“Living While Dying”: A Life-Affirming Documentary Film on How to Face the Fear of Death by Living Life to its Fullest
Join filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin for this documentary film of creativity, humor and courage followed by the invitation for the audience to address a topic once deemed taboo. The screening will be on Friday, June 8, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Children’s Chapel.
This 45-minute documentary presents an alternative: people living with terminal illness who greet the inevitable with courage, humor, creativity and acceptance. Though the subject is difficult, the film is surprisingly uplifting.
Cathy Zheutlin is on a brave quest to face mortality. Every screening is followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and invited guests. For the past 40 years, Zheutlin has made films that explore consciousness and encourage progressive change. Past projects include Lost Love and the documentary Just One Step: The Great Peace March, the story of a nine-month cross-country trek for global nuclear disarmament. A wife, mother and craniosacral biodynamic healer, Zheutlin recently completed the award-winning short, Spirituality in the Workplace.
Zheutlin traveled from Portland to Australia to Bali as she explored and unraveled her own fears with an open, upbeat style. Along the way, she met an Aboriginal elder and a “death walker” in Australia, and she witnessed a mass cremation in Bali. Because it’s personal, she invited her ninety-year old mom to an outside-the-box moment: sitting inside a box, a coffin, to talk with her about her end-of-life wishes.
Death is a big mystery, yet the outcome is 100% certain. Dispelling traditional fears and expectations about death, Living While Dying invites us to reimagine and set the stage for our own inevitable endings. It offers profound opportunities to uncover value, grace, and meaning for all stages of life.
Says Zheutlin, “It’s not really about dying at all. It’s about asking: ‘How am I living today, because I actually could die tomorrow … Is the life I am living today the life I truly want?’”
Wendy Haskell for the FUUSN Over 60’s