Hello, thank you so much for being here. You're exactly who I'm doing this work for.
I've been interested in death and dying most of my life. My father died of cancer at home when I was 14, and from that experience, I carried both fascination and fear around mortality. I focused these feelings on Victorian Mourning customs which allowed me to romanticize death and grief while keeping it at a distance. When I was 38, I had the deeply moving experience of being with my mother when she died, which you can read about in the journal section. At that point, my curiosity and fascination became a longing to understand. I wanted to understand how we die, and why we don't talk about it. I began avidly reading and searching in order to make peace with the fascination and fear I had felt for so long. I have come to embrace the fact that death is as natural a process as birth, and deserves the same reverence and wonder. We will all experience the loss of people we love, and eventually, we will die, too. I think this can be a powerful point of connection.
I became an artist, and I make mourning dolls and memento mori embroideries, and, sometimes, tiny shadowboxes of sorrow and beauty. These can be found at FloMade on both Instagram and Etsy. I am a volunteer for Hospice, as well as a member of the Funeral Consumer's Alliance.
I started Beginning at the End because I want to have conversations about death and dying, and to connect with my 'fellow travelers to the grave' along the way. I want to make peace with my mortality as I help others face their own. I love to organize and prepare for things, and when I saw people I cared for struggling after the deaths of their loved ones, I wanted to help. I saw their long and tiring searches for paperwork and their frustration with unknown accounts and unknown passwords. I realized that my interests and talents could merge here. Organizing, planning ahead, and death.