Conversations on Living and Dying Well

Laurie Huston-2-rainbow compressed
Photo courtesy of Laurie Huston

Bonner General Health Community Hospice is sponsoring in partnership with North Idaho Palliative Care Coalition a week-long conversation about "Living and Dying Well" in Sandpoint from October 14th - 19th, 2019. The collective mission of the group is, "To create a community where dying is acceptable, normal and valued". Activities throughout the week will include art, music, poetry, movement, and film to engage community-wide conversations, experiences, and education to inspire dialogue about the journey of 'living and dying well' in our community.

Our Core Values:

  • To create a community where dying is acceptable, normal and valued
  • To engage, uplift and inspire our community members to be in “grassroots” conversation while valuing both living & dying
  • To assist our community members in preparing for end-of-life and/or unexpected illness through advanced care planning
  • To empower our community members to make decisions that will provide dignity, value, and peace at the end of life
  • To create a shared community knowledge by using art & meaningful conversation about ‘living life’ & ‘embracing death’


The week-long series of events will include:

Monday, October 14th 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ~ Death Cafe - People gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view that helps people make the most of their (finite) lives'.

Tuesday, October 15th ~ Poetry Reading & Music - Open mic with music & conversation

Wednesday, October 16th ~ "Living & Dying Well" Special Podcast on KRFY Radio 88.5 FM with Suzy Prez and Chris Bessler at 8:00 a.m. with Dr. Nicole Pelly and Lissa DeFreitas

Thursday, October 17th ~ Season of Life Stroll - A facilitated nature hike on the Pend Oreille Bay Trail

Friday, October 18th ~'Death Over Dinner' A community meal with conversation

Saturday, October 19th ~ Capstone Event at the Panida Theater - A series of movies scenes moderated by a panel of Palliative Care experts & community members including questions and conversation from the audience about 'living & dying well' in our town.


The Gift of Conversation

"As we come together in conversation, we 'acknowledge each other's unique journey of living life'. We discover through the journey of great heights and depths that life and death are not separate. When we bring these together, we tend to increase the value of life itself, including our relationship with all things." ~ Lissa DeFreitas



Through the week of October 14-19th, we will host ongoing education regarding ‘advanced directives’ at a local downtown location and provide assistance with completing advanced directives to community members.  We will also offer a hands-on community art classes & events for individual & families to allow a cultural expression of the living and dying well journey. Heidi Hampe will facilitate a hands-on experience with ‘weaving a casket’ while engaging us in a journey of ‘Re-Wilding Death’.  This will be an experiential journey of both conversation & creation – as individuals weave together stories & experiences in ‘living life’.

Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) will offer 3-4 experiential art classes during our Week of October 14-19th – TBA in our downtown location.

Our local Mayor Shelby Rognstad will generate a PROCLAMATION to honor our “Conversations on Living & Dying Well’ week of October 14 – 19, 2019 – please come and show your support at the Sandpoint City Council Meeting on 09/18/19.

Living & Dying Well Book Club, Conversations and Library Display

Three community book reads will occur, and a display will be available at the East Bonner County Library August 28-October 8, 2019. Click the link for more information.

For additional information about our upcoming week-long grass-roots conversation, please contact Lissa DeFreitas at Bonner General Health Community Hospice at 208-265-1185 or