How to end one’s life well depends on a number of things. Five key factors are featured in a series of weekly workshops called “Happy Endings” coming to Magog and North Hatley, starting next week.
The two series are organized by UUEstrie, as was a pilot series last year in Lennoxville. The workshops in Magog are in partnership with the Memphremagog Community Learning Centre, and are on Wednesdays. The ones in North Hatley are on Fridays. In both places, the sessions are from 10 a.m. to noon, and all are in English. They are free of charge, with a donation of $2 suggested for refreshments. All are welcome.
“We believe that all life is sacred, in its beginnings, in its living and loving, and in its endings,” said UUEstrie’s minister, Rev. Carole Martignacco. “The series is about the aspect of life that we call endings. We give so much attention to the rest of life, yet we don’t take time to consider how to exit this world well.”
“Last Words: How to plan your own memorial or celebration of life” is a workshop by Rev. Martignacco herself. She has developed an expertise in personalized ceremonies, and she gives participants a guide to designing memorials that leave a legacy of personal values. Last Words is the first session in Magog, on Wednesday, April 27, and the second topic in North Hatley, on Friday, May 6.
“Wills, Living Wills, and End-of-Life Legal issues” is the first topic in North Hatley, on Friday, April 29, and the second one in Magog, on Wednesday, May 4. The speaker is Me. Tim Leonard, a notary in Sherbrooke. He will speak and answer questions about legal issues pertaining to the end of life, such as do-not-resuscitate orders, incapacity mandates, and others.
“Green Burials and Home & Family-centred Funerals” is the title of a talk by funeral director Stephan Elkas of the Steve L. Elkas Funeral Home in Sherbrooke. He will focus on environmentally friendly, alternative burial options that are locally available. This includes a new method, Alkaline hydrolysis (also called biocremation, aquamation and/or resomation). Elkas will be speaking on May 11 in Magog, and on May 13 in North Hatley.
“How to Die in Oregon” is an award-winning documentary film about persons having recourse to the “assisted dying” law in Oregon. Various viewpoints and experiences are explored in the film. After viewing it, participants will learn how the law in Oregon compares to Quebec’s assisted dying law, and the potential Canadian law. This session is planned for May 18 in Magog, and May 20 in North Hatley.
“Bequests: How to give to your favourite charity AND leave all your money to your children” is the topic of the final session, on May 25 in Magog, and May 27 in North Hatley. It will be led by Alain Lévesque, financial advisor, who will explain how to maximize giving to your favourite charity without reducing your estate too much. He is expert at simplifying financial concepts, and will offer participants his most recent booklet on bequests.
In Magog, all the workshops are at the Memphremagog Community Learning Centre, Princess Elizabeth School, 120 Bellevue. Participants are asked to enter by Door 3 from the parking lot, and to press the CLC Room buzzer. Please pre-register by phoning 819-238-1254 or 819-842-4146, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In North Hatley, all the workshops are at UUEstrie, 201 Main Street, in Stoddard Hall (lower level). Please pre-register by phoning 819-842-4146 or emailing email@example.com. UUEstrie is the home base of the Unitarian Universalist Community in North Hatley. For more information, see www.uuestrie.ca, the Facebook page UU Estrie, or call 819-842-4146.
We are grateful to the Canadian Unitarian Council for their support for this series, through the Sharing Our Faith grant.
- Rachel Garber