September 2019


Land Acknowledgment:
We acknowledge that this beautiful land that we call our home was forcibly vacated of its original and rightful caretakers, the Iswa (Catawba) and Gadua (Cherokee) people who have cared for it for millennia and, through resilience and persistence, despite generations of state-supported acts of removal and genocide,
continue to do so. 

Holding Space

for Living and Dying

Our Mission

"Improve the quality of life and death for those with a terminal illness and their caregivers, by offering support to meet basic needs, connect to community, and create meaning."

Our home is a model of co-housing where housemates share in non-medical, informal, and psychosocial support for fellow housemates with a terminal illness and their caregiver(s). This includes occasional shared meals, help with errands, trips and outings, help with basic tasks of daily living, and growing connections of friends and support networks. We also encourage others to explore this model for themselves and their communities by building and sharing knowledge, experience, and resources to make dying at home a safe and comfortable reality for those at the end of life who want it.

If you haven't been to Zuma Coffee in Marshall, NC and had a Zuma Gold Cookie... it's time to schedule a road trip. The housemates went with Gabriel's Aunt, Uncle, Cousin & her partner, during their family vacation with us. Pictured here, Erik and Eve smile at the camera while Yvette enjoys a bite of a chocolate cookie.
People at the last potluck seated around, some holding plates.

September Potluck 

Please join us this Wednesday, September 18th, from 6-9pm at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue, Asheville. Bring a dish, a guest, but please leave pets at home. We welcome neighbors, friends, people interested in or involved with end of life work, and colleagues to come together to share a meal and strengthen connections. Meet new people; expand and deepen your community.

(While there are a few parking spaces right next to the house, please reserve this for people needing to park close. Please do not park on the grass - there are fig trees planted there. There is a Baptist Church on the corner of the next street over, Mitchell Ave, and Haywood Road, that has a large parking lot. The house itself has a ramp that can be used by people who use a wheelchair to get into the main floor of the house, where all activity of the potluck will take place.) 

Gabriel's Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and her partner, all visited the house for their family vacation. They shared some meals, visited, and got a taste of what life is like at the house. They also explored and had some adventures around Asheville and surrounding towns. Gabriel's cousin has worked in healthcare, Aunt was an RN for many years before retiring, and Uncle is a grief counselor. Many laughs and stories were shared as they bonded, and they also got to experience and know a bit more about our life here. 
Erik's beloved grandmother Blanche died under hospice care last month in her daughter Edie's home, with Erik's mother, Aunt Edie, and Uncle Joe at her bedside. Erik and Gabriel were also able to see her a few times the last few weeks and days, offering a kind ear, a few practical tips, tender visits. We are amazed at Erik's Aunt and Uncle and mother as they held space for Blanche, and the many other family who came to be with her. We hold their spirit of caregiving with us as we encourage others who also walk this path. With the support of loved ones and community, perhaps we can make a peaceful death at home that so many say they wish for, a reality for more people. Pictured here, Erik and his mother hold Blanche's hands while she lies peacefully in her bed. 
A Labor Day tradition in Erik's family was to gather every year to celebrate his grandmother Blanche's birthday, which on this Sept 4th would have been her 98th. This year was marked by a celebration of Blanche's life and legacy. Erik's cousin Jason does amazing work for Black Mountain Home for Children and the family was able to gather on their West Campus for the weekend, and also learn about the work they do for children in the foster care system. Pictured here, family members laugh and share stories of their beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother. 


Families show love in many different ways, and for many of Erik's grandmother's kids and grandkids, this means a lot of competitive games. The playing fields of Black Mountain Home for Children's West Campus provided ample opportunity for the family to reconnect, reminisce, and celebrate Blanche's legacy. Erik and Gabriel are lucky to have known her and be part of such a loving group of people. 

Author, Chaplain, Birth Doula, and friend Amy Wright Glenn held a discussion and circle September 16th around the theme of "Holding Space" a concept central to what we envision our home to model and be. Amy founded the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death 

Erik's experience of losing his grandmother this past month and witnessing the love of her family who cared for her, has humbled us, and reminded us of the importance of love, family, and support during this time of someone's life. We look to our own families, and in our communities, for those examples of love, kindness, and care as we work on our project to support and encourage a model of cohousing for people with terminal illnesses and their caregivers, and continue to bring people together. 

It is heartening that we can share with each other through the potlucks, doula meetings, and events such as Amy's, that happen in our home and in the community. We look forward to many more connections and deepening the ones we have. 

Amy Wright Glenn and the attendees of the discussion. It was honor to be able to hold space for this special time to connect, reflect and share. 
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