Comments about Final Passages from our students and our community:
“It was more than a seminar; it was a growing experience. I thought I was coming to learn the nuts and bolts of starting a business, but it much more than that. I was inspired by all the others in the group.” –Lynn Holzman
“Jerrigrace continues to inspire and invite me to be my authentic self in this heart-opening work.” –Robin Cottrell
“Final Passages’ course work is life changing. The education is transforming my perspectives on death and the healing that can occur at the end of life. I look forward to sharing, connecting and assisting with my family, friends and community about home funerals.” –Victoria Joy
“I see Final Passages as a valuable step in a cultural shift toward allowing families to reclaim the process of closure on the life of their loved one. Our culture has long needed a change in the recognition of our mortality and your project brings a very positive and enlightened move in this direction.” –Katherine Foster, M.D., Kaiser Bioethics Committee
“Taking charge of a home funeral completely changed my attitude about life and death. It seems to help people create a personal in-home honoring ritual related to the customary way a person has lived. Through touch, story telling, emotional release, art therapy (decorating a casket), and ceremony, you are transported through a person’s life and brought to the present. This facilitates closure and supports the grieving process.” –Karla Logue
“The generation that broke the code on surgical child birth is carrying the same convention-defying spirit to the other end of life’s brief spectrum.” –The Navigator
“I wouldn’t have missed this training for the world. As an RN, the information presented will be immensely useful as I assist patients and families with the grief and dying process.” –Carol Angelozzi, RN
My friend Neila and I met you at the final class of our Contemplative End of Life Care course in Toronto in September. We are forever grateful for the wisdom and experience you and your husband imparted to our class. I wanted to tell you about an experience I had last week where Neila and I were called upon to attend to the very recent passing of my cousin Maggie. I knew that Maggie was very unwell and had received the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer a few weeks before but she passed within a month of basically just feeling unwell. She stayed at home and was cared for by her husband and three adult daughters.
Maggie lived a very natural life and wouldn’t even take aspirins and was very fit, practiced yoga daily and was very moderate in her habits. Her sudden passing was shocking. Knowing about the course I had taken, her daughter called immediately after her passing at 10pm. I immediately called Neila and we gathered what we had on hand from your extensive list. Fortunately I had purchased from you Thieves and Frankincense. We drove for 2 hours and arrived to find the exhausted family not sure how to proceed. Maggie was in her bed still and she looked radiant.
Although we hadn’t really been mentally prepared to be pressed into action that night, we were quite pleased with how easily your words came back to us. We guided the family through the steps of washing Maggie while we all said words of thanks for her life. We anointed her with Frankincense. We dressed her in her yoga clothing and applied very basic make-up. The process took us about 4 hours and they were magical hours. At one point her husband fell asleep in the chair in their room as the girls chose and arranged her jewelry and put Maggie’s hair up in her usual top knot.
Your words were guiding us all. It was amazing how all the things we needed seemed to appear, words came to us, emotions were calmed and we all just seemed to know what to do, naturally. We all discussed next steps and again people appeared, calls were made, food was given, people brought musical instruments and other gifts of light and love. I think the greatest take away for me was that, you’re right it wasn’t perfect, but somehow everything was good and right and unfolded just as it should. So, thank you! Your experience continues to touch and change lives up here in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.