Birth & Death Among Us

with Stephen Jenkinson
and Kimberly Ann Johnson
A 3-series conversation
starting January 15th

Birth & Death Among Us

with Stephen Jenkinson
and Kimberly Ann Johnson
A 3-series conversation
starting January 15th

Maybe death and birth are like land.
It’s inconceivable that they could belong to anyone.
Maybe they are not our own.
They are entrusted to us for safe keeping.
They should be in better shape when we surrender them than when we assume them.

Birth and death are the bookends of one single life, and yet are they to serve that singularity? Or are they to serve something much larger?​

Is the relationship between the two only that they are these bookends or is there a deeper architecture that binds the two?

What do we owe the dead? What do we owe the unborn?

You are invited to be a part of the conversation

Dear Ones,

The meetings between Stephen Jenkinson and me have been characterized by genuine interest and a devotion to what arises in the moment. We do prepare, but we do not rehearse. We don’t “set each other up” to say the things we want to hear nor to try to create discord, where there surely could be some. In that way, it is truly alive, and something seems to happen that is beyond him and beyond me. There is a meeting beyond and between what we arrive to be faithful to. We are a not-quite-young younger woman and a not-quite-old older man, an expected pair that has seemed to strike a chord, an experience of eldering in action.

Last year, we did a five conversation series constellated to allow the subjects of Stephen’s major works to appear. Two hundred people from around the world listened in and sent in questions. Each Sunday we came back to one another and to each other to reckon and to wonder. Those conversations became the body of our book Reckoning. We then went on a tour to eight cities, wondering aloud in places as different as theaters, community centers, grange halls and we finished at the wood mill, Urban Timber, in San Diego. 

We’ve spoken with hundreds of people from Toronto to Sebastopol to Asheville, and many people have asked us why we haven’t spoken explicitly yet about birth and death. 

My bestselling book is The Fourth Trimester. Stephen Jenkinson’s bestselling book is Die Wise. I have worked in the birth trade as a doula, medical translator, and trauma educator. Stephen worked in the death trade accompanying the dying time of thousands of people as well as being the former programme director in a major Canadian hospital and former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school.

People have confessed to us their deep sorrows about the state of birth and death in Anglo North America. 

And people have further confessed in hushed tones that they cannot say what they really think or feel about these topics without fear of being placed in camps they don’t feel they belong to or furthermore ostracized completely. 

People say they can’t talk about topics like euthanasia, non-gendered birth language, big Pharma, free birthing, social media’s impact, the proliferation of birth imagery, and the booming birth and death industries.

This is just the beginning of what could be contended with.

So three Sundays in a row in January we are inviting you for live online reckonings with another midline, informed by our genuine curiosities, and yours too. We will ask you to wonder about the relationship between these two and send in your inquiries before and between sessions.

We will meet and contend with the gods of birth and death. 

We hope that you will join us. 

“Maybe the time has come to elaborate on the cross pollination of two areas of work, of concern and expertise and the two areas of gross poverty that proliferates in both of them."

- Stephen Jenkinson

“I love the exchange between you two, it’s raw and open and alive in the moment. It brings me back to this moment, like hanging with my grandparents and their friends years ago. Hearing truth. Keep it going. I hope you’re inspiring others to ‘be here’.” 

– Crystal Amber

The Details:

Online Format:


Dates: January 15th, 22nd and 29th

Times: Sundays at 9 am PT | 12 noon ET

Duration: 90-120 minutes


$225 Regular Price

About Stephen Jenkinson:

Stephen is a worker, author, storyteller, culture activist, and co-founder of the Orphan Wisdom School with his wife Nathalie Roy. The school is a teaching house for skills of deep living and making human culture that are mandatory in endangered, endangering times. He makes books, tends farm and mends broken handles and fences, succumbs to interviews, teaches and performs internationally.

He has Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work). 

Apprenticed to a master storyteller when a young man, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former program director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school.

Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker, a portrait of his work with dying people, and Lost Nation Road, a shorter documentary on the crafting of the Nights of Grief and Mystery tours.

About Kimberly Ann Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is an author, postpartum care activist, trauma educator, structural bodyworker and mother. She graduated Valedictorian from Northwestern University with a BS in Social Policy (‘97).

She studied yoga directly with the three main lineage holders of the Krishnamacharya tradition- Desikachar, BKS Iyengar, and Pattabhi Jois and taught yoga full time for 15 years, while also maintaining a Structural Integration practice.

When radically rearranged by childbirth, Kimberly’s life changed shape to attend to the cultural chasm of postpartum care, and as a result she trained in Somatic Experiencing and Sexological Bodywork to be able to help women heal from birth injuries, gynecological surgeries and sexual boundary violations.

She is the author of the recent Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power and Use it for Good published by the feminist imprint HarperWave as well as the early mothering classic, The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions and Restoring Your Vitality (Shambhala, 2017).

“I would listen to them speak all night”
- Eli Himovitz

Outtakes from recording Reckoning audiobook.

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