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Death is something we all experience, yet we seem to avoid talking about it until just before we are face to face with death itself. At Stand Up Speak Up, this is a topic close to our hearts. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer in October 2019, our co-founder Karla has been actively trying to find peace with the life she has lived and her eventual death.

That’s why Karla is bringing her listeners along on her NEW series called “What Happens Next?

After three years of living with cancer, Karla has hit a roadblock marked by many questions – What happens next? Why am I still alive? What makes a life worth living? Why are we so hard on ourselves? What stops us from finding love, joy, peace? Why is death not talked about more? What happens after we die?

In this series premiere episode, we focus not on death itself, but on preparing for it. We prepare for the arrival of new babies and weddings with showers, and sometimes even throw parties for divorces, so why do we so often leave the plans for commemorating our deaths in the hands of others?

Come along as your host Karla Stephens-Tolstoy sits down for the first time with Death Doula, Grief Educator and Celebrant Doreen Thibert, who founded One Thread Consulting and offers services for both those preparing for their own deaths as well as for the loved ones they leave behind.

At the age of seven, Doreen experienced her first death: her 80-year-old grandmother. The passing left an immense imprint on Doreen, not only because of the sadness, but because of the community feeling of her loved ones coming together. It was that feeling that would grow into a life-long interest to support others through the dying process and change the narrative surrounding death from one of sadness and fear to one focused on how death is a shared life experience.

Throughout her 35-year career, Doreen has made a difference in many lives, including working alongside Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Charity in India, fundraising supplies for orphanages in Romania, and providing medical supplies in Afghanistan. Doreen has also worked as a nurse, in key positions with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and as Education Coordinator at the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County.

Host: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy

Editor: Jonnica Hill

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