Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out more information about your support groups and events?
Visit our calendar, click on the event that interests you, and there will be more information on what the event is about and how to attend.

Does your organization provide hospice care?
No, although many of our clients receive hospice care. Please read more about practical considerations for living with a life-threatening illness here.

Do you have a recommended reading list?
Yes, please click here for the list.

Can I set up an intake appointment on behalf of my loved one to work with a volunteer?
Although well intentioned, when folks reach out to us on behalf of someone else, we find that we are often met with confusion or resistance. If you feel your loved one could benefit from working with a volunteer, have them look at our website, social media, attend a support group, listen to the podcast, etc., and if they are interested, they are welcomed to email or call us to set up their own intake appointment.

I was wondering if there is a Living/Dying cohort or group near where I live?
In short, no. We are touched to hear that folks would like the Project’s presence in their neighborhood, but we do not have established groups in other places. All of our events and gatherings can be found online on our website.

What is the refund policy for the online courses?
Because you get immediate access to the online course once you register, there are no refunds. We trust that if you commit to the completion of the course you will gain new insights and new practices to work with. You are welcome to contact us to make sure it is the right fit. Your purchase of a course helps support and fuel the mission of the Living/Dying Project.

Will I receive a certificate of completion after the Healing at the Edge course or workshop?
Yes, we can send a certificate of completion upon request.

If I become a volunteer will I be guaranteed to be given a client after the Healing at the Edge course/workshop?
Unfortunately this is not guaranteed. We do our best to pair new volunteers with clients, but we cannot predict when a client comes to us. We will always reach out personally via phone or email to see if you’re available to take a client. Sometimes volunteers can be paired right away or it may take several months or longer. We also encourage volunteers to search within their community to find clients.

Do I have to live in a certain area to become a client or volunteer?
No, we have clients and volunteers from all over the world. Most of the work these days is being done via zoom and telephone and thus a client/volunteer may not live in your area. We do our best to keep it local, but this is not always possible and we’ve found that healing and connection can happen even over the phone or internet when used consciously. Volunteers should know that sometimes clients may not want in-person visits and want connection through other mediums. You can decline a client if you prefer in-person visits only.

How do I find dying clients?
My advice is to take a training program to get some tools and some more confidence and then just dive in. Let people know you are ready to do this work, including family and friends, and that you have training. Clients will follow. The world needs more people to do this work.

It is usually through word of mouth that people get clients. You may also consider volunteering with hospice and discern who is open to using their death as an opportunity for spiritual healing.

What is your position on Medical Aid in Dying?
The Living/Dying project does not take a position on Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD). Our volunteers provide compassionate spiritual support to all persons and their families without regard to their choice about MAiD. We do not assist with the preparation and/or administration of any medication including those used for MAiD.

Are there specific death doulas you recommend that can assist with advance directives and funeral care?
We do not recommend a specific doula. Please reach out to Final Passages in Sebastopol, CA for referrals, or the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance.

As a volunteer, do you have other kinds of clients I could work with?
Yes. Due to high demand, our Open Circle Program has now extended to individuals who are grieving or who are caregiving for someone who is facing a life-threatening illness. In the volunteer application, volunteers can indicate if they are willing to work with a Grief or Caregiver client. The work remains the same as it is still a healing opportunity for both client and volunteer as together you can explore the questions, the fear, the joy, and all else that arises.

I’ve signed up to be a volunteer, but I’m terrified of working with a client. What if I say or do the wrong thing? 
It’s completely understandable to feel this way if you’re new to being with someone going through a vulnerable time. This is an opportunity to practice noticing your reactions. Realize that the other person’s situation is a reflection of your own fear. It’s all workable. It’s a practice of awareness and fierce compassion for self and other. Like with anything else, the more you dive in, the more you practice, the more the work deepens. The world needs more people like you doing this. We also provide new volunteers with a mentor and offer ongoing training (see next question).

Is there ongoing training for volunteers after taking a Healing at the Edge course or workshop?
Yes, we have a closed online volunteer support group where we share client experiences and help navigate next steps as you refine your practice along the way. Volunteers are also encouraged to discuss clients they found on their own — that means your client does not have to be assigned by the Project. If you are a volunteer and would like to attend, please email info@livingdying.org to be placed on the Volunteer Support Group email list. Visit our online calendar to see when the group meets next. Lastly, new volunteers can be assigned a personal mentor when paired with a client given by the Project.