Clasped Hands, Comfort, Hands, People




10:00am - 11:30am


4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14 & 5/21

Five Sessions

This course will be offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

Death—it’s normal, it’s natural. It will happen to us, it will happen to our loved ones. Yet why do we not know more about it? In this course you will learn from various speakers about the process of dying, choices and options, differing cultural beliefs, legal issues, new trends in dying and much more. Bring your questions. It’s time to increase your knowledge and mitigate your fear around death.

Curated by Bess Dillman with speakers from the community.

Session 1, April 16:  Author, professor and thanatologist, Deborah Alecson, will speak on: "Can we come to terms with our mortality when living in a death-phobic and death-denying culture such as ours?" 

Session 2, April 23: Joe Roy, director of Birches Roy Funeral Home, Great Barrington, on funeral home services; and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes from Sacred Spaces, on her business that provides care in the home for the body after death and before burial or cremation.  Straight talk about what happens to the body after death.

Session 3, May 7: Dr. Kyneret Albert, medical director of HospiceCare in the Berkshires. will speak on what hospice does, the care it provides and and the many services it offers; when it is appropriate to turn to hospice and the advantages of hospice care.

Session 4, May 14: Wisdom from various religious leaders on cultural and ethnic variations of dying rituals and beliefs. Panelists include: Rabbi Barbara Cohen, spiritual leader of Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Great Barrington; Father Brian McGrath, pastor of St. Mary’s in Lee and other Berkshire parishes; and Rev. Liz Goodman, from the Church on the Hill (UCC) in Lenox and Monterey UCC.

Session 5, May 21: Paula Almgren, Esq., Almgren Law, Lenox.  Legal issues and the importance of having a financial and health care plan in place in the event of your incapacity or death. Accounting for your assets and ensuring they pass as you wish as easily as possible; declaring end-of-life goals and ensuring that your wishes are honored by your health care agents.

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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 |

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