This little blog post is about gratitude. I’m feeling so grateful toward the dedicated group of core coordinators who have been meeting almost weekly now for over 3 years to birth Community Deathcare Canada. My colleagues Don Morris, Rochelle Martin, Sue Muirhead, Sarah Kerr, Jemma Fong, and Judith McGill have given so much of themselves to co-create this national community of practice. We have been operating beautifully together, utilizing a model of shared leadership to imagine and facilitate the reclamation of community-based deathcare in Canada. Together we invented a mission, vision and values for this organization, and now I’m grateful also for a shift to a board of directors model as we currently seek non profit status.
I’m grateful for the timing of the awareness about the need to relanguage our movement from “death midwifery” to “community deathcare” and simultaneously thankful for what all those words have meant to me over the years.
I’m filled with gratitude about the gift of a terrific website from Families for a Secure Future and to Rob Hill and for helping our own brilliant Jemma Fong to adapt it for our use to connect a community of Canadians who are passionate about bringing death back home in many different ways. I’m grateful that those who have left the core group are carrying on their authentic path in this work, and for those new members who have joined us and/or helped along the way such as Sarah Wourms and Jackie Avent.
Of course I’m grateful and humbled to have been asked to chair the board of directors of Community Deathcare Canada as we launch publicly, along with Krista Manual as vice chair, Rochelle Martin as secretary, Don Morris as heart keeper, and Constance Russo as treasurer. We are supported by several involved and passionate alumni as well as those who have joined us for committee work, such as; Denise Seguin Horth, John Eastcott, Diane Davis, and Loraine Johnson in the media committee, Hilary Watson, Tara Langdon Barb Phillips and Shauna Curley in the legislative committee, and Daria Sibinngton-Roffel in the fundraising and events committee as well as those org-savvy folks we need help from in the structure committee. Many hands make light work that is also enriching, important, and, well, fun!
My most heartfelt gratitude is for those who have continued the human traditions of caring for the dying , dead and bereaved across time, as well as for those who rise together now as we culturally reclaim such community-based care. Thank you to my friend Jeremy whose death brought me into closer relationship with death, and to the children, animals and plants we our homestead with who keep me there. Thank you death, for empowering me to live most fully.