Throughout nearly two decades of working in hospice, Kimberly experienced grief from the loss of young co-workers and many hospice patients as she captured their life stories in order to celebrate the lives they lived. In December 2016 she created a podcast, Death by Design, that hosts industry leaders in medicine as well as artists, designers, caregivers and authors who are reclaiming their voice around their own experiences with death and dying.
Opening Ceremonies Friday, November 13 10:00 - 11:00 am (PST)
Awakening the Heartbeat with Gui Vitali
Drum Meditation Awaken Heartbeats
It is a call to awaken the powerful force of love that lives in the hearts of humans, so as to transform our world into a better place for everyone. All those who have something good to offer the world need to occupy their space and manifest themselves, bringing the awareness of taking care of nature and all kinds of life that inhabits it. The drum is an ancestral tool used by native peoples. Shamans being considered curators of their clans, they used the drum to move between dimensions and to be able to access subtle fields of healing. The vibration of the drum brings movement, removes the stagnant energies created by thought forms and opens our perception.
The repetitive beating of the drum changes the brain waves that lead the patient to enter an altered state of consciousness, this making it possible to obtain new perceptions and views on matters that permeate life, helping in emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
Gui Vitali, Brazilian drummer and percussionist musician, drum therapist, facilitator of drum circles and human self-development experiences, believes that music is a medicine that adds value to the physical, mental and spiritual body.
Born in 1972 in the city of São Paulo - Brazil, he has music as his tool of communicating human values to the world to awaken the awareness of unity and collaboration among humans.
Deva Premal, Devotional Musician
Deva Premal is a singer of devotional music known for her life and work together with her partner Miten. They have travelled all around the world for 30 years sharing the power of mantra, of chanting, of singing and of community with large audiences.Her album Deva (2018) received a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Age Album for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
"I have been interested in the field of death, dying, and afterlife ever since I am a teenager. Reading loads of books and being very intrigued by what happens to us when we leave our bodies as well as afterwards. Out of that I have developed an understanding for myself that I love to share with you."
When loss brings you to your knees, it’s important to find ways to fully experience its impact. Only to the extent that you can expose yourself to annihilation will you discover that which is indestructible within you. Most of us avoid experiencing loss’ impact, but resisting this can cause more suffering than from the actual loss itself! There is a profoundly powerful resource that can help. Music, the universal language of human emotion, can help you enter these sometimes-fearful territories. Music can help you to release grief, breathe into the present moment, and courageously get on with your life. It can help you to transmute unexpected losses into revelations about what matters most. Empowered to live each day with a remembrance of how precious life is, music can help you develop a lasting gratefulness that will show you how to live each day as if it were your last.
Closing Ceremonies Friday, November 13 5:30 - 6:30 pm (PST)
Ken Ross, Founder and President EKR Foundation
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was one of the principle founders of the hospice movement. Her 24 books have sold over 10 million copies in 41 languages. The EKR Foundation continues her work through education, collaborations, and various projects around the world. Ken Ross speaks on his mother's legacy and current projects of the Foundation.
Ken Ross is the son of psychiatrist, humanitarian and hospice pioneer, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Throughout his youth, he traveled with his mother to many of her speaking engagements, frequently meeting with those seeking her wisdom. Ken was also the caregiver for his mother the last nine years of her life, which ended in 2004. Following her death, Ken founded the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation and subsequently, has traveled the world sharing his mother’s thoughts on compassionate care of the dying and the grieving. He also speaks on Elisabeth’s incredible life journey and how each of us has the power to live a life based on love versus fear. His message is poignant, humorous, and filled with inspiration.
Opening Ceremonies Saturday, November 14 10:00 - 10:30 am
Elizabeth Coplan, Founder and Author of The Grief Dialogues
Grief Dialogues presents a live performance of the play “Life Lines” by Donna Hoke, directed by Elizabeth Coplan and performed by GD veteran actors Gretchen Douma, Greg Brisendine, and Shane Regan. This play centers on the grief of a mother struggling to accept the unacceptable death of her young son. Even after over a year, her grief is raw and powerful, still able to pull her apart as she is seeking more… A post-performance discussion focuses on using drama as a social and educational tool to analyze our own experiences.
