• Dying, Death

    and other matters of the living

    "Reclaiming Death as an Honoured part of Life" *

  • Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network

    Based in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada

    and serving the Cariboo-Chilcotin


    * “Reclaiming Death as an Honoured part of life“ is a quote from

    Judith McGill; Ontario Death Midwife and Death Educator.

  • Join us for our upcoming Death Café,

    November 26th, 2021 ~ Learn More

    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network: What we're all about.

    Dying, Death and Remembrance


    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network is based in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada. We are reaching out to connect with others who are interested in rekindling a culture that recognizes and responds to death and dying in natural and meaningful ways. "Reclaiming Death as an Honoured Part of Life." (Judith McGill)


    Our focus is on increasing death literacy in the region and to help and encourage each other as we build a holistic community deathcaring network in the Cariboo, and throughout rural British Columbia.


    CCDC Network is a nonprofit in BC under the official name of Cariboo Community Deathcaring Association. Our first membership and fundraising drive is underway!  Annual membership in the association is $10. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will be used to continue our work in the community.

    Please note that we are unable to issue tax receipts because we are not a Registered Charity. Once our Nonprofit is well established and we can show a strong base of support, we will look at applying for Charitable Status.


    We are currently hosting Virtual and Community Death Cafes, and we successfully hosted a local Death Festival in partnership with the national Swan Song Festival on October 26th, 2019. Visit the Archive here. Join us at our next Virtual Death Cafe. Follow us on Facebook.


    We provide access to information for individuals and families who want to be more proactive and hands-on with dying and death. We are reaching out to and working with local resource people and organizations involved in offering deathcaring services.

    We are enthusiastically planning a series of Death Talks in 2021 and we are in the beginning stages of establishing a Natural Burial Sanctuary in the Cariboo.


    Both founding members of the Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network are trained as End-of-Life Doulas.


    Angela Gutzer studied with the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Angela is transitioning from her 12-year career as a Veterinarian to her passion for the holistic deathcaring of people and pets. Angela has a special interest in guiding families through the home funeral process.


    Nicola Finch took her End-of-Life Doula training through Douglas College. She brings her online expertise, and her decades of involvement with deathcaring; personally and professionally. Nicola has a special interest in natural burial and death literacy through education.


    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network is part of a much larger movement of reclaiming deathcare and bringing the conversations about dying, death, and bereavement back home.

    Some of the things we’re addressing locally are home funerals, legal issues & practices around end of life in BC, end of life planning (Advance Care Planning), End-of-life Choices, MAiD, a local Natural Burial Cemetery for people and pets, greener cremations, Coffin Clubs, building a stone barrow/pit house for ashes, dying at home, and home funerals.


    We invite you to join the conversation. Drop us a note if you would like to be on our mailing list for news and upcoming events.


  • Who we are

    CoFounders of Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network

    Small Business Owner and Death Doula; Nicola Finch

    Veterinarian and Death Doula; Angela Gutzer

    Nicola Finch

    Nicola brings her leadership skills and online expertise to the Network along with decades of involvement with deathcaring personally and professionally. She has a particular interest in death literacy through education and Natural Burial. Nicola took her Death Doula training through Douglas College and is a member of End of Life Doula Association of Canada EOLDAC



    Angela Gutzer

    Angela is transitioning from her 11-year career as a veterinarian to pursue her passion for holistic deathcaring of people and pets. She currently works as a locum at various locations throughout BC. Angela has a particular interest in guiding families through the home funeral process. Angela completed ITM’s extensive Contemplative End of Life Care Program.


    250 267 4636

  • CCDC Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations on Dying, Death and Disposition

    Written by Nicola Finch and originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Green Gazette. In many respects, our new reality feels like a return to an old way of being with a slower, gentler focus on family and community and on the world under our feet—the natural, physical world. We have...
    November 21, 2019 · Deathcaring · 2
    by Nicola Finch I came to an understanding when I was quite young, that grief and loss were part of life. My mother grieved the death of her father. I knew into the depth of my being that her grief was a big part of who she was and that she had a magnificent capacity for love. My mom's dad;...
    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network is all about reaching out and making connections so that when we or someone we love is dying, we have an informed and compassionate community holding us. In today’s changing landscape of death and dying, everyone has an important role to play; individuals,...
    More Posts
  • Keeping the conversation going.

