Save the Date!

Two award-winning documentaries, End Game and Extremis, will be featured for the final offering of our film series on Saturday, April 13 at the Land Trust Building, 1:00 – 4:00. Both documentaries invite us to consider difficult decisions from the perspective of patients, families and healthcare providers. Showings will be followed with discussion about the challenge and value of end-of-life decision making. Advance care planning facilitators will be available to answer questions and provide resources. Suggested donation: $5.00. Popcorn is free!

We look forward to being with you in the conversation!

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Let’s talk about Living and Dying

Join us to further the conversation . . . next offering in May.

Sunday, May 5, 2019 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Vashon Land Trust Building

Honoring Choices Vashon and The Vashon Conversation are hosting quarterly gatherings that include featured speakers, focused conversations and local resources. This quarter, our guest is Allison Cox, a Vashon freelance storyteller who has been weaving her tales for the past 37 years across the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Denmark and Sweden. She co-edited and contributed to THE HEALING HEART books on storytelling for healthy communities and is a co-founder of the Healing Story Alliance. She will be sharing stories that stimulate questions related to staving off­ death, bargaining with death and possibly welcoming it.

We are all going to die - but we can be hesitant to talk about it. By coming together to talk about death and dying, we also begin to talk about life and living. Join us, have a cup of tea and a snack, and discuss life and death. The event is free -- donations gladly accepted.

Please call Jane Neubauer at 206.567-5404 or Kim Eckhardt at 206.678-2204 with any questions.

Quotes from past sessions:

“I want to live fully and I now understand that difficult conversations are sometimes the most liberating.”

“In this limited time I’ve got, I want to prioritize what I need to do.”

“Being here has really prepared me to go home and talk with my daughter.”

All conversations are confidential, accessible and respectful of all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion/faith, ethnicity and disability.

It is free from ideology with no agenda towards any conclusion about life, death or life after death. Rather, it is a confidential place to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings.

Book Discussion series . . .

We are excited to gather a small group to discuss Katy Butler’s new book The Art of Dying Well. This back-cover quote from Lucy Kalanithi, MD, invites us to savor Butler’s wisdom: “This is a book to devour, discuss, dog-ear and then revisit as the years pass. Covering matters medical, practical, financial and spiritual – and beautifully, their intersection – Katy Butler gives wise counsel for the final decades of our ‘wild and precious’ lives . . . It’s not only about dying. It’s about living intentionally and in community.”

First discussion gathering scheduled for Friday, June 7, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. If interested and want more information, please contact us at

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Grief Support Group

Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one in the past eighteen months is invited to participate in a 6-week support group. It is an opportunity to process and heal in a supportive, confidential, caring environment. The group will meet on Vashon on Monday evenings beginning April 15th through May 20th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

This is a closed group and registration is required. Please contact Grief Support Services at 206.749.7702 for more information and to register. Space is limited.


Building on Interest and Success . . .

  Hundreds of Vashon Island residents participated in the four-day Vashon Conversation for the Living about Dying event, March 2 – 5.  The alchemy of passionate, committed volunteers, an engaged community and generous donors and sponsors created an amazing weekend.  

The weekend offered many different doorways into the subject of living and dying.  The goal was to offer opportunities for people of all comfort levels, learning styles, beliefs, cultures, ages and understanding to enter into the subject with curiosity and comfort.

“If I had my life to live over again, I would ask that not a thing be changed, but that my eyes be opened wider.”
— Jules Renard

The four-day event started as a simple vision and evolved into an eclectic mix of offerings designed to appeal to a broad audience.  Sandwiched between the Opening Celebration and Keynote on March 2 and ending with the Closing Celebration of Life and Remembrance on March 5, there were twelve events offering islanders a feast of possible ways to consider what for many is a difficult topic. It was an all-volunteer effort, involving more than 50 volunteers and a broad cross-section of our community – nonprofits, faith groups, key leaders, businesses and health care providers. The response was full and rich and enthusiastic.

Evaluation forms were designed for the seven presentations on Saturday and Sunday. Respondents were asked to rate each question on a scale of one to five with five being the highest rating. Responses regarding usefulness and relevance of information as well as quality of presenters were almost universally fives! This “word cloud” captures many of the words used to describe the offerings.

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Six "Before I Die" Boards were interspersed between the poignant work of more than 25 Vashon artists at the Two Wall Gallery. Vashon Rotary Club members constructed these beautiful boards that will be hung throughout the community in the coming year. Watch for them at the Farmer's Market, at Strawberry Festival, in our parks, and in your neighborhood!

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