Death:OK (Let’s Talk About It) is a day of inspiration, information, and connection taking place October 17, 2015 on the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. As part of an ongoing series profiling our presenters, we’re pleased to introduce you to…
Marta Shoman, presenting “Creating A Community Based End-of-Life Support Group.”
Compared to conventional funeral homes, locally based End-of-Life (EOL) groups offer community members a broader, more diverse set of options and services related to care at death and disposition. These are offered with an uncommon level of intimacy, based on the groups’ understanding of bereavement, ability to assess individual and family needs, refined communication skills, and practical skills regarding publicly sanctioned care of the body and disposition. As community organizers and educators, EOL groups address issues such as advance directives, green burials, home funerals – and organize community resources like Death Cafés and (in Colorado) outdoor cremation. Together EOL groups can lobby state legislators for increased disposition choices.
Marta Shoman is a Funeral Director with the Crestone End of Life Project (CEOLP), an open-air crematory in Crestone, Colorado. She also serves as Board Secretary and coordinates educational events for Informed Final Choices (IFC), a community education organization that provides training and education for end of life issues and practices. Marta trained as a Contemplative Psychotherapist at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and worked professionally in the fields of education, social services and community organizing.