Getting Familiar with Death and Dying is a series of seven explorations, currently offered as a course with the Community Education Centre in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. I am very happy to offer it as a weekend course in other parts of the county.

It is an opportunity for people wanting to approach death with openness to its gifts as well as its challenges. We will explore topics such as Understanding the natural dying process, Exploring what life has given us and what we’ve given life, Being with the goodbyes, Choosing how to be with death and who might accompany us, Completing on the hard stuff, and Feeling prepared. We’ll also come to understand something of the influence of Western cultural attitudes to death.

We work with stories of real people as they approach death, providing a gentle and accessible way to get acquainted with a topic which can be challenging. The course is for anyone who wishes to engage with death in the company of others and a facilitator comfortable and experienced in the field.

Expected Course Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • reflect on Western cultural attitudes death
  • name several things they’d expect to see in the natural dying process
  • review the main strands of their life and what they appreciate about it
  • contemplate difficult goodbyes
  • decide on some ways they would like their end-of-life to be
  • identify what needs completing in their own lives, and
  • feel more prepared for their own death and that of others close to them