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Events and Gatherings

Circle of Friends for the Dying actively promotes events that give people the opportunity to explore their feelings about death—such as our monthly Circle of Friends Death Cafés—and to learn about the various issues pertaining to dying, like preparing your end-of-life advance directives or taking advantage of hospice when the time comes. We feel that knowledge is power, which can bring great relief during a time of powerlessness. We can’t control our dying, but we can explore ways to face it so that the choices available to us become meaningful options.

We advocate for the re-balancing of life and death by offering Life Matters, an ongoing monthly series of programs for the public to examine perspectives on death and dying. The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death imagines “a new vision of how death and dying could be. The five principles are: the social determinants of death, dying, and grieving are tackled; dying is understood to be a relational and spiritual process rather than simply a physiological event; networks of care lead support for people dying, caring, and grieving; conversations and stories about everyday death, dying, and grief become common; and death is recognized as having value.” This series addresses such possibilities by welcoming various speakers to present issues and social concerns for the living.

In the past, CFD has hosted other provocative speaking engagements in the Hudson Valley region. We held a day-long seminar at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, New York, with Stephen Jenkinson, author of Die Wise and Come of Age among other titles. Jenkinson, also a teacher, a farmer, and an activist in what he calls “the death trade,” spoke of his experiences in Toronto hospitals where his job was to counsel terminal patients and ease their way to accepting death. And we’ve responded to the interests of Death Café participants by inviting pertinent speakers to present brief talks before each Death Café begins. We’ve hosted Sharon DiCarlo of Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation; CFD co-founder Laurie Schwartz who talked about homes for the dying and our project, Circle Home; and Jo Scari, CFD board member and licensed mortician to talk on securing one’s LGBTQ identity in death among many other fascinating presentations.

And we occasionally throw parties, like the Day of the Dead dance and fundraiser held at BSP in Kingston and Circlestock, a benefit concert and dance held at The Colony in Woodstock, New York. Let us know how we can contact you when things are happening!

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