• Ahhh… Thank you Kari! I will definitely pass it around when it’s released… Might not be for a few months..

  1. Julia, I can hardly wait to view your TEDX talk when it becomes available! In the meantime, I’m intrigued with your question, “How do you want to die?”. I’ve been researching holistic approaches to deathcare and have learned a great deal about this fascinating topic that most of us ignore most of the time. One thing I’ve learned is that we tend to die the way that we live.

    I have a dear cousin in Denmark who is in his final days of life (cancer). He is a man with a big heart and creative genius. While he still could, he asked friends to help him build his own coffin so as to ensure that it’s environmentally suitable for a natural burial and to lift the burden from his family of having to purchase one after he dies. This is a perfect expression of how he has lived his life with love for natural habitat and generous creativity. If we die the way we live, how does this influence our life choices today?

    Second, it turns out that green burials are significantly more ecologically sensible than cremation. I always thought I’d be cremated (83% of Canadians currently choose this option). However, it turns out that each time a body in Canada (or the USA) is cremated, the amount of fossil fuels used is staggering: enough to drive a mid-size car 645 kms! Add to that the significant amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere… is this really the legacy we want to leave as our final act on this beautiful planet? Green burials present a very different option. I like to think that someday a few of my molecules will return as a sunlit leaf on a tree fertilized by my remains rather than a puff of smoke or flakes of ash.

    I was around in the early days of “Getting to Yes” and “conflict resolution” and am struck by the parallels between the birth of that field and the nascent world of green burials beginning to gain traction in Canada.

    Julia, you ask, “Can we choose to practice more calm, to keep connected to our hearts? Can we choose to listen to all sides, to keep the innovation flowing? Can we engage in doing what is right, for ourselves and all of us?” My response, “Yes indeed, if we so choose”.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Sylvia and sharing your touching story about your special, dear cousin. So interesting too about the cremation impact – I had no idea! That’s impactful information! Thanks again!

  2. Thanks Julia for your thoughtful piece. I too worked as a palliative care nurse during my working years and the question of how we are to die was an automatic one for my patients during that time. Considering the health or lack of it when dealing with our planet home ties everything together. Most likely we will die way before our planet and not know the outcomes of human history. Our death will form the circle of our life and will connect with all that is around us. For our own lives we try to live in harmony and as you so well expressed it, joy and gratitude. We do live in a rich country and as such have many possibilities to act, to be educated, to have understanding of history and relationships and form an ethical balance to some extent with our families, friends and community. For the planet, however, it is not so likely we will have much of an impact. Not that we shouldn’t be active in the promotion of what we understand to be health for our environment, for our land and landscape, but our existence is much more uncertain and the possibilities limitless in the universe we find ourselves in. I think sometimes it is just as necessary to enjoy the beauty we are part of as to work for the goals we think are important to for humanity. All the best, Judy

    • Thank you Judy for so eloquently sharing some of your depth wisdom excavated through your life experience. Yes, how shall we die… enjoying the beauty we are part of as we work on goals we think are important for humanity – what impactful and inspiring marching orders!

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