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  • Writer's pictureAnna Byrne

Events This Fall

An in-person Book Circle, Film Event, and Workshop offered this season.


In the next few months, I'll be offering some events on the themes of community-supported dying, aging, caregiving, and grief. Please see below for event details and how to register, and get in touch with any questions.


Book Circle

This three-session book circle will use a personal memoir as a template for exploring the universal themes of illness, aging, dying, grief, gratitude, and community. At the age of 32, Anna Byrne was diagnosed with a rare cancer and spent seven years in the medical system. She became a hospice volunteer and began writing about her experiences. These sessions will include discussion, personal reflection, and facilitated inquiry about end-of-life topics in order to foster deeper engagement with life. Infused with beauty, poetry, and ritual, these gatherings will provoke questions and provide nourishment for the spirit. A copy of Anna’s memoir, Seven Year Summer (Finalist, Whistler Independent Book Awards), included with registration.


Hosted by: Anna Byrne

Dates: Mondays; November 6th, 13th, 20th, 2023 (Please plan to attend each session)

Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Location: qathet Art Centre, Suite 215, Above the Library

Fee: $20 (for a copy of the book), by cheque, cash, or e-transfer



Film Screening & Facilitated Discussion:

Death care has historically found its place in the hands of knowledgable community members, equipped to directly support the dying and bereaved. This film and facilitated discussion aims to rebuild and inspire some of these ancient and fundamental community practices.


Hosted by: Community-Supported Dying qathet (Jules Adam, Laurie Norman, Anna Byrne), in partnership with qathet Art Centre and The Patricia Theatre.

Date: Saturday, November 18th, 2023


Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Fee: By Donation


About the film, TENDER

Set against the stunning backdrop of the industrial seaside town of Port Kembla, Australia, a feisty and resilient community group have determined to take back the responsibility that most of us leave to someone else – to care for their own dead. Scattered throughout are stories that cut to the core revealing why this small band have decided to take on a practice that for most is taboo. 

As their plans for community-based funerals gather momentum one of their own is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. TENDER is at once a heartbreakingly beautiful and beautifully funny glimpse of an extraordinary community taking on one of the most essential challenges of human life…its end.



Workshop: Community-Supported Dying--Lessons from the Story of Mary Morgan

Community-Supported Dying (CSD) aims to build community literacy and social infrastructure to return those who are dying, caregiving, or bereaved to a central, honoured, and supported place in society.


In January 2020, Mary Morgan of qathet, BC, asked a small group of friends to support her dying process. Mary had received a terminal cancer diagnosis and wanted to die at home. The onset of COVID-19 left the team scrambling to support her. Despite the limitations of the pandemic, Mary’s dying emerged as a true community-based process. This presentation will share information and processes created to support Mary—building a team, practical and psychosocial support, ceremony and ritual, after-death body care, vigils, green burial, and casket making. Supporting a person choosing Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) will also be discussed. Through Mary’s story, participants will thoughtfully engage with aspects of CSD and gain practical skills for use with hospice clients and/or loved ones.


Hosted by: Community-Supported Dying qathet (Jules Adam, Laurie Norman, and Anna Byrne),

at the event Hospice Education Days 2023, Parksville, B.C.

Date: November 3, 2023 - November 4, 2023


Location: Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre

Fee: In-person Ticket: $100, Virtual Ticket: $75 (*All tickets have two-day access to the event)


About the Event: Join the Vancouver Island Federation of Hospices (VIFoH) in partnership with the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) and the Fraser Federation of Hospices for a dynamic and collaborative 2 days of education, training and knowledge transfer to improve the quality of care for patients and families facing serious illness and suffering from grief and bereavement.




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