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Events & Gatherings

Circle of Friends for the Dying actively promotes events that give people the opportunity to explore their feelings about death. We feel that knowledge is power, which can bring great relief during a time of powerlessness. We can’t control our dying, but we can explore ways to face it so that the choices available to us become meaningful options.

Death Cafes
One such event series is our monthly Circle of Friends Death Cafés which supports increased awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their finite lives. Death Cafés are open to, and respectful of, people of all communities and belief systems. A Death Café is a group-directed conversation of death with no agenda, objectives, or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session. The meetings are free, but we ask you to register in advance.

  • Virtual (Zoom) Death Cafes
    We hold virtual death cafes on the 18th of each month. Click here for more information.
  • In-person Death Cafes
    We will hold in-person death cafes regularly each month, in the home at 100 Wurts Street, Kingston NY. Stay tuned for more details.

Life Matters
Life Matters is a new event series that we offer in-person in our home at 100 Wurts Street, Kingston NY. We advocate for the re-balancing of life and death by hosting this monthly series of programs for the public to examine perspectives on death and dying. The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death imagines “a new vision of how death and dying could be. The five principles are: the social determinants of death, dying, and grieving are tackled; dying is understood to be a relational and spiritual process rather than simply a physiological event; networks of care lead support for people dying, caring, and grieving; conversations and stories about everyday death, dying, and grief become common; and death is recognized as having value.” Life Matters addresses such possibilities by welcoming various speakers to present issues and social concerns for the living. We request that you register for these in-person events, due to the size of the location.

Other Events & Gatherings
In the past, CFD has hosted other provocative speaking engagements in the Hudson Valley region. We held a day-long seminar at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, New York, with Stephen Jenkinson, author of Die Wise and Come of Age among other titles. Jenkinson, also a teacher, a farmer, and an activist in what he calls “the death trade,” spoke of his experiences in Toronto hospitals where his job was to counsel terminal patients and ease their way to accepting death. And we’ve responded to the interests of Death Café participants by inviting pertinent speakers to present brief talks before each Death Café begins. We’ve hosted Sharon DiCarlo of Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation; CFD co-founder Laurie Schwartz who talked about homes for the dying and our project, Circle Home; Dr. Maggie Carpenter of Nightingale Medical in Gardiner; and Jo Scari, former CFD board member and licensed mortician to talk on securing one’s LGBTQ identity in death among many other fascinating presentations.

And we occasionally throw parties, like the Day of the Dead dance and fundraiser held at BSP in Kingston and Circlestock, a benefit concert and dance held at The Colony in Woodstock, New York. Let us know how we can contact you when things are happening! Because we are continuing to develop new events, please visit often or be notified of future events by signing up here.

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The Art & Soul of Comfort Food

Tilda's Kitchen Kingston, NY

In an effort to make death literacy aspirational and fun, Bevival has planned a very special dinner party to engage both your senses and sense of heritage. What better way to accomplish this than by pairing amazing food with electrifying table conversation! So to help us all talk about death differently, Liza Schoenfein, food writer,… Read More »The Art & Soul of Comfort Food

Touchstone Writers Workshop

Circle Home, 100 Wurts St, Kingston NY, United States

What’s your story? CFD hosts a workshop for both beginners and more seasoned writers who want to put pen to paper—or finger tips on keys—to tell their unique story. And we all have a unique story to tell. This ten-week workshop will be led by Ann Hutton of Touchstone Writers, at Circle Home in the… Read More »Touchstone Writers Workshop

Dealing with Death Artfully

Circle Home, 100 Wurts St, Kingston NY, United States

Linda Mary Montano and Katie Todd present a workshop designed to safely explore our relationship with death. Hosted by Barbara Sarah, co-founder of Circle of Friends for the Dying. Participants will write and share their own obituaries and creatively play with their own death. More details to be revealed at the workshop! Cost is on… Read More »Dealing with Death Artfully