SBNR and New Trends in Death and Dying

The spiritual but not religious (SBNR) movement is creating new trends in death and dying.

Because many SBNRs don’t belong to organized religion, their approach to death and dying is less traditional. SBNRs  are creating new sacred spaces, new rituals and new eulogies.

We are beginning to see more home funerals where the family takes care of the loved ones instead of them being whisked away to a remote funeral home to be tended to by strangers. This type of intimacy hearkens back to the days before the medical profession and funeral industry made death care a profession, instead of something natural and intuitive.

Many people are re-thinking death, questioning what has happened to our awareness of and involvement in this most sacred passage. They are searching for ways to reclaim it from institutional sterility. Paradoxically, SBNRs are breathing new life into death and dying.

I just learned of a fascinating conference from my friend Dr. Sarah Kerr of Soul Passages. The Afterlife Awareness Conference is flat out SBNR. The panel includes psychic mediums, shamans and clairvoyants. But this is a serious conference with many doctors and academics. The doyen of near death experience (NDE), Dr. Raymond Moody, is also presiding.

While this conference might be a bit esoteric for the tastes of some, it is the new frontier of death ritual and engagement. Anyone who caters to the needs of the dying, whether that is funeral planning or bereavement, could learn a lot about the needs of SBNRs by attending a conference like this.

Conference is from Friday June 5th to Sunday June 8th, 2014  in Portland, OR. Live event streaming can be purchased for a reasonable price, making this knowledge easily accessible to hospice and palliative care teams.

Click here to visit the site.