Contemplation of death is often a time when our spiritual awareness grows. Or the grief of losing a loved-one will lead us to question the material world and look for something more.
Here are some resources to help you explore this fact of life that is often stigmatised or avoided in our society.
Grief walker - Griefwalker is a lyrical, poetic portrait of Stephen Jenkinson’s work with dying people. Filmed over a twelve year period, Griefwalker shows Jenkinson in teaching sessions with doctors and nurses, in counselling sessions with dying people and their families, and in meditative and often frank exchanges with the film’s director (while paddling a birch bark canoe) about the origins and consequences of his ideas for how we live and die.
Death cafes - are places where people gather to talk about death. The objective is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives.
Death doulas - support people facing death in the same way that doulas or midwifes assist with birth. Search 'death doulas' to find one near you.
Dying Matters - is an organisation which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and plans for end of life.
Grief tending - in the west, people are often not very skilled at holding or processing grief. Spiritual leader Sobonfu Some, from the Dagara people in west Africa, has done a lot of work in bringing 'grief tending' to the rest of the world. Watch her description here: 'grieving is a soul cleansing'. Search for 'grief tending' on the internet to find retreats and rituals near you.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide - UK charity which supports those whose loved ones have ended their life by suicide.
Threshold Choir - Threshold choirs sing at the bedside of dying people all over the world.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Evidence of the Afterlife by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry
Proof of Heaven - A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the AfterlifeDr Eben Alexander
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler
On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Who Dies? An investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying by Stephen Levine and Ondrea Levine
Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences by Dr Penny Sartori