“Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical, and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” -Earl Grollman

RESOURCES

Need help covering funeral expenses?  Dear Departures is a registered provider with Fund the Funeral, a crowd funding site used to raise money for funeral expenses, with fraud protection built in.   Additional resources may be available through the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, or the State Fund if the decedent qualifies.   Please contact us for more information.  

HOME FUNERALS 

 National Home Funeral Alliance 

NHFA is a non-profit with a mission to “educate and empower families and communities to care for their own dead.”  A great resource for home funerals.   

 History of Home Funerals 

From the NHFA

 Natural Transitions Magazine 

“…the only magazine on conscious, holistic approaches to end of life…Our vision is to provide education that can lead to a cultural shift in which death is embraced as a natural part of life.”   

 Lotsa Helping Hands 

“A painless way to organize help.  With the help calendar, you can post requests for support-things like meals for the family, rides to medical appointments, or just stopping by to visit.  Members of your community can quickly find ways to help, and Lotsa will send reminders automatically so nothing falls through the cracks.”

 Funeral Consumer Alliance

 “The goal of the Funeral Consumer Alliance is to ensure consumers are fully prepared and protected when planning a funeral for themselves or their loved ones.  We do this by offering objective facts about funeral planning so families can plan a meaningful goodbye that fits their needs and their budget.”

“GRIEF SUPPORT

Refuge In Grief

“It’s ok to not be ok. If your life has exploded into a million little bits, you don’t need platitudes.  You don’t need cheerleading.  You don’t need to be told this all happened for a reason.  Some things cannot be fixed.  They can only be carried.”

Judi’s House

For children who have experienced a death. “Judi’s House is the only free-standing organization in the Metro Denver area devoted solely to providing research-based care to grieving children and their families.”

Heartlight Center

Local grief support groups. Check out their calendar of events.  “HeartLight Center provides affordable grief education and support for the Denver metropolitan community.”

Grief & Love

“Grief and Love is a closed Facebook group for survivors. For those of us who have faced the death of a loved one, and are trying to find a path forward. This is a space to support one another. To offer ideas and encouragement, to connect with helpful resources, or others who are going through the same thing you are, and finally, to share stories of the ones we’ve lost.”

PLANNING

 Conversation Project

“The Conversation Project is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.  Too many people die in a manner they would not choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling guilty and uncertain…our free Starter Kit is a useful tool to help you have the conversation with a family member, friend, or loved one about your – or their- wishes regarding end-of-life care.

 Colorado MOST Form

(Medical Order Scope of Treatment)

 Donate Life Colorado

Organ and tissue donation registry and FAQ

 MyDirectives

Free website and app where you can make your medical wishes known. “Emergencies can happen at any time, leaving you too injured or ill to communicate decisions about your medical treatment.  MyDirectvies helps you create your own emergency, critical care, and advance care plan for your family and doctors so they can make decisions on your behalf.”

DEATH  POSITIVE MOVEMENT

The Order of the Good Death

“The Order is about making death a part of your life. Staring down your death fears—whether it be your own death, the death of those you love, the pain of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), grief, corpses, bodily decomposition, or all of the above. Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety of modern culture is not.”

Death Café

“At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.”

Death Over Dinner

“We invite you to gather friends and family and fill a table.  Click Get Started to plan a test dinner.  We call it a test dinner because trying out this process in no way commits you to follow through with an actual dinner.”

End Well

“We believe all people should experience the end of life in a way that matches their values and goals.  Our goal is to create a shift that supports new collaborations, systems, protocols, and products…a shift that fosters new and existing networks of support to make the end of life more human-centered for all.”

The Pause

“The medical Pause is a practice implemented after the death of a patient. The practice offers closure to both the medical team and the patient.  It is a means of transitioning and demarcating the brevity and importance of the moment.”

