Many people are uncomfortable with talking about death, Cassandra Yonder is not one of them. You may or may not have heard that community death caring (sometimes refered to as death midwifery, death doulas, thana doulas, etc.) is making a comeback into our culture. I think my mom would have loved this had she known it was even an option. In this week’s episode, Cassandra and I talk about what it means to take care of the dead as a community and how she is passing that knowledge on to other people.
Cassandra is the co-owner of BEyond Yonder Virtual School of Community Deathcaring. Cassandra is a prominent contributor to the alternative deathcare movement in Canada, which spans the humanities, social sciences, science, and medicine. Her expertise and leadership in deathcare practice in Canada have been recognized nationally, and she frequently appears in the national and international media. For example, she has been interviewed and referenced in Maclean’s, The Guardian, The National Post, CBC, The Coast, Media Co-op, The Chronicle-Herald, The Stranger, and The Huffington Post.
Cassandra has an academic background in Sociology, Gerontology, Architecture and Grief & Bereavement. Her family of 6 are homesteading in the forested highlands of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with over 70 animals, where the realities of birth and death are ever present. Cassandra is a leader in the movement to reclaim family and community centred care of the dying, dead and bereaved.
In addition to assisting with the home funeral and home burial of her friend and neighbour, Cassandra is a member of the Order of the Good Death, has represented Canada on the board of directors for the National Home Funeral Alliance, is currently the chair of Community Deathcare Canada, and has started the BEyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada with her partner. She also hosts the world’s largest online community for alternative deathcare on her facebook group with more than 4000 members. Cassandra’s spoken and written words help us to articulate the need for a cultural re-connection with death.
You can find her at her website: deathcaring.ca
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