The introductory year of my fifties has proven to be the best and worst all wrapped up in a package that I’m still not sure what to do with. A season of growth and loss, joy and sorrow, 2016 delivered a plethora of gifts to dissect, digest and ultimately accept.
Complete with a mandatory awkward moment or two, 2016 stretched me to places I never thought I’d go and in addition to creating one-of-a-kind ceremonies, I was gifted with many other exciting experiences.
A few of my 2016 highlights:
- I had the opportunity to emcee The Ontario Pops Orchestra’s annual spring concert (another first!)
- I presented “Ceremonies Matter” at the OACFP Annual Conference in Deerhurst and “Stella’s Story” to a warm and inviting group of funeral professionals in both Nova Scotia and Saskatoon.
- Shaw TV in Saskatoon interviewed me along with funeral director Linda Lee about Stella’s funeral. (To learn more about Stella’s Story, check out the Sizzle Reel on YouTube!)
- This time last year, I made my debut radio appearance on The Drew Marshall Show as we discussed Toronto Death Café and then on a later show tackled Grief and the Holidays.
- The National Funeral Directors Association published a piece I wrote on the importance of funerals: “When I Die, Please Do Something.”
- AM 640 Radio Host Jeff McArthur interviewed me about Toronto Death Café.
- The “Death Goes Digital” podcast talked to me about my storytelling role as a Life-Cycle Celebrant.
- Toronto Death Cafe branched out to form another group called “Toronto Talks Death” which has allowed us to accommodate guest speakers and themed events (let me know if you’d like to be added to the distribution list.)
It’s been quite a year and I’m looking forward to the gifts that 2017 will deliver and in the spirit of the New Year, I offer you these words written by D. Simone:
May light always surround you; Hope kindle and rebound you.
May you hurts turn to healing; Your heart embrace feeling.
May wounds become wisdom; Every kindness a prism.
May laughter infect you; Your passion resurrect you.
May goodness inspire your deepest desires.
Through all that you reach for, may your arms never tire.
With much gratitude, I wish for you a joyful 2017 overflowing with meaningful moments.