Death is not something we ordinarily associate with joy, but it’s an inescapable part of everyone’s lives. We usually try not to talk about it, but as of the day this episode is published, there have been almost 330,000 deaths worldwide and 94,000 in the US alone due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Whether we like it or not, even if no one in your family has been directly affected by the virus, death is on all of our minds. So, this conversation with the Reverend Maggie Burbank Yenoki couldn’t be more timely.
Reverend Maggie Burbank Yenoki is an Interfaith Minister whose ministry includes her calling as a Death Midwife and Transition Guide. She relocated to Southern California from Syracuse, NY in the fall of 2012 after receiving her Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ.
Rev Maggie has completed intensive study of The Art of Death Midwifery through Sacred Crossings in Los Angeles. She is a member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and is an advocate, supporter, and cheerleader for the movement toward open conversations on Death, Home Funerals, and Green Burials.
She and her husband George enjoy living out their Unitarian Universalist faith with passion in all they do. Most of their days are focused on the life and times of their beloved family and first grandchild (who arrived in early August) and their little Yorkie, Sophie.
One quick note – you may notice that ideas about afterlife come up in our conversation. I want to make sure that no matter what belief system you come from, even if the idea of an afterlife sounds silly to you, you’ll get something from this conversation. Rev. Maggie’s spiritual home is the Unitarian Universalist church, which welcomes different traditions and spiritual perspectives.
Films and TV shows mentioned in the interview that help us process ideas about death: