ADEC has been my professional home since 1994. I had been working with hospice for two years and felt a passion for working with dying people and the grief that goes with expected death. But joining ADEC was like an explosion of new learning and dialogues and experiences that showed me how much there was to learn to become an accomplished death professional.
I learned about the value of research. I was astonished at the array of clinicians I met in so many practice settings. I was thrilled to be able to meet with other death educators, all using different modalities and innovative practices with different audiences. I was awed by the variety of multi-cultural and international perspectives we included and gratified that I could use our distance learning to be a student during the year. But for me, both attending and presenting at the annual conferences created a sense of ownership in how the organization grew and prospered. I’ve only missed two conferences in 24 years.
I was able to help develop and chair the Death Educators special interest group; I served on the Item Writing committee to shape the questions for the Certification process, and several years ago I was voted in by membership to sit on the Board. ADEC members actively share in its activities and shape its future, and that shared ownership has been important to me.
I was honored to accept the first award for Community Education in 2018. I would not have had the curiosity, support and experiences to become the person or professional educator I am today if I hadn’t received the education and camaraderie I’ve gotten in ADEC.
The Association for Death Education and Counseling® is an international, professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing diversity in death education, care of the dying, grief counseling and research in thanatology. Based on quality research, theory and practice, the association provides information, support and resources to its international, multicultural, multidisciplinary membership and to the public.