    Natural Burial petition (Artwork: The Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin)

    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network and Natural Burial in BC will continue to keep you up to date on the progress of establishing a Natural Burial Ground in Williams Lake, British Columbia.


    We have identified that Green Burial options are a priority for many residents of Williams Lake and the Central Cariboo. Currently, there are just two disposition options available at the Williams Lake Municipal Cemetery. The cemetery offers cremation or a traditional casket burial with a mandatory fiberglass vault.


    We've had word from Cindy Walters, Municipal Services Coordinator at the City of Williams Lake that “...our current cemetery location does not have room for expansion for natural burials at this time.”

    The good news is ...
    "...in the next 5 to 10 years (the City of Williams Lake) will be acquiring new land and the city is already discussing the new options that they can provide including a natural forested area for green burials.”


    So... if you want a natural burial in the Williams Lake Municipal Cemetery please hold off on dying for 5 to 10 years. :)

    And in the meantime, we are continuing to work toward creating a stand-alone woodland Natural Burial Ground in the Cariboo which will hopefully come to fruition in fewer than 5 years.



    It will be good to have options when Natural Burial is finally implemented in our local Cemetery, and when we have our community woodland burial ground up and running.


    If you are interested in working with us or learning more please be in touch. Email info@cariboonaturalburialsanctuary.ca



    OUR VISION for a Natural Burial Ground in the Central Cariboo

    We formed a nonprofit to fund-raise and organize the establishment of a natural burial ground in the Cariboo.

    Cariboo Community Natural Burial Association

    • A Woodland Burial Ground for people and pets
    • A building, a Gathering place
    • Stone Barrow or Pit Barrow for the safekeeping of Ashes in Urns
    • A Secular and Sacred place to come together in community and to remember our beloved dead.
    My Burial Shroud (Nicola Finch)


    Where to buy caskets and burial shrouds

    in British Columbia, Canada

    When someone we love dies, for the most part, we purchase our casket or coffin from the funeral home that is taking care of our beloved dead. But the times they are a-changing.

    "Under BC’s cemetery and funeral services law, you have the right to supply your own casket for interment or cremation as long as it meets certain requirements (such as the ability to be closed, hold weight and be sufficiently sealed). Similarly, you also have the right to supply your own container to hold the cremated remains of your loved one."


    Locally sourced, handcrafted caskets, coffins, DIY kits, trundles and burial shrouds are becoming available for sale direct to consumers.

    This means we can plan ahead. We can purchase or make our own coffin or burial shroud. You can even use your coffin as a bookshelf or a coffee table until it’s required. It means families and individuals can purchase a burial casket, cremation container, or a shroud and trundle and have it at home to personalize to prepare for our own use or for an immediate need.


    In British Columbia


    Cedar Creek Caskets

    "Cedar Creek Caskets is committed to producing a high-quality, culturally sensitive and environmentally responsible product that meets the needs of the Aboriginal community in British Columbia and beyond. Manufactured from sustainably sourced red cedar."


    Evergreen Coffin Company

    Coffins and Burial Shrouds

    "Our coffins are made with a mix of sustainably grown BC pine. Our coffins are 100% bio-degradable, which means we use no metals or plastic, plywood, or toxic glues. We use only untreated Manilla hemp rope for the handles, a strong and natural option. We do not apply finishes to our coffins, leaving the wood the way nature made it, exquisite in its unique colour and grain qualities. Evergreen Coffin kits are flat packed for easy shipping and assembly. They are the economical and ecologically choice for a loved one, or as part of your own end of life preparations."


