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Bio


Janine Violini

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Bio


Janine Violini

 

Janine is a second-generation Canadian of Italian heritage whose family stayed true to their cultural fervor for funerals. She recalls how worried she was that she would be turning six without having seen a dead body. The normalization of death within her community fostered an early and enduring respectful curiosity. As an adult, Janine reflects with gratitude on her father's willingness to openly share and discuss his grief when loved ones died over the years. The deep learning from those sorrowful, yet healing, times inspired her to put her event planning skills to meaningful use helping friends and family prepare alternative and complementary funerals. It was also the inspiration for her to complete her Certificate in Thanatology along with Jamie Whittaker while they were teaching together in post-secondary. These colleagues became true friends through their shared awakening to impermanence. The resulting growth inspired them to develop workshops and webinars to bring death to life in others.

 
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Bio


Jamie Whittaker

Bio


Jamie Whittaker

 

Jamie’s lifelong interest in learning about death culminated when she stumbled upon a Day of the Dead celebration in France in the late 90s. Seeing an entire village congregate in the cemetery, sharing memories, sorrows, and laughter, epitomized the idea that we can maintain meaningful connections with our dead. She came home with an even deeper desire to learn all she could about this tradition and the ways other cultures approach death. She went on to become a teacher and an event planner while fostering an informal education in death by reading voraciously on the subject. Since then, Jamie has completed her Certificate in Thanatology (the study of death, dying, and bereavement), and has also become co-host/facilitator of Death Café in Calgary with Janine Violini. She has worked with Janine on educating others on death literacy with the hopes that integrating death into our lives will encourage more meaningful living while reacquainting us with death.