Before & After.Life

Caring. Deathing. Dying.

Places and spaces

to be human

Deeply rooted in nature’s wisdom, we invite a re/clamation and ​re/imagining of generative end of life and loss practices. This is the ​work of you, me and our communities.

Wattle flowers.

IN-PERSON

Intro to Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief - SPRING 2024

ONLINE

Intro to Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief - SEPT 2024

For latest events, news and musings.

Hello. Welcome

Before & After Life offers places and spaces to be human.

We work across the terrain of caring, dying and grieving, offering practical tools and supports, education and facilitation for people, families, workplaces and communities, and groups.

• Workshops, Programs and Events

• Workplace Strategies and Group Facilitation

• Grief Ritual & Retreats

• End of Life Companioning

• Home Death Care

• Community Meets

• Creative Collaborations

• Group Tending

and 1:1's.


Being literate in these very normal and human spaces enables deeper relationships; it is an antidote to the epidemic of loneliness and isolation which places a colossal burden on our national resources.

Learning together

Retreats

Immersive retreats exploring the terrain of caring, dying and grief; We work with the sensory, the arts, nature, the poets, language, mystery, and kinship to re/imagine possibilities for how we human in this world, at this time.

Courses, Workshops

Practical skills and hands-on creativity. Our courses and workshops offer reflective, restorative, and generative experiences. Develop new skills, fine tune existing ones, and strengthen your capacity to care by providing enduring family, community and workplace supports.

For upcoming events please

Literacy Programs

Explore transformative programs for all ages on death, dying, and grief. Discover tools for navigating life's most profound transitions with spaciousness and containment.

Group of Adult People Talking Outdoor

Group Tending

Group settings helps normalise loss and grief. It is an opportunity to cultivate deeper connections, share stories and resources, practice ritual and offer emotional support. This offering is of value to groups of friends, families, colleagues, community groups, your work-place, school, carer community, volunteer organisation or aged care facility ... being together is supportive and generative.

1:1's

A deeply supportive and generous resource for carers, those living with a life-limiting diagnosis, their family (or chosen family). Sessions support loss and grief recent, emerging or yesteryear.


Other 1:1 sessions may include recording end of life wishes, end of life companioning, legacy, home funeral and death care supports, vigil, ritual, grief, dementia supports and more.

Australia is getting older, faster.

By 2026, more than 22 percent of Australians will be aged over 65 — up from 16 percent in 2020, which was already double the 8.3 percent at the start of the 1970s.’


The Govt spends just 1.2 percent of its GDP on aged care (Denmark spends 4.3 percent). Carers are keystone in Australia’s health system; the foundation of our aged, disability, palliative and community care systems.


Australian carers provide 2.2 billion hours of informal care each year with the cost of replacing this care valued at $77.9 billion.

Group of youth people on a team building meeting at public park

Workplace Facilitation

Caring, dying and grieving will impact your business.

Improve culture and productivity with strategies, supports, practical skills and literacy.


Your people maybe caring for ageing family members, living with multiple griefs, living with a diagnosis, experiencing divorce/separation, pet loss, the impacts of global affairs and ecological decline ...


Burn out is rife. Some of the impacts show up as decreased engagement, reduced productivity, impaired decision making capabilities, high turnover, reduced creativity and innovation, absenteeism, low morale and strained workplace relationships.

Capacity building in caring, dying and grieving fortifies your organisation. It support decision-making, overall wellness and reduces absenteeism.


Workshop facilitation

Support your people and culture to navigate life's transitions, cultivate resilience and build deeper internal connections of support.


Co-create strategies

Fortify your organisation into the future.


• 1:1 leadership/team member supports


Contact us to discuss ways we can help prepare your people and organisation. It is personally and professionally, profoundly impactful work.

The quality of our lives depends on how well we care, die and grieve.

We have read the research and experienced first hand how with quality supports and literacy, people and places can continue to live well and even thrive through difficult times.


We observe how paying attention and practicing this work results in mitigating complex grief, connected families, vibrant communities, and highly productive workplaces.

Would you like to make a

woven coffin?

Limited tickets remaining for this workshop. This workshop enters us into a reflective practice and relationship with death. It is

a unique opportunity to engage in the ancient art of coffin weaving.


Ancestral weaving merges with an honest reflection on life, death, and liminal spaces between. This hands-on experience promises to be a transformative day as participants are invited to contemplate the cycle of life, mortality and sustainable funerary options.

Deep bow to Francis Weller

I extend my deep gratitude to Francis Weller whose work I return to again and again and again. If you too are interested in exploring his work of grief tending, or to be with what feels difficult, you may like to consider this course:

We possess the profound capacity to metabolise sorrow into something medicinal for our soul, and the soul of the community. The skill of grieving well enables us to become currentto live in the present moment and be available to the electricity of life.


Francis Weller


Lichen

Life can be gritty. There is an invitation (moral obligation) to learn and practice the languages of caring, dying and grieving; in this we strengthen our personal and collective response-ability.

