“Living Deeply…Dying Well” is the sub-title of the documentary film Speaking of Dying. In our culture we are reluctant to talk about death. And yet, when we are able to speak of death with compassion and honesty, we are enriched. Dying well is not a common sentiment today, mostly because we hold to the fantasy that we will live forever. The irony and the tragedy is that fear of death and an unwillingness to plan for the end of our lives can lead to unnecessary pain. We truly experience living deeply when we are able to speak of death without fear.
As a priest, I minister to many people and their families either as they approach death or after they have died, and I have seen the blessings that come when we honestly to speak of dying. That is why I invited Trudy James, the producer of the Speaking of Dying documentary film, to show the film and lead a workshop here at St. Dunstan’s Church over the following four weeks.
I first worked with Trudy over ten years ago when she supported me in forming an AIDS care team at St. Stephen’s Church in Seattle. A few years later I invited Trudy to lead a workshop at St. Dunstan’s Church in which we spent four weeks exploring how to honestly talk about our wishes for the end of our lives. Trudy’s gentle wisdom and compassionate teaching impressed me greatly. I am very happy to have her discuss the film and lead a workshop for us.
The film will be shown on Tuesday, September 22nd, at 7:00PM in Room 3, downstairs at St. Dunstan’s church. You can see two trailers for the film at http://speakingofdying.com. I invite you to come early and enjoy our weekly Community Dinner, which is served between 5:30 and 7:00PM every Tuesday, and then come downstairs for the film event and a conversation with the producer, Trudy James.
The film showing will be free, with an opportunity to make a contribution for those who would like to do so. The workshop which follows on the next four Tuesday evenings will cost $100. Please do not let the cost stop you from participating. I have funds in my discretionary account to offer scholarships for those who need them.
Yours in Christ,