Subject of the acclaimed documentary Griefwalker, spiritual activist, teacher, author and farmer Stephen Jenkinson will open our day by inviting us to Die Wise.
“Dying wise,” he says, “is a right of everyone, a moral obligation, an act of love, spiritual activism, immensely hard labour and a subversive Trojan Horse kind of deed.”
With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (in Theology) and the University of Toronto (in Social Work), Stephen Jenkinson is revolutionizing grief and dying in North America, redefining what it means to live, and die well.
How we die, how we care for dying people, and how we carry our dead: this work makes our village life, or breaks it.
~ Stephen Jenkinson
Stephen keynoted the Compassion & Choices national conference in Chicago a few years ago, to a rousing standing ovation and standing-room-only crowds for his subsequent sessions. He’ll follow his Death:OK keynote with a talk in our Reclaiming Rights, Rituals & Remembrance track titled “Dying-Centered Language for Dying-Centered Care.”
Die Wise – A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, is Stephen Jenkinson’s new book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life. Die Wise does not offer seven steps for coping with death. It does not suggest ways to make dying easier. It pours no honey to make the medicine go down. Instead, with lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen places death at the center of the page and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty.
Stephen teaches internationally, is the creator and principal instructor of The Orphan Wisdom School, and is also the author of How it All Could Be: A work book for dying people and those who love them (2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He has made several live-recorded teachings publicly available: Homecoming – The Haiku Sessions (2013) and Angel & Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life (2009).
Stephen and his wife Nathalie live a handmade, off-the-grid life on an old farm beside the River of Abundance and Time in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.