 PODCASTS

The Moth

Our Favorite Episodes:

 Grief to a Five-Year-Old (CW: Child Death) 

 Loving Grace (CW: Fetal Death)

 Alpha Wolf (CW: Strong Language)

 End-of-Life University

“Real talk about life and death.” -Karen Wyatt

 Terrible Thanks for Asking

“You know how when someone asks “How are you?” you just say “Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day?  TTFA is the opposite of that.  Nora McInerny asks real people to share complicated and honest feelings about how they really are.  It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.”

 Grief Cast

“Funny people talking about death and grief” –Cariad Lloyd

 Dare to Listen

“Dare to Listen invites conversations about the dying process, self-discovery, and our connections to the unseen.” –Nameh Marsin

DOCUMENTARIES

In the Parlor

The film showcases three families’ home funeral stories.  “It is both a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death-care movement.”

A Will for the Woods

“A dying man searching for a final resting place becomes involved with the green burial movement.”

End Game

“Facing an inevitable outcome, terminally ill patients meet extraordinary medical practitioners seeking to change our approach to life and death.”

How to Die in Oregon

This film explores Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act,” which allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to the terminally ill.

Serving Life

This film documents an extraordinary hospice program where dying inmates are cared for by other volunteer inmates.

Grief Walker

Steven Jenkinson on how “he has made it his life’s mission to change the way we die – to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.”

Go in Peace

This film demystifies the nature of souls wounding in veterans, explains how environment can trigger past trauma in patients, and reveals how the caregiver can create a safe environment conducive to healing.

Dying Wish

A film about a doctor’s decision to stop eating and drinking to ease his death and die with grace.

 My Last Days

This is CW series where terminally ill people share their stories.

Time of Death

This is a Showtime series that “offers an unflinching, intimate look at remarkable people facing their own mortality.”

Disclaimer: We hold an Amazon Affiliate account, and as such we earn a very small percentage (pennies) of any qualifying books purchased at the links below.  Many of these books may be found elsewhere on the internet, or free of charge at your local library.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown

Picture book of children finding a dead bird and saying goodbye by burying it in the park.

 The Grandpa Tree

An elementary tale of the life cycle of a tree

 The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

“People who love each other are always connected by a very special string, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

 Finding Grandpa Everywhere by John Hodge

After Grandpa dies, a young boy finds that the memories of him and his love live on everywhere he looks.” 

Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement by Rebecca Cobb 

Honest and straightforward, this touching story explores the many emotions a bereaved child may experience, from anger and guilt to sadness and bewilderment. Ultimately, Missing Mommy focuses on the positivethe recognition that the child is not alone but still part of a family that loves and supports him.”

 Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved 

“Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss of life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.”

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye.”

I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas

When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps children understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one’s death.” 

I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

A family grieves and buries their dog.

 Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch

“In a strangely heart-warming story, a duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death. Death, Duck and the Tulip will intrigue, haunt and enchant readers of all ages. Simple, warm, and witty, this book deals with a difficult subject in a way that is elegant, straightforward, and life-affirming.”

 Badger’s Parting Gift by Susan Varley

“Badger is so old that he knows he will soon die. He tries to prepare his friends for this event, but when he does die, they are still grief-stricken. Gradually they come to terms with their grief by remembering all the practical things Badger taught them, and so Badger lives on in his friends’ memories of him.”

 Always and Forever by Alan Durant

“When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realize that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.”

 Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Winston’s Wish

“This book offers a structure and an outlet for the many difficult feelings which inevitably follow when someone dies. It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on the different aspects of their grief, whilst finding a balance between remembering and having fun. This book is a useful companion in the present, and will become an invaluable keepsake in the years to come.”

 Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen

With unmitigated honesty, a touch of humor, and sensitive illustrations by Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen explores the experience of sadness in a way that resonates with us all.”

Good-bye, Jeepers: What to Expect When Your Pet Dies (Life’s Challenges) by Nancy Loewn

VIDEOS

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage (Facebook video showcasing a living funeral)