‘Death doula’ session and more at Surrey Skill Share Fair

SURREY — People looking to learn a new skill, or share an existing one, at the upcoming Surrey Skill Share Fair at Surrey Nature Centre may come across some gardening tips, learn some reiki or yoga and perhaps get a leg up on starting a podcast.

Something that eager skill learners may not have considered? Death midwifery.

Local yoga teacher Tricia Keith, also involved with community group Friends of the Grove, is coming to the Oct. 19 fair with information on home-based funerary practices.

That’s something, she said, that seems to have disappeared from western culture."It’s about providing emotional and spiritual care for the families," Keith said of the relatively new practice.

People working in the art can also be known as "death doulas."

"When you stay present with the death, there’s something that happens that, primarily in the white culture, we are missing out on."

Keith noted that many other cultures are more inclined to connect with the dead body as a healing process.

The difference between death midwifery and the common funeral practices in North America is that a death midwife, or doula, cannot embalm a body.

"There’s so much murky matter around (it); there’s a lot of myth around how dangerous a dead body is, how infectious they are. It’s just not true," Keith said.

The process, rather than having the family shy away from the body, brings family members closer to their newly deceased and allows for better closure, Keith said.

"This is all about going greener and having more family-centred, more meaning created by the family about end-of-life care and ritual."

A death midwife is qualified to educate and support a family throughout the funerary process, as well as creating a ritual after death has occurred.

They can also act as a bridge to funeral directors, churches and smaller crematoriums that allow the family to be present during cremation.

Keith’s workshop will be one of 18 that aim to teach the public a new skill.

The event (organized by David Dalley, Peter Leblanc, Henry Guo and Janine van Rhyn) includes workshops such as African drumming, fixing a flat tire, a poetry workshop and making yogurt.

"The idea of a community event where people from all backgrounds can come together to learn from each other, have fun, make some connections and go home with new ideas, inspiration and a few skills is very exciting," said Jenn Swanson, creator and host of the Communication Diva podcast, in a release.

The Surrey Skill Share Fair takes place on Oct. 19. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Surrey Nature Centre (14225 Green Timbers Way).

For more information and a workshop schedule, visit Skill-share.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
No new Surrey school COVID-19 exposures reported overnight

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read