is $23 per hour. For a workshop of this scope, depth, and quality, these prices are very affordable. Over the years I’ve had to eliminate the lowest rungs on the sliding scale because the course became unsustainable. Here’s to keeping this course going, as it serves so many.

Sliding Scale:

Sliding Scale is a type of fee structure where people with more resources can pay a higher price and people with fewer resources can pay at a lower price. In this system the student determines the rate, no questions asked. There is an inherent trust, allowance, and collaboration in this system that honors both the time and experience of the teacher as well as intuition, income, and ability of the student.

That being said, PLEASE choose the highest level on the sliding scale that you can. A good rule of thumb is to pay at a price point that is a stretch but not a strain.

Grassroots educators are akin to artists and farmers: we rely on receiving a livable wage to continue to offer high quality education at an affordable price. If all students choose the lowest price point, these offerings will quickly become unsustainable. 

If you’d like to attend but don’t have the funds, please contact me with a proposal. 

Homework:

For the best outcome, please allocate 5-10 hours per week during this course for additional contemplation, conversations, and tasks. The completion of your paperwork and preparations is reliant on your keeping up with the process. This takes time and focus. 

Presence:

This is an ONLINE event. We will be using zoom. It’s best to be LIVE (online) for this workshop as the sharing, breakouts, brainstorming, and connecting is an important part of this process. Each session will be recorded. If you plan to miss more than 2 of the sessions, I want to suggest that you take the workshop the next time around. 

Schedule:

This course will be offered only once in 2025. 

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