Options in Death Care for Non-Believers
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Options in Death Care for Non-Believers
May 11 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Note: This topic was originally scheduled for January, but was postponed due to a death in our guest speakers’s own family.
At this meeting we will be talking about death and what happens after death. No, we won’t be talking about an afterlife; we’ll be about talking funerals, or as we Humanists often call them, Celebrations of Life. Many in the funeral industry today would like to sell you a perfectly manicured plot for a few thousand dollars, and then throw in a concrete liner, an $11,000 casket, and an eternal flame so that you’re ready to make your exit from this world in style… but most Humanists accept that when we’re dead, we’re dead, so what do we care?
So many choices
Funerals provide an opportunity for the living to get together to honour the memories of our loved ones. But the different ways in which we go about doing that make an interesting topic for discussion. What are your final wishes? What type of ceremony (if any) and disposal method would you prefer for yourself? Today there are so many options – you could consider casket burial, cremation, natural burial, burial pods, environmentally-conscious burial, promession (wanna be freeze-dried?), composting, or turning yourself into organic fertilizer. Maybe you want to keep the costs down for your family and have ’em just rent a woodchipper for a small get-together at the lake.
Leading this discussion will be our special guest Shane Neufeld of Integrity Death Care. He can let us know what’s new, what works and what doesn’t, what’s ‘green’ and what’s not, what’s allowed and what’s not (sorry, no wood chippers), and what’s happening in the funeral industry in Canada. Shane will also talk a little bit of about his journey through more than 20 years of work in the funeral industry (he’s pretty much seen it all, and has the stories to prove it!), and what eventually led to him opening his unique funeral business in Winnipeg.
Join us in May as we approach this very serious topic with a little humour, and you’ll gain lots of useful information for future reference.
Shane Neufeld is the Senior Consultant and founder of Integrity Death Care. He started as an apprentice funeral director/embalmer in 1990, and has extensive experience with Winnipeg funeral homes and cemeteries as both a licensed funeral director and embalmer and in corporate management. He has also worked within privately operated funeral home establishments, including Bardal Funeral Home, Thomson Funeral Home, Thomson “In the Park” Funeral Home, Green Acres Funeral Home, Leatherdale Gardiner and Wojcik Funeral Home. Shane’s experience as a funeral director has exposed him to a number of funeral home operators who operate with a maximum focus on the profitability of the establishment. He was recently interviewed on an episode of CBC’s Marketplace that focused on revealing some of the industry’s unscrupulous practices.
Our meeting is in room 2M70, the Board Room on the second floor of Manitoba Hall, located on Balmoral St between Portage and Ellice (see the U of W Building map).
Important! The entry door on Balmoral is locked on Saturdays. Enter from Portage Ave through Centennial Hall (if you’re on Portage facing the university, it’s right behind the ‘castle’). If you have mobility issues, you may also want to check the Accessibility map.
We’ll have a pot of coffee on before the meeting (BYOM = bring your own mug).
There is not restaurant in the meeting room, but we can still get together for dinner (or just to socialize; the eating part is totally optional). Food is allowed in the room as long as we don’t leave a mess. So bring your favorite sandwich, or take-out, or last night’s leftovers, or a plate of cookies to share, or anything else that will make you happy. We have access to a sink but no kitchen, so make sure to bring any serving implements, dishes, or utensils that you require.
If you’re looking for take-out food nearby, there are several options:
– On the north side of Portage – Garbonzo’s Pizza, (in the AnX building at Portage and Balmoral)
– On the south side of Portage – Stella’s (in Buhler Centre); Vietnamese and sushi restaurants, and a Subway.
There’s on-street parking if you’re willing to walk a bit. There are also quite a few paid lots in the area (see Parking map). Consider sharing a vehicle (and the parking fee) with someone else from your part of town. If you need a ride or want to carpool, let us know and we’ll see if there’s someone else from your area going.
About our Monthly Meetings
Welcome! Our regular monthly meetings are always open to the public.
Our social and (optional) dinner time begins at 5:30. Come early for dinner, coffee, or just to visit. The meeting is at 6:30 followed by the presentation at about 7:00 PM. Late-comers and drop-ins are welcome, so if you can’t make it on time or stay till the end, don’t worry. You can eat during the meeting if you’re late.
If you are new and just checking us out, you are welcome to attend one or two events before becoming a member. After that, if you wish to continue to participate, we ask that you support the group by joining. Our annual dues are reasonable and include a limited-income option.
All events are subject to change, and some details may be TBA. In the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, events may be subject to cancellation or details may change. Check the Home page of our website, our Facebook page, or Meetup for information and updates.
Charity of the Month
Our donations at this meeting will support the Winnipeg Chapter of Dying With Dignity.
More information to follow in the May newsletter.