Elizabeth believes that art can emerge from grief. For the past 5 years, she has been helping people through the grieving process in a very unique way, by transforming their stories of grief into works of art.
Closing Ceremonies Saturday, November 14 5:30 - 6:30 pm (PST)
Kelley Lynn Niemi, Soaring Spirits International
Starting over after devastating loss is painful, revealing, and difficult. It takes hard work and serious soul-searching. But if you can make yourself go there, the other side of pain can be beautiful, intense, and awe-inspiring. My hope is to help walk you through the process of going from that place of complete darkness, and come back into the light. Love will light the way, but you are the one who will push on the gas pedal to life recreated.
Kelley Lynn is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, speaker, the girl in the viral sensation Vine video #mcfallen, and recently became a grief coach; living in the NYC and Massachusetts area. (lots of traveling back and forth) She has written articles on and done one-on-one exclusive interviews with celebs such as Tracey Gold, Cloris Leachman, and most recently, Trisha Yearwood, for various online entertainment sites. Tom Bergeron often shares and retweets her weekly reviews of “Dancing With the Stars”, and has referred to Kelley’s writing and humor as “wonderfully snarky.” Kelley is also honored to be a weekly writer for the Soaring Spirit’s blog “Widows Voice”, and a featured weekly writer at LoveTV, where she writes about sex, dating, and love – from the widowed perspective. Kelley is a proud TEDx speaker. Her TEDx talk, performed live on March 31, 2017 in NYC, is titled “When Someone You Love Dies, There is No Such Thing as Moving On.” It currently has hit viral status, with over ONE MILLION views on YouTube.
Opening Ceremonies Sunday, November 15 10:00 - 10:30 am (PST)
Rachel Jonlynn, End of Life Educator
Healing Through Grief is what Rachel Jonlynn is all about. Rachel specializes in end-of-life ceremonies for your loved ones and pets that pass away while providing tools to help children through acceptance and letting go. She works with the whole family creating intimate ceremonies to bring healing and honor to the life and death shared together, with joy, movement, care and love. Rachel is devoted to her purpose and is showing up as a new leader in the dying and death community. Death and loss are too difficult to deal with alone. Rachel guides rituals and ceremonies that fit your spiritual values and help you and your family find a path of completion and healing.
Closing Ceremonies Sunday, November 15 5:30 - 6:30 pm (PST)
A ReImagine Closing Vigil with Brad Wolf
An interactive candlelight vigil to mourn what and who we've lost but also to celebrate and make the most of this precious life that we have. Live music, poetry, and connection.
Brad Wolfe is the founder of Reimagine, an events platform and community
where people of all backgrounds come together to navigate the hardest parts of our existence
and inspire one another to live fully now. As a nonprofit organization, Reimagine draws on
design, art, medicine and spirituality to transform taboo cultural attitudes around death and grief,
and to address the inequities surrounding how we live and die. With over 65,000 attendees,
Reimagine’s End of Life festivals have quickly become the largest end-of-life events in the
United States. Reimagine was recently named a "World Changing Idea" by Fast Company
Before becoming a nonprofit, Reimagine was initially inspired by OpenIDEO’s End of Life
Challenge, and was led by Brad as part of an OpenIDEO project exploring art and end of life.
Brad's personal interest in these topics began as he performed bedside concerts for his friend
Sara, who died of a rare pediatric cancer. In Sara's honor, Brad co-founded the Sunbeam
Foundation for pediatric cancer research and formed Brad Wolfe & the Moon, a band which has
performed concerts for other young people facing terminal cancer and been featured on MTV.
Prior to Brad’s work at IDEO and subsequent launch of Reimagine, he served as the content
and strategy lead for Delivering Happiness, a workplace culture consulting firm founded by
Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh. Brad also founded a media company incubated by Facebook and
served as a consultant for Monitor. He is a contributing writer on positive organizational
psychology for the Greater Good Science Center and is the author of the young adult
award-winner, Breakfast on Mars (Macmillan, 2014). Brad has a BA and MA in Sociology from Stanford and an MBA from UC Berkeley.