Death Study Circle

The Death Study Circle is an ongoing, live, monthly study circle open to all.

Tuition is 100% donation based.



I’ve held the hands of the dying. I’ve held the bodies of women as they sway with the hard pain of labor. I know the smell of birth and death. I’ve come to embrace the truth that standing with an open heart in the presence of birth is very much like standing with an open heart in the presence of death.
~ Amy Wright Glenn, Holding Space ~ On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go 

Join Institute Teacher Garrett Drew Ellis 

(Learn more about Garrett’s story in this recent Huff Post news article)

Death Study Circle
Last Saturday of every month 6-7pm EST


To register, contact Garrett Drew Ellis: 
*Please note that Study Circles are not recorded.


What does it mean to die?
How is death understood in contemporary society?
How is death portrayed in the media, in our religious/spiritual/wisdom traditions?
How do you hold space for death in your own heart?

Each month, Garrett facilitates an hour long study circle drawing upon:

*Teachings on death/dying from the world’s wisdom traditions
*Contemporary research in thanatology
*News articles relating to death/dying
*Efforts to transform our death & grief phobic culture
*Personal stories/experiences


All are welcome.

The New York Times Magazine “The Movement to Bring Death Closer


When we lose someone we love, we should remember that the person has not become nothing.  ‘Something’ cannot become ‘nothing,’ and ‘nothing’ cannot become, ‘something.’  Science can help us understand this, because matter cannot be destroyed—it can become energy.  And energy can become matter, but it cannot be destroyed.  In the same way, our beloved was not destroyed; she has just taken on another form.  That form may be a cloud, a child or the breeze.
We can see our loved one in everything.

Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear


We honor the diversity of our lived experiences and
the ways that our intersectional identities inform our perspectives.

Writing and finding himself in the field of memoir, remembrance, death and grief for as long as he can remember, Garrett Drew Ellis ~ (he/him) established himself as a professional writer in 2005 and as an End of Life Doula in 2019. That same year, Garrett founded Beyond Morning, offering doula and storytelling services after receiving training from INELDA (The International End of Life Doula Association).

Garrett studied English at Central CT State University and has been a ghostwriter and author for almost 20 years. He has been a hospice volunteer. The author of “Write Until You Feel Better” and the forthcoming, “Writing In Memoriam”, Garrett works locally in the Central Pennsylvania area and offers his services nationwide through digital platforms. He speaks at workshops, leads groups and works with individuals to process death and grief, document their lives and to help them do the same for others. (Bio originally published here).