Ashland Death Café is a place where people eat cake, drink tea and explore how death can inform and inspire the way we live.
Although the event is free, we will ask you to make a donation (at the door). This covers the cost of the venue, refreshments, plus other costs incurred to manage the website. Please Note: All facilitators of Ashland Death Café are unpaid volunteers.
Also, we will have a list of attendees at the door for check-in, so we invite you to save paper by not printing your ticket!
There is no intention of leading participants towards any particular conclusion, product or course of action and is open to all, though it may not be appropriate for people who have experienced a very recent and/or traumatic loss or death. It is not intended as a bereavement support, grief counseling or therapy group.
• OUR FACILITATORS •
Laurel Miller is passionate about working with people, young and old, around end-of-life topics. She completed the Anam Cara Program at the Sacred Art of Living Center. She volunteers with Compassion and Choices working with individuals and their families as they make their end-of-life choices. She’s a member of the Southern Oregon Hevre Kadisha. She leads workshops that support the participant’s desire to explore themselves and the mystery of life and death. Also a seasoned mediator, an independent coach and facilitator, Laurel is dedicated to supporting individuals and the conversations that they need to have before they are no longer able.
Selene Seltzer is a Clinical Healthcare Chaplain specializing in Palliative and End of Life Care. In private practice in Ashland OR, she offers psycho-spiritual counseling as well as mindfulness and somatic (body-based) support and training for those facing illness and injury, life transitions or loss. She works together with clients, their families, and healthcare providers to optimize emotional, social, spiritual wellbeing and quality of life. She is passionate about having a conversation about “What Matters Most?” and providing “whole-person” support and care to those wishing to live as well as they can, for as long as they can. More info can be found at SeleneSeltzer.com.
Julian Spalding serves on AARP Oregon’s Diversity Advisory Council, sits on the board of Ashland at Home and is co-founder of Rogue Valley LGBT Elders. He is an Asante Hospice volunteer and an enrolled member of the Osage tribe of Oklahoma. Julian was instrumental in starting and facilitating Resonating Core Groups in Albuquerque during the late 80’s in collaboration with Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Global Family, a San Francisco-based organization. He published ABQarts, a magazine of the arts in Albuquerque from 1997 to 2009 when he sold it to retire to Ashland, the town of his birth, with his husband Terry Brown. Julian publishes poetry at http://julianspalding.wordpress.com.
Pat Fitzsimmons is currently the volunteer "on-call" chaplain for Asante Ashland Community Hospice and has served with the organization for the last seven years. He is ordained as an interfaith minister and spent 18 years living, working and teaching in intentional spiritual communities. Pat has continued his education here in Oregon completing four modules of the Richard Groves, Anam Cara training. Pat says: “I see myself as an anam cara, a soul friend and companion. I am ineffably drawn to abiding in the mystery of the moment with those in the dying process (and aren't we all)."
Jennifer Mathews is a writer, consultant and laughter yogini with a passion for uplifting the human spirit. After her life-partner died in 2011, she began sharing her experiences of death, grief, joy and optimism to support others on their journeys (JenniferMathews.com). Jennifer works with the community outreach and training team for the award-winning film Death Makes Life Possible. She's been facilitating conversations about death and the afterlife in various communities around the country. Her home base is Mount Shasta, CA.
Michael Cecil was born 1935, a Canadian from British Columbia. Moved to Ashland 1998. Executive with a global non-profit organization for many years, now retired. Has counseled many people during final life stages. Personal near-death experience brought many valuable insights. Staff with School of Lost Borders sessions on the Practice of Living and Dying. Has facilitated many work-shops, including a series on Elderpresence. Energy Healing practitioner for many years.
Judy Dolmatch is a licensed clinical social worker, practicing in Ashland since 1988, with a specialty in life passages and trauma recovery. She teaches and performs Playback Theatre, improvisational theatre based on audience stories. She facilitates Zegg Forum, a group process that values authenticity and aliveness. With the death of her mother last year, she immersed herself in a process of exploring end of life issues, loss and grief through literature, media and ritual. Judy attended her first Death Cafe this year. It was so meaningful that she was motivated to become a facilitator for the Ashland Death Cafe.
Judith Milburn is a psycho-spiritual psychologist, sharing this exploration, making friends with death—death of our loved ones and ourselves. She says, “Death has presented itself to me viewing my great grandmother lying in her casket in her darkened living room, hearing my grandfather before he died say he was hearing the angels sing, brushing my Mother’s hair moments after she had died, sitting by my brother as he released his last breath. Learning of Conscious dying, I prepare myself for that once in a lifetime experience—releasing my last breath, being with myself and Source, taken over into The Great Mystery.”