    Evergreen By Diana

    Burial Shrouds

    "My Shrouds are handcrafted from 100% Natural Cotton using locally sourced materials. Our team has over 50 years of experience in manufacturing products used in funerals across North America."


    Casket Plans

    Do it yourself Casket Kits & Plans



    DIY Burial Shrouds


    KORU Cremation/Burial 

    In Vancouver & North Vancouver

    "You can purchase items (urns, memorial jewelery, caskets) from KORU even if you are not one of their End of Life clients."

  • Let's keep talking

    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network

  • Death, Dying and Disposition. Resources for Williams Lake, the Cariboo and the BC Interior (Photo Soda Creek Cemetery)

    Cariboo Death Resources

    Death and Dying Resources for Williams Lake, the Central Cariboo and BC Interior



  • RESOURCES for Advance Care Planning

    in British Columbia

    Information and Links

    Because it's always too soon until it's too late.


    If it feels a bit daunting to tackle your Advance Care Planning, there's help available!

    Contact nicola@deathtalk.ca

    We can set up a Zoom call and get the process started, and finished!!

    It doesn't have to be complicated and it can even be fun.

    One thing's for sure, it feels really good to get it done.

    www.advancecareplanning.ca Excellent national and provincial resources


    Advance Care Plan to fill in and download From Dying with Dignity Canada


    MY VOICE Advance Care Planning BC Workbook Online


    Patient Pathways ~

    Excellent Resources http://patientpathways.ca/plan-ahead/in-case-of-emergency/

    The ICE form is one of the resources on their website.


    MOST The MOST form stands for "Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment" (to be completed with and signed by your health care provider) Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment encompasses six designations that provide direction on Resuscitation Status (code status); Critical Care Interventions; and, Medical Interventions. The orders are determined by the Most Responsible Physician (MRP).

    Another link for MOST information, from Island Health, BC.


    NO CPR form

    Capable patients may request that no cardiopulmonary resuscitation be started on their behalf. This should be done after discussions with their doctor or nurse practitioner. “No cardiopulmonary resuscitation” is defined as no cardiopulmonary resuscitation (no CPR) in the event of respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.


