Final Report to the Community

Slide1We’ve read the feedback and tallied the reviews and are now ready to share with you… drumroll, please… our Final Report to the Community.

We heard from a full 50% of event attendees – presenters, volunteers, participants – 250 responses. Thank you to all who responded!

The report summarizes what folks had to say about their experience and what we as organizers learned. It also provides some history of how Death:OK came to be. Download our Final Report to the Community.

Keynoter Stephen Jenkinson described our event as “a love letter to the place we live”. That it was – a missive based on the belief that we can do better when it comes to how we die, how we grieve, and how we remember. This report serves as a P.S., a love letter to anyone interested in organizing something similar in their own community.

And if you’d like to hear more about what it took to put together this amazing event, End-of-Life University founder Dr. Karen Wyatt interviewed organizer Holly Pruett. Listen to the 60 minute interview.


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Behind the Scenes with our Planning Team

altar front

Death:OK Ancestor Altar

“The design of the event was surprisingly moving. Having so many different parts of the conversation around death phobia – from artists, health care administrators, caregivers and activists – was gorgeous in its scope. Seeds were planted during Death:OK which will be carried into many different communities and families. I was particularly impressed with the communication and management skills of the organizers. Their leadership was both professional AND loving.”

We’re thrilled to have gotten literally hundreds of comments like this one! We’re working on a full report to share with you. In the meantime, if you’d like to hear more about what it took to put together this amazing event, listen to organizer Holly Pruett take End-of-Life University founder Dr. Karen Wyatt behind the scenes.

Listen to the 60 minute interview.

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Share your feedback about the event


Words used by the first 135 folks to complete our feedback survey; the bigger the word, the more often it was used.

We’d love it if you would share your thoughts on the event with us. You can do so here. Our feedback survey closes on Monday, October 26th.

And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for news of future events – and access to recordings from the day’s presentations.

Questions? Email us at


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Event Details Galore!

Where to go & what to bring?

11058793_765240113595422_2808038487983699540_nIf you’re one of the lucky 500 participants, presenters, and volunteers joining us on October 17th, our web site is now loaded with lots of details to help you make the most of the experience. Check out our new Event Info page with links to the schedule, our presenters, what to bring, where to go, and more.

For those on our waiting list or just now finding out about the event – we’re sorry to say we’re at our maximum capacity. Check out our bonus program, the panel discussion “Dying for a Change” on Friday, October 16th. The location of the panel is provided from the registration link.

And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for news of future events – and access to recordings from the day’s presentations.

Questions? Check out the links from our Event Info page or email us at

Here’s to having the conversation, wherever you are.

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Honoring our Ancestors


Crow Takes Leave of the Family: from a rock painting along the Gorge, recreated in dry point by Lillian Pitt

Acclaimed Pacific Northwest artist Lillian Pitt has loaned artwork to adorn our Opening Session space.

This image from a rock painting along the Gorge, recreated in dry point by Lillian Pitt, became the idea for a limited edition tapestry produced by Pendleton Woolen Mills. According to ancient stories, it recalls a time when people could talk to animals; but when strangers arrived that was no longer so and it was time for Crow to leave the family.

Pitt says, “Regardless of the medium, my work directly relates to and honors my ancestors, my people, the environment and the animals. This maintains my link with tradition and acknowledges the many contributions my ancestors have made to this world.”

Lillian Pitt (born in 1943) is a Native American artist from the Columbia River region of the Pacific Northwest. Her Native American name is Wak’amu (camas root), chosen because it represents a “stubborn plant that won’t let go of the earth”, referring to the long periods of time she spent wandering the hills during her childhood. Pitt is primarily known for her sculpting and mixed media artistry, which focuses on 12,000 years of Native American history and tradition of the Columbia River region.

Death:OK is grateful to the artist for her generous loan of this illuminating piece of art.

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Wow! We're Officially Sold Out!

TwitterHeader2If we build it, will they come? The answer has been a resounding YES! Not only do we have more than 60 Presenters and over 70 committed Volunteers building this event, we’ve now sold every available ticket!

With over 170 on our waiting list, we’re no longer taking names. But we’ve announced a bonus program, the panel discussion “Dying for a Change” open to all on Friday, October 16th. The location of the panel is provided from the registration link.

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for news of future events.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page or email us at We hope to see you October 17th!

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Dying For a Change? Friday Bonus Panel!

We’re pleased to announce a bonus program feature: a panel discussion on Friday, October 16 from 3-5pm with change makers and thought leaders from Colorado, California, Washington & Oregon.

Dying for a Change: Challenging our dominant culture’s relationship with death


National Home Funeral Alliance overview of roles in the alternative death care movement

With panelists Angela Hennessy (Oakland, CA), Nora Menkin (Seattle, WA), Holly Pruett (Portland, OR), Marta Shoman (Crestone, CO).

