It Takes A Village

As a collective of practitioners who hold a vision of family-led deathcare, we are working to reclaim the ways we used to tend to our loved ones and our communities – ways which were informed by the knowledge of our interdependence.

Community Deathcare Ottawa’s main goal is to empower individuals and their families by promoting a holistic and community-centred approach to end-of-life care. Along with serving the community with family-led care, we aim to decolonize present day deathcare practices and amplify Indigenous voices in the name of supporting the restoration of what has been lost.

Many of the roles involved in modern healthcare and funeral industries used to be woven into the daily activities that made up small, community living. Since time immemorial we tended to each other by drawing on knowledge passed down through generations, and it has only been in the last 120 years or so where caring directly for our loved ones through aging, dying, and death has increasingly been outsourced to a growing body of professionals, especially in large urban areas.

In normalizing such displacement, more and more people in the dominant western industrialized society feel the ever-widening gap, along with a vague longing to busy our hands with the innate wisdom which lives in our bones. There is a growing awareness of what our ancestors have always known and many cultures still acknowledge today: that our intimate engagement with these stages of life are essential to our ability to move through grief.

Much like birth, the stages of dying and death call for support across all dimensions of being – physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual – and in ways which meet both our practical and creative needs. It can be overwhelming to navigate and understand the myriad of resources available, so we welcome you to reach out to us for guidance.

We honour death as a sacred part of life.

Let us support you in your journey.

We are all just walking each other home.

Ram Dass / Richard Alpert