Past Event – Somerville, MA – September 24th-27th, 2015

The Wake Up to Dying Project

Traveling Exhibit & Workshop Schedule

September 24th – 27th, 2015

Seven Hills Park – Davis Square – Somerville, MA 

(Behind Somerville Theatre)

The Wake Up to Dying Project aims to shift our cultural perspective on death from fear and avoidance toward familiarity – by inviting people to acknowledge death, be prepared for it, and live more fully for having done so.

We do this by gathering and sharing first person audio stories about death, dying, and life. We bring these stories, along with related art, hands-on engagement opportunities and workshops to communities in a creative traveling exhibit.  

Visitors to the Traveling Exhibit can:

  • Listen to first-person audio stories – 50 stories on a repeating 90-minute loop
  • Explore end-of-life resources from organizations in your community
  • Attend a workshop or community discussion with local leaders in end-of-life care
  • Add your bucket list goals to our massive chalkboard
  • Bring what you learn and experience back to your home and community

All events are free and open to the public.


Thursday & Friday, September 24th & 25th 11:00am – 6:00pm

Saturday, September 26th, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Sunday, September 27th, 10:00am – 5:00pm


We will host open, facilitated dialogues every day (Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun) in the park outside the exhibit, from 12:30 – 1:30pm. (Weather permitting.) Bring a brown bag lunch for an opportunity to talk about death, dying, and life!


Workshops will be held at the George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street, Somerville, MA 02144. Free parking is available at the Hall during workshops.



Spiritual Perspectives on Death, Dying, and Life

Thursday, September 24th, 6:00 – 7:30pm – George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street Somerville, MA

How do spiritual beliefs help us think about death, and live better? Join in on a facilitated dialogue about death, dying, and life with spiritual leaders from the community.


  • Greg M. Epstein – Humanist Chaplain, Harvard University; Executive Director, the Humanist Hub
  • Rev. Jeff Mansfield – Associate Pastor, First Church Somerville UCC
  • Lama Rod Owens – Core Teacher, Natural Dharma Fellowship; Master of Divinity Candidate, Harvard Divinity School


  • Nina Thompson – Executive Director, The Wake Up To Dying Project



It’s Your Funeral – Do it Your Way!

Friday, September 25th, 7:00 – 8:30pm – George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street Somerville, MA

Come learn about the wide variety of choices for funeral and memorial rituals, body disposition, and burial. Explore after-death planning documents, and begin to ponder how to design this experience for a loved one, or for yourself.


  • Candace Currie, LEED Green Associate – Director of Planning & Sustainability, Mount Auburn Cemetery; Board Member, the National Green Burial Council
  • Heather Massey, MSW, LMT – Director, In Loving Hands; Co-Founder, the Natural Deathcare Collaborative; Consultant, the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern MA
  • Tim Keefe – Licensed Funeral Director, Keefe Funeral Home


  • Bree Harvey – Vice President of Cemetery and Visitor Services, Mount Auburn Cemetery



Death and Documents: The Business of Dying

Saturday, September 26th, 1:30 – 3:00pm – George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street Somerville, MA

You know you need to do it….An introduction to the practical “business” elements of aging and end-of-life planning, including wills, trusts, power of attorney, guardianship, health care proxy, and advance directives. Take care of it now so that your family doesn’t have to later!


  • Kim Adams, Certified Professional Coach – Owner, Powerful U End of Life Coaching
  • William Brisk, Esq. – Certified Elder Law Attorney, Law Office of William J. Brisk
  • David B. Clarke, DMin, JD, MPH – Director, Massachusetts Health Decisions


  • Lisa M. Cukier, Esq. – Partner, Burns & Levinson LLP

End-of-Life Planning: One-on-One Q&A Session

Saturday, September 26th, 3:00 – 4:30pm – George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street Somerville, MA

Here’s your opportunity to meet with experts one-on-one to receive information and guidance about end-of-life planning documents and decisions. Start on your advance directive, learn how to appoint a health care proxy, and/or review an estate planning checklist. Several professionals from different backgrounds will be available to provide information. Drop in anytime – bring your questions!

Living Well – Dying Well

Saturday, September 26th, 7:00 – 8:30pm – George Dilboy Post 529 VFW Hall, 371 Summer Street Somerville, MA

What does “living well, dying well” mean to you? To your family? What does it mean individually, and in community? Community members and end-of-life care professionals share what they have learned, offering an opportunity for participants to consider what living well and dying well mean to them.


  • Lewis Hays, MD, MPH – Medical Director, All Care Hospice
  • Ruth Hoffman – Long Term Hospice Volunteer
  • Jerry Schwartz, PhD, LMHC – Psychologist & Community Educator, All Care Hospice & Bridge Program
  • Ashlie Taylor, CNA – Hospice Certified Home Health Aid, DeRham Hospice House


  • Barbara Parton, RN, MAOM – Licensed Acupuncturist, All Care Hospice & Tufts New England Medical Center

All Care Hospice, Mount Auburn Cemetery, The Children’s Room, Massachusetts Health Decisions.

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