6 Funeral Trends That Are Changing Death Rituals

A few interesting options worth investigating

by Leanne Pott, AARP, November 20, 2017

Photo by Sam Kaplan for AARP

Writing for AARP, Leanne Pott shares six new trends that are transforming funeral and burial processes in the United States.  She has not included the the Kiwi Coffin Clubs that are popping up in New Zealand where people create their own unique and often artist coffins.  Although, she does include themes about in home death preparations from In the Parlor.

She opens by noting that:

Last year, cremation surpassed traditional burials for the first time in the United States.

Traditional funerals are on their death bed. More people are skipping the two days of visitation, religious service and burial of an embalmed body in a casket that can cost as much as a used car, and instead opting for funerals that are easier on the planet and the budget. They’re going for more personal rituals, too, that break the rigid customs that became the norm in the 20th century. Here’s a look at what’s out there.”

In addition to cremations, she discusses the emerging popularity of water cremations, green burials, at-home funerals, therapy dogs, and creative ideas for “more interesting things to do with loved ones’ cremains than leave them in an urn. A British company will press them into a vinyl record with a custom song. Your local tattoo artist can mix them into tattoo ink and give you a custom tat in their honor. And an Alabama company will put them into the ammo of your choice so you can blast them to the afterlife in a one-gun salute. Because scattering ashes is so 2001.”

Free the full article on AARP.com at 6 Funeral Trends That Are Changing Death Rituals.

What the living can learn from the dying

A Buddhist teacher on what the living can learn from the dying

Vox.com, Sean Illingsean.illing@vox.com

“When we come close to the end of our life, what’s really important makes itself known.”

A Buddhist teacher on what the living can learn from the dying

“We know that we will die, yet we spend much of our lives trying very hard not to think about it. But is it wise to ignore death? Could we live better if we spent more time thinking about our own mortality?

Frank Ostaseski is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach the Living and helped found the Zen Hospice Project’s Guest House.

In an interview with

“Buddhist practice, with its emphasis on impermanence, the moment-to-moment arising and passing of every conceivable experience, is an important influence in my life and work with dying. Facing death is considered fundamental in the Buddhist tradition. Death is seen as a final stage of growth. Our daily practices of mindfulness and compassion cultivate the wholesome mental, emotional, and physical qualities that prepare us to meet the inevitable.

Through the application of these skillful means, I learned not to be incapacitated by the suffering, but allow it to become the ground of compassion within me. Meditation practice develops the equanimity that often allowed me to be the one calm person in a very chaotic situation.

Finally, in Buddhist thought, one aspect of compassion is boundless and all embracing. We might call this universal compassion. Then there is everyday compassion. The compassion that gets expressed in daily life, when we feed the hungry, stand against injustice, change soiled sheets or listen generously to a friend’s broken heart. We may be effective or ineffectual in our efforts, but we do the best we can. These two facets of compassion rely on each other.”

For the full interview, visit: A Buddhist teacher on what the living can learn from the dying.

For other resources, visit: End of Life Resources.

Kiwi Coffin Club Throws Glitter on the Idea of Dying

A growing number of New Zealand senior citizens are taking matters of death into their own hands through paint, song, and dance to build their own coffins.

The show must go on! Or must it? The members of New Zealand’s quirky Coffin Clubs don’t think so. The clubs—which consist of Kiwi senior citizens who seek comfort, community, and coffin-making—is gaining popularity among New Zealanders, as well as internationally.

This is an article and video that will tickle your heart and inspire new perspectives on how to prepare for your own death and burial.  A brilliant way to express yourself both in living and dying!

Learn more from National Geographic, October 19, 2017 by Austa Somvichian-Clausen

Patt Lind-Kyle on Voice For Truth

Patt on VoiceAmerica’s Voice for Truth

Patt Lind-Kyle on Voice For Truth

Click to listen to Patt’s podcast on Voice of Truth on Voice America.

Sharon Ann Wikoff, host of Voice For Truth, interviews Patt Lind-Kyle about her newest book Embracing The End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening on Monday, November 27 at 9am Pacific.

Patt invites us to truly embrace death so we can be free to live more fully. Do you avoid thinking about your death? Have you considered developing a relationship with dying? Death is simply one aspect of being human, but in our culture, we’ve made it taboo. Thus, most of us walk through life with fears that prevent us from experiencing true contentment. Embracing the End of Life invites you to lean into beliefs and questions about death and dying to release fearful energy and awaken to a more vital life now. Preparing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for this inevitable transition provides clarity and strength. Exploring multiple aspects of life and death, this book helps unwind the challenge of death and discover the truth of your own path to inner freedom.

