I recently was given the amazing gift of spending a few hours with Zenith Verago, an Australian funeral celebrant and death walker. I was deeply inspired by her thoughtful, analytical, holistic understanding of the death and dying process, and a helper’s role through all of it.
Zen has spent decades developing a mindful, well-constructed flow for performing as a Death Walker (her term for someone who facilitates the end of life/death/funeral process both with the dying person and their loved ones). She shared a bit about her understandings of natural deathcare (the process from pre-death through bereavement, brought back to families rather than done by industry), and how fear of dying can be minimized. She also graciously gave our small group a glimpse of the emotional path she leads participants on during funeral services–it was clear how thoughtfully her work has been constructed. and how powerful her bold, warm, genuine presence must be, for both the dying and the families.
Zenith views the death and dying process as a journey, one she walks together with the dying and the remaining, helping by her unique attention to work through fears and bring peace and release to the path for everyone.
Recently, a pair of filmmakers spent a month or so with Zenith, recording her work. The resulting film, Zen & The Art of Dying, has been shown at SXSW, and is due for wider release this fall.
I can’t wait to watch!
For more information, check out the film’s website: Zen and the Art of Dying