This is real, honest work.

Caring

CARING IS CONNECTION

There is a national imperative to improve the way we accompany people and families through life-limiting illness, sudden death, dying and bereavement. The times ahead of us demand it of us. Our ability to connect with reverence and deep presence has waned; Before & After Life seeks to reclaim what it means to ‘hear’ and ‘be with’ and in service to. We believe in reciprocity; caring and being cared for, because the nature of this relationship is cyclic.


Dying

DEATH IS LIFE

Life becomes evermore meaningful and vibrant when you enter and sustain a relationship with death and dying. A re/clamation invitation stands here before you. Exploration and preparedness reveals possibility and choice for what suits YOU and those you love. We seek to come into relationship with the many fears related to death and dying. We seek to make visible some of those fears; moving towards the scary and unknown offers us new perspectives, clarity, and ultimately, choice.

GRIEF IS LOVE

These two, they twin, they are siblings - we’ve forgotten one doesn’t exist without the other. Dominant western grief norms are not serving us well; explore alternative narratives and experiences for living with grief. Honouring safely and bravely that which has passed from you is a process of reciprocity, re/kinning, re/membering, feeling and noticing. Grief can be generative if we explore alternative possibilities for living with it.

Grieving

Stuck


in



hard places.

Re/claiming vitality

with love and loss

What feels scary or foreign - that which is hard, stuck or stagnant, can be made visible, acknowledged, witnessed and liberated.


The vulnerability and fragility of being human can paradoxically be our strength.


Re/claiming threads and bonds can often fortify us as we inhabit the more difficult sides of what it is to be human.



In increasing our will and skill for noticing, feeling, and expressing, we find our-selves moving with what is hard.


Let us not swallow the unpalatable stone on our tongue, let us instead throw open our throats; release the locked, loosen the hard and come into right relationship with the dark.

Round Grey Rock

parts of

The harder

being human.

It is possible that the ground beneath us may not open up and consume us after all. We need not drown in our tears or be buried by the weight of our experiences.


It is possible that in being brought together, maybe even to our knees, we find new parts of ourselves -perhaps even identify a portal from which to travel new landscapes into a more expansive and spacious, wholeness.

Lichen

Lichen

can’t exist

on its own.

neither can we.

Programs/Events

Vessels for Life and Death

A winter workshop series over three Saturday’s, facilitated by Emma Beattie and Zimmi Forest. Tactile and deeply sensory this series takes us below the surface to investigate the role of women caring (and being cared for), the ancient craft of coffin weaving, and the value of being in relationship with our sorrow.

Women Holding Things

Sat 22 June - $170 +bf

The first workshop in a three part series enters us into a reflective practice and relationship with the profound act of caring and being cared forWorking with the random weave technique, we seek to reveal beauty from complexity. Our woven basket becomes a metaphor for what women hold.

CL​OSED

I’m Not Dead Yet

Sat 6 July - $180 +bf

Merging craftsmanship with a deep reflection on life, death, and liminal spaces between, this hands-on experience promises to be a transform-ative day as participants are invited to contemplate the cycle of life, mortality and sustainable funerary options.

Stitching Our Sorrows

Sat 20 July - $170 + bf

The act of making a coiled basket becomes a rich metaphor for grief tending in this one day workshop.

As we craft our vessels, our unique expression of love and loss invites

the inside out. Our inner worlds may be externalised and processed - we will slow down, reflect and share.


Whether you're an experienced fibre artist or a complete beginner, you're invited to participate in a

unique exploration of themes surrounding caring, dying, and grieving whilst making with natural materials.


Select one, two or three workshops for a deeper immersion.

Wattle flowers.

Intro to Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief - A re/imagining of living with loss and love.

IN PERSON - BRUNSWICK HEADS, 1 AUG - 19 SEPT


This is the community work of belonging, kinning, tending; a mingling of the human, the mystery, ritual, poetry, journalling and story. Through the wintery months we re/imagine loss and grief through the lens of Francis Weller's Five Gates.




FRI 9 AUG, 2024 - Nerang, SEQ

BEFORE YOU GO

A community information day

Alongside Compassionate Communities Australia and other local services and providers we will be hosting a Dying to Know Day event.


This community event is for people and families in South East Queensland who are curious to ask many of the who, what, why, how, when’s related to death and dying.


Stay tuned for details.

SAT 21 - SUN 22 SEPTEMBER, 2024 -BRISBANE

This two day non-residential program explores generative and life-giving possibilities within grieving. It is a re/imagining of living with loss and love. This is the work of upskilling, belonging, kinning, tending; a mingling of the human, the mystery, the arts. It is not group psychotherapy.


This course is for you if you wish to better understand the ways grief permeates life, strengthen your own muscle of grief tools and supports whilst deepening relationships with humans and the wider world; to live as Francis Weller says, in the electricity of life.


Recent events

Empowering Consumers in Healthcare.

