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Looking Back, Looking Forward

2020 in Review

As 2020 draws to a close, we look back to the ways that we here at KORU brought a little bit of light to this otherwise difficult and dark year. 

In April, KORU hosted Death Conversation Around the Kitchen Table via Zoom. About 20 people joined Ms. Ngaio Davis, founder and managing director of KORU. As the toll of the pandemic was rising, many of us were grappling with how we navigate our way.

The mention of the “D” word is frowned upon around most kitchen tables. As a result, when the inevitable happens we are often at a loss of what to do. We wanted to create a space for participants to share their concerns with their own or their loved ones’ death and deathcare.

Impact of the Pandemic on Deathcare

Whether our person’s death is related to COVID-19 or not, there is an added layer of complexity with dying during a pandemic.

In November, KORU talked to Robin Erickson of CJSF Radio Station as part of the series Triple Threat: Feminist, Fifty-ish & Fabulous. In her Aging with Imagination FB page, Robin says: 

“Ngaio lets us in on her BS radar, her ability to be present and invisible simultaneously and grounding as well as how daring, curiosity and wisdom play in her life and work.”

You can listen to Robin and Ngaio’s interesting conversation here. 

Green New Deal of Deathcare

In December, Ngaio gave a presentation entitled “Eco-Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare” upon the invitation of the Vancouver Unitarians.

Ngaio talked about how reclaiming former end of life practices can suit our modern values and expectations. In particular as they relate to our need to leave a lighter footprint on our earth.

Dubbed Action Evenings, these sessions are an initiative inspired by the idea of people learning and acting together towards social and environmental justice. What followed after the presentation was an engaging conversation between Ngaio and the attendees.

Community Deathcare Canada Event

In terms of community engagement, the highlight of our year was hosting Rhythms of Grief last October. It was a special evening filled with heartfelt stories and beautiful poetry punctuated by the music of the Homegoing Brass Band. This virtual gathering was part of the Canada-wide “Swan Song Festival.”

Rhythms of Grief was a tremendous success! We had over 50 attendees from all over Canada, the U.S. and the Philippines.

Our guest speakers’ stories and poetry touched us. We are grateful to our intrepid guests who spoke about their personal journeys with grief and loss with deep vulnerability and authenticity. 

Want to know more about our guest speakers, our host and organizer? Check out their description here.

As we look back at this year that’s almost ending, we acknowledge all that we have lost. Our loved ones, our sense of normalcy, and how the world used to be. We listen to our sadness and grief. We listen to our feelings of hope and gratitude.

As we welcome the new year, we honour all of these emotions and recognize that they can co-exist in our tender little hearts. 

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