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Death&Dying: Conversations on End-of-Life MattersNovember 1-14, 2021

We've broken the taboo of talking about death as a community. Now it's time to demystify the myriad topics related to death and dying. Death and grief, burials and posessions are not always easy topics to discuss, but we'll tackle them with grace, compassion, and even humor, as we seek to alleviate our fears and live life to the fullest in the face of our inevitable end.

With the health and safety of of our community in mind, most of the events in this year's series are offered both in person and virtually. Masks will be required at all in-person events.

Ask a Mortician: Live with Caitlin Doughty

Thursday, November 4, 6 p.m.
Relics Event Center, 2015 W. Battlefield Road, Suite E

Our favorite death acceptance advocate, bestselling author Caitlin Doughty ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "From Here to Eternity," "Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?") returns to Springfield for a live session of her immensely popular YouTube series, "Ask a Mortician." Take your death education to a new level during this opportunity to ask Caitlin anything you want to know about death and dying. All questions must be submitted in advance for this facilitated Q&A. A link to submit your questions will be provided with your registration confirmation. Deadline to submit questions is October 25. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

This event will be offered virtually and in person, with masking required and limited seating; registration is required for either option starting October 4 at the following links.
Register for the in-person event | Register for the virtual event

A link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the seated event at Relics; your confirmation is your ticket to the event. Please print it and bring it with you, or show the confirmation on your phone or the EventBrite app.

MORE EVENTS

A Buddhist Path Through Grief and Loss

Monday, November 1, 6 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Buddhists have applied the Buddha's teachings to their encounters of dying and death for millennia, charting many compassionate and wise paths through the experiences of grief and loss. David Ketchum and members of the Dinh Quang Buddhist Temple will introduce some of the Buddha's teachings, share stories of how Buddhist practices have aided their own journeys, and demonstrate a traditional Vietnamese service for honoring loved ones who have passed away. Q&A will follow the presentation. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

On Angels' Wings

Wednesday, November 3, 6 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Giving birth can be such a joyous occasion, but nothing can prepare us for the death of a child. Michelle Cramer, founder and president of On Angels’ Wings, will discuss what her organization can offer to grieving families, and how we can help provide the support they need. Michelle will share stories from families she has worked with as well as her own experiences with bereavement and grief recovery. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

Tombstone Bootcamp

Saturday, November 6, 2 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

You can gather a lot of knowledge from viewing tombstones in a cemetery, but that information isn’t always clear. Cemetery expert and author Abby Burnett will share tips for extracting data from grave markers including dealing with archaic language and misleading symbolism, using light (and other non-invasive methods) to read an inscription, and proper cleaning techniques. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

Gone to the Grave

Saturday, November 6, 3 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Historian Abby Burnett, author of "Gone to the Grave: Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1850-1950," will share stories about burial rituals and funeral customs in the Ozarks before the advent of the professional death-care industry. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

Hazelwood Cemetery Tour

Sunday, November 7, 2 p.m.
Hazelwood Cemetery, 1642 E. Seminole St
For adults

Enjoy an afternoon stroll through one of Springfield’s oldest and most beautiful burial grounds, Hazelwood Cemetery, while learning about its history, landmarks, tombstone symbolism and the notable and notorious men and women who rest there. Meet inside the entrance on Seminole Street. Limited to 20 participants. Registration is full for this event.

Green Burial Basics

Tuesday, November 9, 6 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

In our pursuit of sustainable and eco-friendly lives, it is easy to overlook the impact that traditional burials have on the environment. Join green burial advocate Krissy Sinor in a discussion of what constitutes a green burial and what options are available locally for those who are interested in going (out) green. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

"Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?" Resources to Help You Pass on Personal Possessions

Wednesday, November 10, 6 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Dealing with a loved one's possessions following their death can be a quandary for family members. Who gets what? What should you do with the items no one wants? There are practical solutions that will help avoid conflicts and ensure treasured items are placed into the hands you intended. Amber Allen, field specialist in Human Development & Family Science with the University of Missouri Extension, will discuss recommendations and resources outlined in the book, "Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?" from the University of Minnesota Extension. Attendees will also receive a free copy of the book. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required for either option. A link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants.

  • Library Center auditorium -

    Registration is full for the seated event

Changes and Challenges in Funeral Folkways During Plagues and Pandemics

Saturday, November 13, 2 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Using history, anthropology and future studies, Jon Shafer, humanities scholar, chaplain and board member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City, will discuss the public health crises, past, present and future, arising from plagues and pandemics. He’ll also lead a discussion with the audience on changes, desired and despised, in funeral rituals and ways of facing death. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

Forensic Files: Real Life in the Medical Examiner’s Office

Saturday, November 13, 4 p.m.
Library Center auditorium and Virtual
For adults

Chief Forensic Investigator Tom Van De Berg will share a behind-the-scenes look at the Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office and discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic affected work at the ME’s office. This event is offered in person and virtually; registration is required to attend virtually. Register at the link below; a link to the event will be shared with registered participants.

Death Café of the Ozarks

Sunday, November 14, 2 p.m.
Library Center auditorium
For adults

Having open, honest discussions about death and dying can help alleviate our fears, make educated decisions and remind us to live life to the fullest. We’ll wrap up the Death & Dying series with casual conversations about death-related topics of interest in a safe, judgment-free environment. Refreshments will be provided.

SEE ALL

CONVERSATION STARTERS

5@55: The 5 Essential Legal Documents You Need by Age 55
A Good Death: A Compassionate and Practical Guide to Prepare for the End of Life
Advice for Future Corpses, And Those Who Love Them: A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying
At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life
Crafting Meaningful Funeral Rituals: A Practical Guide
Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed
Death Rights and Rites: A Practical Guide to a Meaningful Death
Dying : A Memoir
Dying to Eat: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Food, Death, and the Afterlife
Dying With Ease: A Compassionate Guide for Making Wiser End-of-Life Decisions
Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life
Finding Peace at the End of Life: A Death Doula's Guide for Families and Caregivers
From Here to Eternity : Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Gone to the Grave: Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1850-1950
Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life
Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life
Online Afterlives: Immortality, Memory, and Grief in Digital Culture
Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
The Aftergrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss
The Depositions: New and Selected Essays on Being and Ceasing to Be
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions From Tiny Mortals About Death
With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

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