54 minutes | Apr 12th 2021

Ep. 294 Virtual Funerals and Memorials: How and Why to Hold Them with Merilynne Rush

Learn best practices for creating a meaningful and powerful funeral or memorial service online. My guest Merilynne Rush is an EOL Doula Mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Death Cafe host, former hospice nurse, and former home birth midwife. Today she shares her personal experience planning and hosting a virtual memorial service for her father, including all of the challenges and benefits of taking on such a task. She offers helpful advice to anyone who feels called to plan a virtual ceremony and explains why this new way of being together after a loved one dies is likely here to stay. Learn more about her work at her website: www.thedyingyear.org Read her blog post on Virtual Memorials here Listen here: This episode includes: The importance of funeral and memorial rituals and why they should happen sooner rather than later after a deathWhy a virtual ceremony can be just as effective as in-personWhy good planning and organization is essential for conducting an online eventGetting outside help from a tech assistant and an “MC” to manage the flow of the ceremonyCreating an effective “script” for the eventWhy breakout rooms are helpful at the end of the ceremonyTips for creating a slide show to use during the eventHow virtual gatherings can “carry all the love” we want to share and help with our griefWhy virtual funerals and memorials are likely to continue even after the pandemic Links mentioned in this episode: Vital Decisions’ National Healthcare Decisions Day Campaign: Pick a Proxy and Plant it ForwardVirtual Workshop on Grief with Ben Kintisch of Life Review: The Hospice Musical – April 25th – Learn more hereNHPCO EOLD Council Grief Support ProgramThe Dying Year End-of-life Doula TrainingACP Facilitator TrainingMerilynne’s research articleSteven Birenbaum, How to Hold. Virtual Memorial Service, NYT 1-14-21Debbie Waldman, How to Pay Your Respects During a Virtual Funeral, Wired, 3-17-21Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this linkSupport your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to SoulSubscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher RadioCheck out the Series I’ve recorded in the past hereJoin the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug: “Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously! If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest supporter Heather Capuano! Your contributions make all the difference!
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