 

Read more…

I hope you will join us,

Patt Lind-Kyle

 

About Voice For Truth and Sharon Wikoff

Monday at 9 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Would you like to realize your full potential? Do you ever dare to consider what is really possible for yourself and our world?

On VOICE FOR TRUTH, Sharon Wikoff is dedicated to helping us all remember that we have the power to create a world that works for everyone. What would you like to see created? Sharon interviews inspiring guests who encourage us to remember our true nature and our natural connection to the planet and all of life. Voice For Truth will support you in knowing your greatness and empower you to know your voice matters. Exceptional young people will share their projects and how they are making a difference in the world. Sharon supports listeners to deeply realize their own unique potential, power and purpose.

Tune in to Voice For Truth, Mondays at 9 AM Pacific Time on the Voice America Variety Channel.

5 Spiritual Practices to Prepare For the End of Life

BeliefNet.com By Patt Lind-Kyle MA

In a recent article published by BeliefNet.com, Patt shares how to use your faith to handle your last days through 5 spiritual practices.

In her intimate essay, Patt opens with “Spirit is the force within you that is believed to give your body life, energy, and power. If this vital force gives life to all of us then a spiritual practice would seem to be an important part of your daily life for an existence filled with health, balance and vitality. If that is true for your life now, then how do spiritual practices help you at the end of your life?”
5 Spiritual Practices image from BeliefNet.com and Shutterstock
We begin with forgiveness and then in turn gratitude, appreciation, kindness and compassion. These five spiritual practices will help you to prepare for the end of your life. Each practice is a life-long journey of learning and discovery.  With each practice, Patt offers compelling exercises to open your heart, heal your mind, and embrace a conscious awakening process.

Read  5 Spiritual Practices to Prepare for the End of Life

Patt on Moments with Marianne Pestana on iHeart Radio

I was delighted to be a guest with Marianne Pestana on Moments with Marianne on Monday, November 27th.  Listen to the interview podcast at Moments with Marianne as we discuss my new book Embracing the End of Life.

In a single moment your life can change! “Moments with Marianne” is a transformative hour that covers an endless array of topics with the ‘best of the best.’ Her guest are leaders in their fields, ranging from inspirational authors, top industry leaders, business and spiritual entrepreneurs. Each guest is gifted, and a true visionary! A recognized leader in her own work, and while teaching others to develop, refocus, and grow; Marianne will bring the best guest, and sometimes a special surprise. Don’t miss this – you never know just which ‘moment’ will change your life forever.

Click to listen the podcast OR download the Moments with Marianne app on iTunes & Google Play! from Monday, November 27, 2017.

Learn more about Embracing the End of Life and explore Approaching the End of Life Resources.

MyDirectives.com – online Advance Care Directives

MyDirectivesI recently discovered a very practical tool for preparing a personalized advance care plan online through MyDirectives.com. MyDirectives makes your emergency, critical and advance care desires readily available through your mobile device and computer.  It is free, easy and always available.

A personalized online emergency, critical and advance care plan

MyDirectives is the first completely digital emergency, critical and advance care planning service that is secure, easy to understand, and free to consumers to use.  MyDirectives and MyDirectives MOBILE are services offered by ADVault, Inc., a privately held U.S. corporation dedicated to ensuring that emergency first responders, doctors, nurses and caregivers always have access to the most important voice in healthcare – yours.

Everything you need for a 21st century emergency medical care plan is in MyDirectives.com’s award-winning Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™.    You can complete it in minutes or take as long as you need to feel confident.  MyDirectives is an online application “app” that helps you create your own emergency, critical and advance care plan for your family and doctors so they can make decisions on your behalf.

MyDirectives makes it easy to create a state-of-the-art emergency, critical and advance care plan. You can answer questions in your own words or pick from a selection of the most common answers. Add your thoughts with as much detail as you wish. You can even add your own video responses.

Mobile app - MyDirectivesThrough MyDirectives and MyDirectives MOBILE, ADVault helps consumers record their medical treatment wishes, preferences regarding palliative and hospice care, organ donation, and autopsy, and other critical personal information both on the device, and in the format, that is most convenient and comfortable for them. MyDirectives then works with personal health record and electronic medical record vendors, as well as healthcare providers and payers, to make all of that information securely available on demand, whenever and wherever needed.

Then when needed, MyDirectives are easy to share.You can share your emergency care plan with anyone at any time. Hospitals that link to MyDirectives can access your care plan when you are admitted.  You can also download the MyDirectives MOBILE™ app to add your own video statement to your profile.

Click to Learn How MyDirectives Works.

 

Spirituality Today – Book of the Month

Spirituality Today has designated Embracing the End of Life as Book of the Month for October 2017!

