Good Death Roundtable: Ritual and Ceremony I

What can we observe about American attitudes toward death by looking at traditional funerary rites? Do the values of most American funeral homes align with our identities and desires? Join us for a discussion about alternative funeral homes and how they are implementing systemic changes in how we approach the universal matter of death.

About The Good Death Roundtable series:

The Good Death Roundtable is a forum that seeks to foster a better relationship with our mortality. This fall’s sessions will focus on themes of rituals and ceremonies surrounding end-of-life, death, and memorialization. By exploring the rituals involved in death and dying, we can begin to understand the current cultural attitudes toward death as well as imagine what we want in our future death beds. In addition to bringing death out of the taboo, this roundtable series asks us to imagine our own deaths in terms of preparedness and understanding.

Coming Up:

Ritual and Ceremony II on November 1 focuses on end-of-life practices.

Ritual and Ceremony III on December 6 focuses on memorialization.

Amy Cunningham is a licensed funeral director who collaborates with families to help them create distinctive funerals and memorial services. She specializes in green burials in cemeteries certified by the Green Burial Council, simple burials within the NYC- Metropolitan area, home funerals, and cremation services at Green-Wood Cemetery’s gorgeous crematory chapels. Filled with kind advice on how to make funerals more affordable and sustainable, Amy was profiled by the New York Times, March 2014, and named one of nine top funeral innovators by FuneralOne, a leading voice for change in the funeral industry. When not out directing funerals today, she sustains a blog on this site called “Creative Ways to Approach the Inevitable” tailored to the needs of funeral consumers. Amy also writes a blog called “The Inspired Funeral” for the funeral trade, addressed to support funeral directors, funeral celebrants, home funeral guides, and bereavement therapists working to enrich end-of-life experiences.

Bethany Tabor is a classically trained ballet dancer-turned-writer and researcher who is persistently exploring themes of death and dying in the realm of performance art. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University where she examined the politics of decomposition as it relates to reenactment and reperformance. She is currently the Technology Programs Manager at Pioneer Works.