UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONVERSATIONs

Thursday, April 27th, 5-7 p.m., Lecture on "The Future of the Funeral," Green-Wood Cemetery's crematory chapel, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, 11232. 718-768-7300. Funerals may be as old as mankind, but they have continually evolved to meet the needs (and demands) of a changing world. Join Amy to explore everything from home funeral options and simple cremation services to green and environmental friendly burials, alkaline hydrolysis and Promession (freeze drying).

Tuesday, May 9, July 11, August 8, 6PM – 8 p.m., Death Cafe, Green-Wood Cemetery's crematory chapel, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, 11232. 718-768-7300. Green-Wood Cemetery now hosts monthly Death Cafes. Join us for coffee and sweet treats, as fellow wayfaring strangers share their thoughts, feelings, and outlook on dying and death. Each meeting offers the opportunity for safe and open exchange without an agenda. This is surprisingly enjoyable, believe it or not. All are welcomed!

Thursday, May 18th, 5-7 p.m., "Cremation: History and Modern Process," Green-Wood Cemetery’s crematory chapel, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, 11232. 718 768-7300. What is cremation? How long have we been doing it, and how does it work? Amy leads this tour of cremation’s history (from its origins 32 thousand years ago in Australia) and its impact on the present and future of funerals. This engaging and sometimes jolly talk will also explore how to choose an end-of-life mode of disposition that expresses your own beliefs and values. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to visit the crematory with Gema LaBoccetta, Green-Wood’s Crematory Manager, as well as enjoy discussion and questions at a short reception.

Tuesday, June 13, 6PM – 8 p.m., Death Cafe, Green-Wood Cemetery's crematory chapel, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, 11232. 718-768-7300. Green-Wood Cemetery now hosts monthly Death Cafes. Join us for coffee and sweet treats, as fellow wayfaring strangers share their thoughts, feelings, and outlook on dying and death. Each meeting offers the opportunity for safe and open exchange without an agenda. This is surprisingly enjoyable, believe it or not. All are welcomed!

Friday-Monday, October 13-16, 2017, join Coleman Barks, Stephen Jenkinson, Megory Anderson, Alberto Villoldo, Ken Doka, Peter Fenwick, Amy and a fleet of innovators in palliative and hospice care for the New York Open Center's four-day-long "Art of Dying" Symposium, which considers the following topics: How can we work more compassionately and intelligently with the dying? How can our own death and the death of those we love be faced with courage and awareness? Does consciousness survive death and, if so what might we expect? How can we best prepare? How can death become much less frightening both for ourselves and our loved ones? The Association of Death Education and Counseling ® has deemed this program as counting towards the continuing education requirements for the ADEC Certification in Thanatology. Phone (212) 219-2527 ext. 135 to learn more and register for all or some of the great offerings.

NEW! Tuesdays, January 17, 24, 31 and February 7, 2018: Amy teaches "Funeral Planning as Spiritual Practice," One Spirit Learning Alliance, 247 W 36th St 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018, (212) 931-6840. Spiritual traditions all over the world agree that death awareness makes life more meaningful. Sadly, we live in a death phobic society, and people who postpone funeral discussions are then confronted with decisions involving thousands of dollars as they hold Kleenex in their hands. Join journalist/NY licensed funeral director and celebrant Amy Cunningham in an eye-opening, four-week-long exploration of the fascinating trends within and without the $14 billion funeral business. To help us solidify our own final wishes, we'll watch relevant films and learn through Powerpoint presentations, group exercises, individual funeral stories, and conversation. Among the many topics we'll survey: basic funeral customs in Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, the history of cremation and burial (did you know that the rejection of Pagan custom in the final years of the Roman Empire lead to a Judeo-Christian tradition of burial that lasted 1500 years?) and how to make a cremation service more meaningful; we'll discuss the comeback of the home funeral (keeping the dead cool in the house for days or hours helps some people adjust to the new reality); the resurgence of shrouding, the rise of the green burial movement, and advocacy work now occurring to give families greater control over the care of their dead.

 

Amy at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Trade show, October 2016.

Amy at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Trade show, October 2016.

Amy showing a turtle urn to women at the Clearwater Festival, 2014.

Amy showing a turtle urn to women at the Clearwater Festival, 2014.

Amy discussing end-of-life anxieties and wishes on National Geographic's "Explorer" show with Larry Wilmore, Richard Bacon, and Chuck Klosterman, November 2016.

Amy discussing end-of-life anxieties and wishes on National Geographic's "Explorer" show with Larry Wilmore, Richard Bacon, and Chuck Klosterman, November 2016.