Do You Have Your Ducks in a Row?

3 cute ducks by the lake water edge background

When was the last time you attended an educational session with People’s Memorial Association? Things might look a little different than you remember. We are thrilled to share some updates!

We know the truly bizarre experience of pandemic living has led to more people than ever thinking about their mortality and what a “good death” looks like for them. So many things have changed in the last year, especially with respect to access to our normal grieving and celebrating tools.

People's Memorial Care logoAs a deathcare education and consumer advocacy nonprofit, at People’s Memorial we are very familiar with how tough it can be to grapple with such weighty topics … not to mention how daunting it can be to have meaningful conversation about our wishes and concerns with the ones we love. Nobody likes to talk about death for fear that acknowledging it, brings it. After over 80 years of doing this work, at PMA we can promise that that is just a superstition.

We remember feeling a little worried last spring that the very necessary shift of all of PMA’s programming to be entirely online would mean reaching fewer folks in our community. As it turns out, with the ease of signing on in your PJs and not hassling with parking, we were delighted to find instead a 230 percent increase in attendance, including folks from five other countries. Wow!

In 2020, with the help of our absolute A-Team of amazing presenters, we were able to build up a robust webinar library on our website with recordings of all of our “greatest hits” (Advance Planning, Funeral Options, Estate Planning), and even some new content (Death Doulas, Corneal Donation, Green Funerals). Now you can review those recordings whenever you need to!

Ducks in a Row iconWe’ve mapped out our dream schedule of courses for 2021 and look forward to bringing a themed series to life each month. Our sessions will be more in-depth and cover more subjects than ever before.

We kicked off the new year with a series called “Supporting Those with Chosen Families,” then in February we focused our efforts on highlighting the ways you can take a do-it-yourself approach to funerals, including a workshop on writing obituaries that was a smashing success. And then, in March we hosted a Death & Taxes series in advance of dreaded tax season.

It’s taken a lot of hard work to bring these opportunities to members and nonmembers alike, but it’s work worth doing. Though we now offer our webinars for $5 to our members and $10 to nonmembers, our upcoming April series is free to the public!

PMA has teamed up with The Seattle Public Library to bring our “Ducks in a Row” series back, including an updated Funeral Options webinar that includes information on recently legalized greener options—alkaline hydrolysis (aquamation) and natural organic reduction (recomposition). We’d love to see you at one (or all) of the online sessions!

Register and save your seat by visiting our website. Got questions? Leave a message at 206-325-0489 or e-mail

We can’t wait to learn with you in 2021!

Beverly TrykContributor Beverly Tryk is the Communications Manager at People’s Memorial Association.

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of AgeWise King County.