During the summer of 1990, I had met a man one blurry night in Manhattan, and little did I know, he would be the soil in which my passion for death care was planted. He was a young man living with AIDS. He had been completely rejected by his family for his life choices and was preparing for his own death without them. Helping him through his struggle to come to terms with his love for them and in turn his forgiveness while going through treatments, rejection from his community, and coming to terms with his own death was an unimaginable amount of stress and it literally set me in activism mode.
It was shortly after his death, that I started training in Palliative Care Home Hospice. I wanted to make sure that those suffering, did not have to do so alone. I volunteered in men’s homes for approx. 5 years before the medications became reliable and being gay wasn’t always breaking family ties. I can honestly say some of the most amazing times I have had in my life have been in the homes of dying. Strange, yes.. but so beautifully honest and raw.
I then completed the Children’s Palliative Care Training and dove head first into the heartbrokenness of dying children. It is in these years I really came to understand just how fickle death can be and how much we needed to learn about death and grief. It seems, that in times of what we would consider the most unimaginable, we are able to find glimmers of beauty, cracks of light and the nourishment in tears.
I carried on with my education in a variety of ways including Coach and Leadership Training, Orphan Wisdom School and Community Deathcare School. I have recently become a Certified Funeral Celebrant as well and I am the proud founder of www.ameaningfuldeath.com. It’s been a wonderful ride!
I look forward to providing you with a safe and wondrous space for you to imagine how death shows up in your life and how we can start living intentionally.
My focus at Life in Death is to educate our community about the importance of these tough conversations and build a foundation from which they can talk to their loved ones or with courage, vulnerability, and confidence.