Sunday, January 28, 2018, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

How to Talk to Kids About Death, Green-Wood Cemetery. How do we explain death and dying to our children? How much should they know and when? How can a pet’s death or a grandparent’s declining health be explained in a way that’s understandable? How can we engage their curiosity, talents, and emotions in funeral practices and traditions? Join funeral director and death educator Amy Cunningham and child and adolescent psychotherapist and registered play therapist Liana Smith-Murphy for an enlightening conversation on the best practices for discussing death with children. This program is intended for parents with children of any age. Free to attend, RSVP recommended.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 6:30 PM-8 PM

Amy hosts the Death Cafe at Green-Wood Cemetery. Inspired by the centuries-old European salon, a Death Cafe is an informal gathering where people come to discuss philosophical, personal, or scientific ideas about--yes!-- death. British founder Jon Underwood believed that this kind of gathering would help people make the most of their finite lives, and it seems to work.  Today, there are over 4,400 Death Cafes in 26 countries around the world. The fact that you're discussing death, a previously forbidden topic, with fellow wayfaring strangers creates an unusual and pleasant intimacy. Tea and light snacks are provided. “A place for people to discuss our inevitable fate.” – Gothamist

Saturday, February 24, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Cremation: History and the Modern Process. What is cremation? How long have we been doing it, and how does it work? Amy leads this presentation of cremation’s history and its impact on present-day and future funerals. This engaging and sometimes even light-hearted exploration will also touch on how to choose an end-of-life mode of disposition that expresses your own beliefs and values. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to visit the crematory with Gema LaBoccetta, Green-Wood’s Crematory Manager, then chat with Amy and other attendees at a short reception. Free to attend, RSVP recommended. Please register using the Eventbrite box below. This program takes place in our Modern Chapel just to the right after passing through the Gothic Arches at the main entrance.

Tuesdays, January 24, 31 and February 7, 2018

Amy is teaching "Funeral Planning as Spiritual Practice" at the One Spirit Learning Alliance, 247 W 36th St 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018, (212) 931-6840. Spiritual traditions all over the world agree that death awareness makes life more meaningful. Sadly, we live in a death phobic society, and people who postpone funeral discussions are then confronted with decisions involving thousands of dollars as they hold Kleenex in their hands. Join us in an eye-opening, four-week-long exploration of the fascinating trends within and without the $14 billion funeral business. To help us solidify our own final wishes, we'll watch relevant films and learn through Powerpoint presentations, group exercises, individual funeral stories, and conversation. Among the many topics we'll survey: basic funeral customs in Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, the history of cremation and burial (did you know that the rejection of Pagan custom in the final years of the Roman Empire lead to a Judeo-Christian tradition of burial that lasted 1500 years?) and how to make a cremation service more meaningful; we'll discuss the comeback of the home funeral (keeping the dead cool in the house for days or hours helps some people adjust to the new reality); the resurgence of shrouding, the rise of the green burial movement, and advocacy work now occurring to give families greater control over the care of their dead.

COMING: FILM SCREENING IN MARCH.

Highlighted memories

Amy shows a felted wool shroud from Bellacouche.com at her greener funeral talk at Pioneer Works, Redhook, Brooklyn, October 4, 2017.

Amy shows a felted wool shroud from Bellacouche.com at her greener funeral talk at Pioneer Works, Redhook, Brooklyn, October 4, 2017.

Amy at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Trade show, October 2016.

Amy at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Trade show, October 2016.

Amy drives a 2016 dark green Honda Pilot upstate for most green burials and it's a somewhat better fit. But our firm has all manner of lovely transport vehicles.

Amy drives a 2016 dark green Honda Pilot upstate for most green burials and it's a somewhat better fit. But our firm has all manner of lovely transport vehicles.