However you look at it Embracing the End of Life is a remarkable perspective on the dying process, and from all angles. Its spiritual perspective adds greatly to the sheer practicalities of the decaying of the physical body and its clear spiritual undercurrent whilst managing to avoid touching upon the thorny issue of religion. Having said that the writing in this work does lean towards Eastern philosophies at time but this is probably somewhat rather inevitable given their more mature and supportive perspective on death.  This includes a strong emphasis on meditation as an important exercise throughout life and a brief look at the Enneagram.

Throughout its pages Embracing the End of Life offers a good balance between commentary, exercises, advice and guidance. It is a well-constructed publication and written with a sympathetic but non-condescending style. I would heartedly recommend it to anyone contemplating the final stages in their life but feel it will be of immense value to those who are trying to aid them through that transition.

Death is, from our physical perspective, the final journey we make. Confronting the issues imposed by the final days of our lives is the greatest of all challenges. 

Sadly, we do not live in a society that adequately prepares us for that last great leap into the unknown. Someone who is keenly aware of that fact is Patt Lind-Kyle; an author, teacher, therapist, speaker and consultant who’s book Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain won the Independent Publishers Gold Medal Award and Best Book Award from USA Today News. In her nook Embracing the End of Life she tackles that same thorny issue of dying and offers some practical advice for those making the final steps into death.

Read the full review at Our Review of Embracing the End of Life by Patt Lind-Kyle

Spirituality Today Rating 5 of 5 start rating

Read more on Embracing the End of Life.

In The Parlor – The Final Goodbye

A documentary film examining the growing trend of families caring for their loved ones after death.

In the last few days, I viewed this very important film that is now being shown in theaters and film festivals around the country. I was moved and inspired by viewing In The Parlor and the alternative approach to death and death care it presents.

In The Parlor: The Final Goodbye takes a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death care movement. The film takes viewers on a journey where very few have gone, and challenges us to reflect on this uncomfortable subject, which so often is hidden away and ignored.  Rejecting the mainstream tradition of hiring funeral professionals to care for the deceased, families in search of a more personal and fulfilling way to say goodbye are taking an active role in caring for relatives who have died.

Click  to view trailer on In The Parlor website.
Written, Produced, and Directed by Heidi Boucher
Co-Produced and Directed by Ruby Sketchley

You can purchase a DVD/Blu-Ray or  watch for In The Parlor: The Final Goodbye in a theater near you.

See Approaching End of Life Resources for additional End of Life related resources.

Enneagram Institute Embracing the End of Life review

From The Enneagram Institute® Newsletter, October 2017

The Enneagram Institute® students offer amazing and innovative work in a variety of fields and practices around the world. This month, we highlight author and thought leader Patt Lind-Kyle, who recently published Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening to critical acclaim. Brian Taylor offers the following book review:

“The study of death – the only certainty that life holds for us – must be central, for an understanding of death is the key to liberation in life.”  This seemingly paradoxical quote, from Dr. Stanislav Grof, is cited by Enneagram Institute student Patt Lind-Kyle in her latest book, Embracing the End of Life:  A Journey into Dying and Awakening (Llewellyn Publications, 2017).  It also encapsulates the fundamental two-fold approach that Patt employs in her overall structure of this book.   The first part is a moving contemplation on preparation for the inevitability of death that each of us will ultimately face. The second addresses the inner journey that we must pursue in our day-to-day lives to overcome resistance to the inescapable reality, and perhaps constant nearness, of our own death – an encouraging reminder to strive to live our lives now with mindfulness and awakeness.

In a thoughtful, warm, and non-threatening voice, Patt gently invites the reader to address the natural feelings – conscious or unconscious – of fear, pain, and separation that many of us may associate with the process of dying – the loss of all that is precious to us during our lives. Through a series of tender and compassionate exercises, practices, and meditations, Patt provides suggestions for reflection about death, suffering, and the meaning each of us searches for in life. The stages of the journey she shares, in many ways, reflects the process of true spiritual growth: acknowledging the constrictions and restraints we have that accompany our resistance to reality, enabling us to learn to let go, and, ultimately, to release and transcend those fears and restraints. As Patt puts it, “to surrender your physical life is to let go of the constricted self, this personality identity that you’ve created and lived with all your life.” It’s the path to the ultimate “letting go”. As Don used to say to me, the process of life is a gradual and necessary release of everything we possess, and, ultimately, of all that we think we are and an acceptance of all that we actually are.

Continue Reading (then scroll to Book Review)

My newest book Embracing the End of Life incorporates the fundamental principles of the Enneagram and the Enneagram Institute. I extend my deepest appreciation to Brian Taylor and the Enneagram Team for the gracious review of Embracing the End of Life in their October 2017 Newsletter.