A community and industry information day

THURS 20 JUNE, 10-1pm - BRISBANE, QLD STATE LIBRARY

I’ll be keeping company with Harp Kalsi-Smith from Kindness Company, Compassionate Communities Australia


Clinical Excellence Queensland | Queensland Govt is hosting this event is open to people, carers, consumer advocates and healthcare professionals.


Palliative Care Medical Specialist Association. Prof Carol Douglas will speak and the event offers an opportunity to meet with supportive and palliative care services.


Intro to Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief - TICKETING IS CLOSED


A re/imagining of living with loss and love. This program commenced June 6.

This is the community work of belonging, kinning, tending; a mingling of the human, the mystery, ritual, poetry, journalling and story. Through the wintery months we re/imagine loss and grief through the lens of Francis Weller's Five Gates.


Francis Weller - Five Gates of Grief Online Program

Sept 2024

“It is so exquisitely held by you, and I’m really loving all of it” S.F.

The Death & Dying Expo returned for its fourth year on Saturday, May 25th, 2024, a​t Mullumbimby Civic Hall.​ ​


See Substack for post event summary.​

Spider Web on Black Background

Uncle Magpie said

when we pull

one thread

everything moves.

Journal

RCR Radio - NZ

Setting a place at the table for grief

Natalie and I talk about the value of “setting a place at the table for grief”.

In Praise of Slow & Humble

I see you Earthworms.

Michael Meade says slow and down are movements of the soul. Slow and down, are also movements of the soil.


Death & Dying Expo 2024

Community Event

Public Speaking and trade table. The free community event offered an opportunity to get curious, ask questions, connect with local suppliers and providers, strengthen community ties, whilst building capacities for death and dying literacy.

DarnIt, Loss Happens

Stitching ourselves back together when loss tears us apart


There was a time when mending things grew out of necessity. Elbows in jumpers, holes in socks, knees in jeans, moth holes and hems. Clothing demanded more than a season - they were handed down through families like bath water.


Women Holding Things

Caring is whole of community.

The majority of caring in our homes and communities lands in the boughs, and on the backs of women. According to the Workplace and Gender Equality Agency, 7/10 carers in Australia are women.


We are going to be worm food. It’s time to remember our vulnerability and place amongst wild things.

Emma Beattie

Emma is part of a wave of people and movements, dedicated to social justice and change. She actively participates in re/imagining how people, communities and workplaces can prepare, adapt and respond to the impacts of caring, dying and grieving. The more challenging parts of being human are often left untended. It is vital - necessary and life-giving - to create spaces and places for our humanity to be expressed for collective wellness.


Emma has worked, studied and volunteered in caring and deathing since 2020. She brings an animistic, creative and poetic lens to caring, deathing and grieving. Her death and dying work and on going education intersect a long line of personal loss. She offers practical supports, education and facilitation for people, families, and groups via term courses, workshops, community meets and retreats. Her professional origins sit in strategic thinking, storytelling and social impact. Emma is a member of Palliative Care NSW, the Natural Death Advocacy Network and an advocate for Compassionate Communities Australia.



“There’s a quickening upon us - people, communities and business can be better prepared. Let us mitigate the impacts by knowing what is possible and re/membering how to care, live, die and grieve in ways that are resourced informed and prepared.”


“Caring, dying and grieving can be isolating and lonely - it can be different.”

Trained. Supervised. Mentored.

I am well supported and supervised by colleagues and mentors. I am under Gestalt Psychotherapy supervision and apply myself to ongoing training. Please note what is offered is not psychotherapy.

2020 Death Walking and Celebrancy

Natural DeathCare Centre: Zenith Virago


2020 Death Dying & Grief Culture

Griffith Uni, (High Distinction)


2020 Last Aid. Caring for the Dying at Home

Byron College, Amitayus Home Hospice Service


2020 - Current Hospice Volunteer

Amitayus Home Hospice Service


2022-2023 Support Worker & EOL Companion

NDIS


2023 Member of Palliative Care NSW

2023 Foundation Workshop

Preparing the Way


2024 Member of NDAN

Natural Death Advocacy Network


Advaya - Thrive Member


2023 Statement of Attainment, CHCAGE005

Dementia Australia

Provide support to people living with dementia


2023-2024 Entering the Healing Ground: Francis Weller

Grief Ritual Leadership Training


2024 Ancestral Medicine, Daniel Foor

“Thank you for your love, kindness, wisdom and care in supporting me through Dad’s transition. It all really meant a lot to me that you cared so much. Thank you.” GD

Drift Wood

This work can be real, raw, tender and generative. It is a truthful meeting place for all of our parts, a kind of home-coming to belonging.


EMMA BEATTIE

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I pay wholehearted respects to Bundjalung Elders past, present and emerging;

I acknowledge their continuing connection to, and custodianship of - land, water, sky and Culture. In your company, I live in reciprocity with the lands on which I walk and work, swim and star wonder.

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MadeYou

No part of this website may be published or used without acknowledgement and prior consent. Special thanks to Laura Koens whose images have been used throughout the site.