Join us to explore perspectives on the 5-25 year future of death in our culture. Hear innovative practices and frameworks from Colorado, California & Washington. A discussion that invites individuals and communities to examine, challenge and change our dominant culture’s relationship to death…

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LeAnn Locher: What's in a Name?

LLLeAnn Locher is the founder and President of LeAnn Locher & Associates, a Portland-based firm that provides branding, graphic design and communication services for socially responsible businesses, non profits and foundations. LeAnn graciously donated her time and talents to shepherd Death:OK through the process of determining our “brand” and shaping our public identity. Enjoy this conversation with LeAnn…

As part of the branding strategy sessions you lead us through various exercises designed to uncover what this event should be named and how we would represent ourselves graphically. The questions were a lot of fun to ponder, such as “If this event were a restaurant what would it serve?” and “If this event were a mode of transportation what would it be?” So my question to you is: if LeAnn Locher were a beverage what would she be and why?

I’d be sangria! Sangria is a mix of the unexpected: fresh fruit, wine, liquor and bubbly or citrus. It can be so many different things, and I love that often the key to the best sangria isn’t expensive wine, but the cheapest you can get. Paired with seasonal fresh fruit—think of peaches and our delicious summer stone fruit—it’s like boozy dessert in a glass. And the more you have of it, the more fun the party gets. 

Continue reading

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Educational, Inspirational Merchandise!


T-shirts are a soft cotton blend, in a wide variety of sizes; back reads: “It’s okay to talk about death. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to laugh. And to cry. Let’s talk about it.” The tote bag is 100% cotton with reinforced handles, 15″X16″, logo on one side.

Are you ready to tell the world that you are someone who is willing to “talk about it”? Show your support for this event and start up conversations at the same time.

Death:OK t-shirts and tote bags are available ONLY through advance, online purchase for you to pick up at the event on October 17th. Sales close midnight on Sunday, September 27th.

100% of the proceeds from these custom designed t-shirts and tote bags goes to making this very special day of inspiration, information, and connection possible. There will not be any cash sales made at the event – order now so that we can fill your custom order.

To order right now simply use the “purchase” PayPal button to the right and you will have the option of choosing your size and quantity. We can’t wait to spot folks proudly declaring “Death:OK” out in the community!

Also available, special deals from two great organizations aligned with our mission:

My Gift of Grace is an award winning conversation game for living and dying well. We’ve been granted a license to play the game with you at Death:OK (come by our Death Cafe space from 4-5:15 pm)! Retails for $24.95; available through us for $20 with 50% helping to fund Death:OK.

End-of-Life University Access Pass is a must-have for anyone wanting to learn from even more of today’s thought leaders. From the comfort of your own home, get unlimited access to high-quality recordings of dozens of speakers like Stephen Jenkinson, Ira Byock, and Eben Alexander. Includes on-line admission to the 2015 Death Expo, the 10 most popular 2014 interviews, transcripts from 2014 Death Expo keynotes, and the 2014 Death Expo Resource Book. More details here. Available to Death:OK attendees for the general public price of $60, but with 50% going to support Death:OK.

Fine print for all purchases:

  • Advance purchase only; no cash sales on day of event.
  • Sales close at midnight on Sunday, September 27th.
  • Your PayPal receipt serves as your purchase confirmation and proof of payment.
  • Your pre-purchased T-shirts, tote bags, and My Gift of Grace games will be waiting for you to pick up on-site at Death:OK on October 17.
  • Those purchasing the End-of-Life University Access Pass will receive log-in information directly from EOLU in early October.
  • Retail sales of My Gift of Grace are for personal, noncommercial use only. Organizations must obtain a license for any and all uses of the game through
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Join a Death Cafe at Death:OK

RavensPDX Death Cafe is the largest in the world, according to the movement’s founder, London-based Jon Underwood. It was the incredible community interest that led us to organize this day-long event.

Death Cafes are simply a place to talk about what’s on your mind concerning death, and hear others’ thoughts and experiences.

We’re offering three discussion sessions in our Death Cafe space, located by our lunch room:

  • 1-2:15 “Death Cafe Classic”
  • 2:30-3:45 “Death Cafe Drop-In”
  • 4-5:15 “My Gift of Grace”

Sit with a small group to break the silence around the topic in our classic format (1-2:15); drop in for a shorter chat (2:30-3:45); or play the award-winning conversation game My Gift of Grace (4-5:15).

Adjacent to our Resource Area, Ancestor Altar, Threshold Choir Song Baths, and Photo Booth, our Death Cafe space provides a chance to engage in conversation, contemplation, and connect with community.

Come join the discussion – our Death Cafe hosts will look forward to greeting you!

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