Oct. 6: Death Café, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Desert Sage Restaurant. Join us for this free event, open to everyone and beginning promptly at 2. Over tea and cookies with friends, neighbors, and strangers, we’ll have the rare chance to share thoughts on any aspect of death on our minds and in our hearts. “This is an opportunity for intimate conversation in a warm and inviting setting—no agenda, no philosophy, and no pre-determined outcome,” says CEOLP founder Stephanie Gaines. To register or for more information, call (719) 588-7415. Visit www.deathcafe.com for more on the international Death Café movement.
Oct. 13: CEOLP Registration Party, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the town hall meeting room on Alder Street (look for the banner.) This is the easiest and most enjoyable way to register. Remember, CEOLP can only serve those who are registered at the time of death. Registration packets and light refreshments will be available and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and guide you through the process. Also at the ready: a copy machine and notary public, allowing you to complete the CEOLP registration paperwork in one sitting. A $10 donation is requested for printing/handling, and a $5 charge is paid directly to the notary public for each of the 3 pages that require notarization (4 for those living outside the immediate Crestone/Baca area).
Please bring addresses and phone numbers for your physician or caregiver, as well as for next of kin or family members or legal guardians who will act as your representatives. The Crestone End of Life Project supports all disposition choices, including conventional burial, cremation, and green burial. It is important to note: You are not considered registered with CEOLP until your paperwork is completed and filed with CEOLP’s registrar. For more information, contact CEOLP registrar Denise Peine at 256-4644 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 20: Art to Contemplate Mortality: a Workshop, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Location information when you sign up. Co-facilitated by Noah Baen, an artist and art educator, and artist and death midwife Allison Wonderland. This transformative hands-on workshop intersperses periods of meditative quiet and reflection with immersive, even playful forms of art expression. Intentionally approachable “kindergarten-level” art materials will be easy for anyone to use. No art experience is required. “We’ll use the senses to get beyond mental thoughts and concepts and engage heart and spirit in an exploration of personal questions as we sink deeply into the emotional and spiritual levels, and the unknown,” Noah says.
The experience takes place within a safe, open, supportive and non-judgmental environment that honors and shares the diversity of people’s experiences and attitudes. The workshop cost is $35, which includes all materials. Snacks and beverages will be provided; participants should bring a bag lunch. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 12 participants. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, contact Noah at email@example.com or (917) 392-6962.
Oct. 27: Premier Crestone screening of the new film, Tomorrow Never Knows, directed by Adam Sekuler and produced by Baca resident Darci Meyers. Free. 4 p.m. at Colorado College. This sensitive documentary looks at the life and death of Shar Jones, a transgender person living with early onset Alzheimer’s, and the difficult choice he and his wife Cynthia Vitale faced as the couple struggled to figure out how to proceed amidst his decline. It highlights the couple’s journey as they set a course to Shar’s final days. This moving love story offers profound implications for increasing awareness about choice in living and in dying.
Tomorrow Never Knows has been screened at film festivals in London, New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago, Norway, Singapore, and Quito, Ecuador, among others. The film was honored with the Radical Empathy Award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival in June. Sekuler is the creator of Open Air (2015), a short, powerful film documenting the CEOLP-facilitated open-air cremation of Crestone/Baca resident Robin Ross.
Doors open at 3:30. The event begins with an introduction by Meyers, and Cynthia Vitale and Meyers will answer questions following the screening. For more information on the film and to see the trailer: tomorrowneverknowsfilm.com.