Befriending Mortality Fall 2024

Announcing my new round of programming! Registration for fall programs will open September 1. Join my early access list to get early notification of registration links, or contact me to explore bringing this content to your community or organization.

In the fall of 2023 I piloted a new six-part series of classes, offered via Zoom through three different rounds. I was honored by rave reviews from participants, and deeply touched by everything they brought to our shared exploration of Befriending Mortality.

“Honestly, this was one of the best workshop series I’ve ever been involved with. It was a perfect blend of facts and feelings. The beauty of the poems, songs, and films was essential for me. Holly is thorough and compassionate. It was a safe space for a subject that calls out for one.”

NEW! Befriending Mortality Salons

Bring your dinner and log on for a short talk on a curated topic followed by discussion. Open to all. One Tuesday a month through the end of 2024, on-line for 90 minutes at 5:00pm pacific: Oct. 22, Nov. 19, Dec. 3. Sliding scale $5 – $45 per Salon. Topics will be published when registration opens September 1; join my early access list to get advance notification.

Befriending Mortality Death Cafés

A chance for Befriending Mortality participants past and present to discuss what’s on their minds. One Wednesday a month through the end of 2024, on-line for 75 minutes at 5:00pm pacific: Sept. 25, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11. No cost. Registration will open September 1; join my early access list to get advance notification.

Befriending Mortality 6-Class Series

Hour-long on-line classes with optional 30-minute discussion and reflection time, and detailed follow-up materials. Every other Monday from Sept. 30 to Dec. 9, 2024 at 5:00pm pacific. Register for individual sessions or the full series; recordings available to registrants. Sliding scale $20–$45 per class; $100–$250 for the series. Any of the topics can also be explored through personalized consultation or education sessions for individuals, couples, or community groups.

  • Befriending Mortality (Sept. 30) – Death as our teacher, that we might know better how to care for the dying in our midst, to live in the presence of our mortality, and to die when it’s our turn. Grief as a skill, the skill of heartbrokenness, essential to the times we’re in. Considering these perspectives, you’ll be in good company as you reflect on your relationship to mortality.
  • Making a Death Plan (Oct. 14) – Birth plans have been promoted as a way for expectant parents and their care team to clarify and communicate their values, needs, and preferences for both optimal and unforeseen scenarios. A written death plan can do the same. We’ll review all the elements you may want to consider: physical/ medical, legal/ logistical, emotional/ spiritual, and social/ cultural along the time spectrum of before illness, during the dying time, and after death.
  • Final Disposition (Oct. 28) – What will happen to your body when you die? We’ll review pros and cons, costs and where to find final disposition options from conventional burial and flame cremation, to long-established and emerging eco-friendly options including green burial, alkaline hydrolysis (sometimes called water or flameless cremation), and natural organic reduction (also known as human composting, terramation, and soil transformation).
  • The Dying Time (Nov. 11) – How do we support the dying in our midst? What supports might we want for our dying time? We’ll look at the landscape from diagnosis to death: palliative care and hospice; medical aid in dying (MAID), voluntary stopping eating and drinking (VSED), and other forms of “choice in dying”; assembling a care team and the role of an end-of-life doula; and the deaths that don’t go “according to plan.”
  • From Death to Disposition (Nov. 25) – ​Historically, care for the dead was handled by family and community – and legally, it is still our right to do so. But for many, our ancestral ways of caring for each other after death have been forgotten. We’ll review the aspects of deathcare now outsourced to professionals – bathing, dressing, and transporting the body; sourcing a casket, shroud or urn; handling the paperwork – and consider the benefits of more hands-on engagement.
  • Remembering Together (Dec. 9) – How do we honor, and strengthen, the continuity of relationships across the veil of life and death? We’ll conclude the series with inspiring examples of creative ceremonies of bereavement and remembrance, including meaningful funerals, living memorials, and “re-dos” of ceremonies that went wrong or never happened.

Join my early access list to get early notification of registration links.

Bonus Session

  • 1-1 Consult: Those registering for the full series also have the option of a complimentary one-hour session with Holly by phone or Zoom on the topic of your choice

“Holly has a lovely, relaxed manner that is so easy to listen to, such a generous way of holding various options open, honoring different perspectives. She inspires trust through the energy her presence generates, her honesty and humor, and the breadth of her knowledge.”

About Your Instructor

All sessions are designed and led by Holly Pruett, drawing from work with hundreds of clients, eight years of death cafés, and scores of presentations for groups such as Rose Villa, Hopewell House, Friendly House Planning with Pride, The Peaceful Presence Project, Green Burial Council, Holladay Park Plaza, Assoc. of Professional Chaplains–OR, NW Assoc. of Death Education & Bereavement Support.

“Holly’s gentleness, firmness, and deep knowledge and writings are so well matched to her chosen life work.”

Read more about my qualifications. Contact me if you have questions!

Photo: our “consolation kitty” Mr O living his best life in his waning months last summer.