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Living Well After Loss Listening Tour

We're surfacing and sharing what’s working and why, in order to imagine a better future of what it means to live and die in America. 

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Americans have greater agency over the end of their lives and how to memorialize those they love than ever before. For many, the problem is not a lack of options, but a lack of knowledge of those options, or a lack of access, owing to political and economic disenfranchisement. We want to help families navigating the unknown learn from others who've been there, surfacing the array of programs and practices that real people facing the loss of a loved one have found to feed mind, body, and soul.

We believe that buried beneath our most isolating experiences lie the seeds for rich community, empathy, and meaningful connection.

We propose a month-long pop-up dinner series in community gardens and public spaces, hosted in partnership with local community organizations in cities across the country. We'll invite residents of varying ages, creeds, and cultural and economic backgrounds for a chance to talk openly about our experiences of death and dying and grief and loss, and what it means to live well after.

We'll use the dinners to develop an open-sourced Guide to Living Well After Loss -- one that can be continually updated, as people share and discover their own stories, tips, and practices for living and dying well. We wish to offer an alternative to the expert-driven, time-stamped, and culturally out-of-touch resources so often found in the bereavement section of the local library. The guide, available for free online and in analog form, will help those who don't know what questions to ask identify what they're looking for, and where to go to get what they need.

In addition to the guide, we'll create tools and materials to help others host similar conversations in their local communities.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We'll draw heavily on our existing network of Dinner Party hosts and friends in cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Oakland, and Philadelphia. We plan to work closely with local partners ranging from the LA Food Policy Council to Thread in Baltimore.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

The app world is awash in digital safe deposit boxes, checklists, & means of securing your digital legacy. A growing number of “death doulas” have joined the nurses, social workers, chaplains, & volunteers who power the more than 4K hospice agencies in the US.

We want to create a living map of resources like the above. We invite the OpenIDEO community to join us on a listening tour, helping surface what’s working & why, & to imagine a better future of what it means to live & die in America.

Tell us about your work experience:

We're people who've seen the best & worst of healthcare firsthand. We're creators of The Dinner Party (, a community of 20-30-somethings who've each experienced significant loss, out to turn one of our most isolating experiences into a source of profound connection.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm


Join the conversation:

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I like this idea a lot. A type of community support group could grow out of this, naturally pushing leaders to the forefront to offer support to those one step behind in the process. Supported by providers in the community at different levels

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