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  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

Death Positive Resources

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Considering and Planning for Death

This page showcases a collection of resources and links where more can be learned about some of the newer approaches to considering aspects of death. From salient articles to quotes, thoughts, videos and practical links the reader will discover updated concepts of how to plan for death mindfully.

In the video below Caitlin Doughty, founder of “The Order of Good Death” website explains why it is healthy to adopt a death positive attitude.

The Death Positive Movement

What does Death Positive mean?

The info below is copied directly from the Order of Good Death website.

I believe that by hiding death and dying behind closed doors we do more harm than good to our society.I believe that the culture of silence around death should be broken through discussion, gatherings, art, innovation, and scholarship.I believe that talking about and engaging with my inevitable death is not morbid, but displays a natural curiosity about the human condition.I believe that the dead body is not dangerous, and that everyone should be empowered (should they wish to be) to be involved in care for their own dead.I believe that the laws that govern death, dying and end-of-life care should ensure that a person’s wishes are honored, regardless of sexual, gender, racial or religious identity.I believe that my death should be handled in a way that does not do great harm to the environment.I believe that my family and friends should know my end-of-life wishes, and that I should have the necessary paperwork to back-up those wishes.I believe that my open, honest advocacy around death can make a difference, and can change culture.

Support & Thought Sites

Death Cafes At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.

Local group in San Miguel de Allende: Click Here.


Great advice on how and why to initiate conversations on death:

More articles:

“It always seems too early until it’s too late” is the theme for National Healthcare Decisions Day, held annually on April 16. is an organization whose mission it is to help you understand the value of advance healthcare planning encouraging every adult to make an advance care plan for the sake of their loved ones.

Festival of Death NYC 2018

October 27 – November 03, 2018 – Reimagine End of Life is a week exploring big questions about life and death. Join the City of New York in a community-wide conversation.

More Death Positive Sites


Online Afterlife Planning & Personal Info Services

Cake an online interface for storing detailed personal information.

Everplans – another online service where you can store detailed personal wishes and information and assign information deputies.


Conventional Death Shrouds and Funeral Alternatives

Modern shrouds

The businesses below sell plain cotton shrouds


Funeral alternatives

These links take you to sites where alternatives to convention cemetery burials are being offered. This is just the tip of the iceberg.


A Talk on Alternative Choices

The video below gives you some background on some of the new choices the death positive movement offers.


Movies About Death

  • Coco – a heartwarming Pixar animation of Dia de los Muertos – told in a culturally accurate way.

  • Departures – a Japanese cellist finds a new career preparing bodies, surprisingly uplifting.

  • Antonia’s Line – a Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive.

See also the movies in this list:



“Die Wise: A Manifest for Sanity and Soul” Author Stephen Jenkinson, a hospice worker, gives a passionate explanation of what’s missing in current US culture when it comes to dealing with the very real aspects of end of life and death preparation.

Other recommendations from friends:

Rocio Robles Becerra 

I would recommend you one of my favorite poets: Jaime Sabines. He wrote a lot about death.

Bruce Janklow Think you would find reading the book “Being Mortal“ good for your project and good for brain and soul

Suzanna Roberts I loved the book Dying to Be Me“ and the first half of “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers“. Also, anything by Abraham Hicks on the subject. (see above)

Meagan Burns The work of Stephen Jenkinson was very instrumental to my grappling through grief and understanding truths about my own death — as you know. Preparing to become a death doula was also very powerful, but I ultimately backed out and started working with cows, then sketching. Everything I do in tinged with grief, and I suspect the same goes for many others. I look forward to your upcoming show MM

From Rose Calderone via Billie Lee I have a wise and wonderful and very funny friend who shares her life and thoughts and such with many. Roberta Schine Gracias! “Dying is like this. We walk together down the road, side by side, or one leading the other, until the road diverges into two. We stand there for a while together, waiting. Then she turns to walk down one path while the rest of us head down the other. We watch her go. We wave, we call out her name, but she doesn’t look back.” – Sallie Tisdale, Advice For Future Corpses

From Leann Pommaville

Also.. Indian Burial Mounds – More mounds were built by ancient Native Americans in Wisconsin than in any other region of North America.