    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network ACP Resource List 


    Angela Gutzer
    Email / 250 267 4636 / CCDC Network
    Nicola Finch
    Email / Website / Facebook 778 765 1552
    The following businesses, services, and resources are listed as a public service. Information under each listing was taken from their own websites as of April 24th, 2018.
    ​​Cariboo-Chilcotin Funeral Service
    Email / Facebook / Website
    Five Rivers Crematorium
    Email / Website / 250-392-3234
    Williams Lake Cemetery
    250.392.2311 / Email (Cindy)
    Overview of Local Health Services from the
    Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Website
    (Hospice palliative care is a philosophy of care and services which help relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness. Hospice palliative care does not hasten or delay death. Hospice palliative care is about access to the best possible quality of life at the end of life.)
    Williams Lake Hospice Society Website
    Quesnel and District Hospice and Palliative Care Association
    Grief Counsellor: Candace Collier
    Email / 250 305 9995
    Interior BC and Provincial
    Consumer Protection BC / Cremation & Funeral Services
    Family Caregivers of BC Website
    Canadian Virtual Hospice Facebook / Twitter / Website
    Green Burial Society of Canada Website / Facebook
    National Home Funeral Alliance Website
    A Will For the Woods Interested in Natural Burial?
    A Death in Your Family Website
    CINDEA  Website / Facebook
    WILLOW Website / Facebook
    KORU Website / Facebook
    LGBT End of Life Conversations Email / Website / Facebook
    The Memorial Society of British Columbia
    BEyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada Website / Email / Facebook
    Community Deathcaring Canada Website
    End of Life Doula Association of Canada Email / Website / Facebook
    Death Cafe Website / Facebook
    • Cariboo-Chilcotin Funeral Service serves Bella Coola, Williams Lake, Quesnel, and all communities in between.
    • Location  180 Comer Street, Williams Lake, BC V2G-1T6
    • Licensed Funeral Directors; David Wilson and Shane Gunn
    • Telephone  1-844-392-3234  
    • David Wilson, The Crematorium Operations Manager and a licensed funeral director, has been the main cremation operator at Five Rivers since it opened in 2002. "We will endeavor to honor the persons whose final disposition we are entrusted to oversee with integrity, dignity, and respect, without prejudice."
    • Location: 455 2nd. Ave North, Williams Lake B.C. V2G-1N3
    • The City of Williams Lake currently has one public Cemetery located at 455 Second Avenue North.  There is also one grave designated as cemetery land located at 850 Mackenzie Avenue, which is the William Pinchbeck Grave.
    • Current interment options include traditional burials for both full casket and cremated remains.  Arrangements for interment into the cemetery can be made through a funeral director or directly through the Planning Clerk at City Hall.  The City of Williams Lake allows people to pre-purchase plots as per our Williams Lake Cemetery Bylaw, through the Planning Clerk.
    • Plot information, cemetery fees or bylaw regulations are available from the Planning Clerk during the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays)  
    • "Williams Lake is the health care center for the South Cariboo and Chilcotin region serving a regional population of over 53,000 people. At the Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake, there are 31 beds and there are 26 active physicians. This is a Level 2 hospital, offering outpatient hemodialysis and chemotherapy. Permanent and visiting specialists provide services on internal medicine, cardiology, ophthalmology, psychiatry, and dermatology. All physicians have access to a pool of locums, who are available to provide vacation relief. In addition, Cariboo Memorial Hospital provides the following services: medical, surgical, obstetrical & gynecological, pediatric, internal medicine and mammography diagnostic services. The hospital offers 24-hour emergency room coverage. Williams Lake offers Community Health Services, which include nutrition counseling, speech and hearing services, and a travel clinic. Palliative Care and Home Support services are available here too.
    • For seniors, Williams Lake has a Seniors Activity Centre and three residences. Sunset Manor, which also accommodates people with disabilities, has 50 independent living apartment units and Glen Arbor is a 34 unit independent living complex. Retirement Concepts runs Williams Lake Seniors Village and Williams Lake Seniors Assisted Living Village and provides two types of living accommodation for seniors. There are independent assisted living suites for residents who wish to maintain their independence while knowing assistance is available when they need it. The suites are ideal for couples as well as singles. Williams Lake Seniors Assisted Living Village has 21 publicly subsidized assisted living units. In total, there are 113 residential care rooms, 101 assisted living suites and 17 independent living suites here."
    • A community based non-profit volunteer society that provides quality compassionate care for the dying and support for their families and friends.
    • Office location: 530 – 4th Avenue North, Williams Lake
    • Telephone: (250) 392-5430
    • Facebook
    • QDHPCA is a volunteer organization that seeks to ensure that all individuals and their families receive quality care when faced with life-threatening illnesses, end of life care, and bereavement support.
    • Whether you are looking for information on upcoming events or the Quesnel Hospice Unit; searching for current news & articles on palliative care; are in need of a Palliative Care Volunteer to help or would like to talk to someone about the grieving process, we are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. No referrals are required and our services are free to anyone that needs them. Our focus is on individual needs.​
    • Facebook
    • Candace provides loss and grief support.
