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This Saturday’s topic is: Dying Independently

In our conversations this year it has come up often: how do we die independently? Single. Solo. No descendants. No living parents. No partners.

So much of the business of dying involves “next of kin.” But of course many of us live independent lives without ties of offspring or partners. Many of us outlive or lose ties with those would usually play those roles. Sometimes our next of kin lose their right to a place in our lives, and deaths.

So, who executes our will? Who adopts our companion animals? Who fills out the information for the obituary and death certificate and memorializes us the way we want and deserve to be remembered? Who do we want sitting with us as we end our days. Who will follow our wishes about how we wish to die?

As careful as we may be in doing the paperwork, pre-paying, donating, and arranging the disposal of our “stuff,” there is an assumption that there are next of kin that are available, willing, and wanted. In an independent life, these are more interesting issues.

This Saturday we’re going to talk about this. We will make space for independent people who want to die well in a world that privileges the partnered, the parents, and the parented. We will consider who are the people we want to take care of our needs and values. Whether we have families we can and want to depend on, it says something that”the hashtag #ToxicFamily has 1.9 billion views on TikTok.”

After all, ” in 2020, 27% of Americans over the age of 18 were estranged from a family member.”

We’ll think about ways to delegate, connect, and embrace choice-based Nexts of Kin.

All are welcome. In fact, bring a friend! Do rsvp so we can have enough chairs and snacks prepared.

The conference room is, cosy, so please do rsvp by clicking HERE.


Death Doula Days on Saturdays 10am-noon at Congressional Cemetery. Free event, no experience necessary, donations to support Congressional Cemetery’s work warmly welcome.

Stay up to date on the project and get notice of upcoming topics by joining our Death Doula Day mailing list HERE.