Suzanne Ludekens and you’ve heard about the New Zealand Coffin club? Makers of fine, affordable, underground furniture…

Carolyn Studer: Joan Halifax, a Zen Buddhist who runs Upaya Center in New Mexico is terrific. I’ll find some of her writing, too. See them all on amazon here.


Esther Hicks and Abraham on death

According to Esther and Jerry Hicks, “Abraham” consists of a group of entities which are “interpreted” by Esther Hicks. Abraham have described themselves as “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension”. They have also said, “We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.” Abraham has said through Esther that, whenever one feels moments of great love, exhilaration, or pure joy, that is the energy of source and that is who Abraham is. The videos below are the Abraham take on the topic of death and the afterlife.



From artist and writer Linda Laino:

 As I write this, I am on my way back to the U.S, from Mexico on this Thanksgiving Day. Yesterday, my mother died. It was thankfully a peaceful death, and hopefully a release for her as I know she has suffered a lot in these last years. As with all death however, (and with all things actually), there is contained in the grief, a kind of joy; in this case, an opportunity to be with my family, some of whom I have not seen in quite sometime-all made more special since I have been living in another country. It has not been lost on me that my mother’s death has come on the heels of Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead,one of the most special holidays in Mexico where families honor their deceased loved ones. They do this of course, with rituals and customs that to some probably seem strange and to still others, who fear anything “foreign”, possibly blasphemous.

Read the whole piece here.


More From Friends

From Dan Crowley

Good morning.

I’d like to feel fancy, strong and wonderful…..I would….but at the moment, I must confess I feel…none of those things. For the last few days I’ve been fighting off a shakiness, an uneasiness. Like deep down I’m just a baby in a grownup world. I just waddle around pretending to be a grownup and I know I can’t do it. Now mind you, I’m closing out my 50’s and I still feel this way from time to time. I hate that feeling. That feeling that life is for the others and not you. That unwelcome and unable feeling. Usually when this feeling comes to visit, it makes me want to retreat and nap. But then comes guilt for wasting the day, so that’s not going to help. What helps? Looking back at what I’ve done with my life and times help. Reminding myself that I’m strong and smart helps. If I were in trouble, I would want me by my side. I tell myself that I am more than a skeleton wearing a water balloon. I am a story that is older than I could understand. Let he uncertainty go. The grownups you loved as a child may be gone, you can do it. They had days or moments of fear too, while telling you that everything would be fine. Life takes some backbone. You’ll do fine. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself of your gifts and strengths and march out into this new day. Keep going forward. -Dan


Lauren Leonardi

we have these bodies and they’re just receptacles or whatever and inside of us there are parts. intellect. “soul.” spirit. all these different aspects. and when the body goes, parts of these many aspects continue on in their intangible way. there’s a whole big universe out there in the cosmos, other worlds beyond our imagining, with beings we couldn’t begin to conceive of. Or maybe someone can, but I can’t. And I imagine that these parts of self, these aspects of self that are deeper and truer than ego, are mixed and matched throughout the cosmos maybe sometimes randomly but also with an overall gravitational sort of pull toward the ultimate good.

and I think we crisscross here on earth

I think parts of former selves collide with aspects that used to mingle in one body, or bodies of people or creatures we knew, and we see each other for these things. we recognize each other through lives.


Ace backwards

This Facebook friend of mine –after a close friend of his died and he was dealing with all the heavy issues of mortality and fleeting human existence — concluded: “Earth is just a school for souls to learn before moving on.”

I’m a big believer in reincarnation. The planet earth — and this solar system — is just one cosmic realm amidst countless cosmic realms. We pass through this plane of existence. And in the next life move on to an even higher plane of existence

That’s my hunch.


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