    • The government agency responsible for regulating BC's Cremation and Funeral Services. Reliable and user-friendly information here, such as
    • "Steps to take following a death."
    • Or "How to privately transfer your loved one following a death".
    • Resources for End of Life / Death and Dying (Interior Health Area)
    • Information and Support on Advanced Illness, Palliative, and End of Life Care, loss and grief.
    • "This society, through education, advocacy, and a certification program, was established to help all Canadians understand and recognize the environmental benefits of green burial."
    • A US Non-Profit that provides excellent information supporting home funeral education. Their mission is to empower friends and families to care for their loved ones after death. Check out this page of resources For Families and Friends, knowing that rules and regulations in BC can be different, though it is a legal option here in BC to care for a loved one at home after death.
    • Excellent full-length documentary film. One man’s passionate wish for a legacy of green burials inspires a profoundly affecting and optimistic portrait of people finding meaning in death.
    • from People's Law School is for people in British Columbia who want to know what to do when a loved one dies. It covers preparing for the death of a loved one, what to do immediately after the death, making the funeral arrangements, and where to find support.
    • is a Canadian-based organization, which respects the wisdom of ancient death traditions and encourages the renewal of older death practices that are appropriate to our modern-day life. In the past, communities cared for their own dying folk; and creatively adapted, that approach to death is still an option available to us. CINDEA 's perspective is one of a wide range of initiatives that are drawing our culture into a deeper relationship with nature and the cycles of life and death — the modern version of "a good death" for all involved in it.
    • supports you to approach your end of life planning as a robust and meaningful expression of who you are. Co-founders Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante offer coaching, workshops and in time, self-study tools. Reena and Michelle are based out of Vancouver. They are super approachable and kind, and offer excellent programs and resources; in-person and online.
    • A grass-roots funeral business, serving you from Vancouver and the North Shore. Ms. Ngaio Davis, the founder of KORU "provides simple and tailored cremation, burial and ceremony services that help you care for, remember, mourn and celebrate your dead. KORU is a leader, innovator, and educator in what we see as a new age of death, dying and end-of-life care. Ngaio and her team have a keen interest in raising awareness about local sustainably sourced and community-minded products and practices." There is a wealth of information on their website.
    • KORU Cremation FAQ page is an excellent BC specific resource that addresses "some of the most common questions relating to the activities and value of all things ‘funeral/burial/cremation’." Questions such as "Do I need to use a funeral home?" and "What if a death occurs at home and is expected?"
    • Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Center
    • The only member-based, volunteer-driven memorial society in British Columbia. The Memorial Society provides an excellent list of resources specific to British Columbia.
    • Death Matters Live (this links to the archive of programs) brings matters of death and dying into authentic, honouring humorous, relevant and sometimes irreverent conversation.
    • The mission of the BEyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada is to acknowledge and accept our North American alienation from death and to encourage cultural re-engagement with community-centered dying, deathcare, and grief.
    • A Canadian Community of Practice, building a participatory organization to support and promote community deathcare in Canada.
    • Providing personalized End of Life Care, advocacy, training, community awareness, and support.
    • At a Death Cafe people talk about death over tea and cake. Death Cafes happen in 40+ counties. Find your nearest here: http://deathcafe.com/deathcafes/.
      Our objective is "To increase the awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives." Part of this is holding regular pop-up Death Cafes, where strangers meet to discuss death and eat delicious food.
      Over 5,300 pop up Death Cafes have taken place in 52+ countries.
    • Our local Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network holds monthly Death Cafes. You'll find us on Facebook @CCDCNetwork
    • Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), he is revolutionizing grief and dying in North America. Stephen is redefining what it means to live and die well.
      We're all going to Die.
      If nothing else, we have that in common.
      There are many practical questions to consider; there are the 'what if's' of a protracted illness, accident or a sudden death, there are legal requirements, deathbed wishes, family dynamics, decisions about ceremonies and rituals. Don't panic. There's help to figure it all out, and there is no time like the present.
      Here are BC specific links to four basic documents we should all have in place.
      Writing your Will
      Advance Care Directive
      • The Government of BC website recommends My Law BC and a lawyer or notary to ensure it's all in proper legal order.
      • Advance care planning is making a plan for your future health care while you’re still able to make health care decisions for yourself. My Voice; Advance Care Planning Guide
      • stands for “Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment”. MOST is a doctor's order that has 7 different levels of treatment that range from comfort care to intensive care.
      • Create an ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) health record and post it on or near your fridge.
        Free Printouts and helpful guidelines on the Patient Pathways website.

    CCDC Network on Facebook and Instagram

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