Raha Kudo * Design for Dying
A place where people can design their own passing
and for their Caregivers to rejuvenate

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to help others...

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Board of Directors

President: Jim Marshall
Financial Officer: Suzanne Wouk


Board Members
Jackie Fitzhenry
Jeremy Griffey


Medical Advisors:
Arnold Leff, M.D.
Ralph Potkin, M.D.
Joshua Schiffman, M.D.


Ram Dass
Michael Corral
Suzanne Pfeil


Executive Director:
Valerie Leveroni Corral

Raha Kudo:
Design for Dying Project
Non-profit 501(c) Corporation
Mailing Address:
849 Almar Street #C317
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831.425-0423

Valerie Leveroni Corral on:
A home care experience

I had completed the four-month vigil at
the Santa Cruz home of my beloved friend.“L” was a single mother of a 16-year-old girl. More than 30 volunteers organized as a team to meet the ongoing needs that facing death requires. On a summer morning, “L” died peacefully.

I had prepared her body for honoring;
washing, anointing and dressing her.
I was grateful for many things. I was
grateful that we could carry out her wish
to die at home surrounded by family and friends. I was grateful that her daughter’s loving touch and last utterance of love hung in the room as the thread to carry “L” into what lay beyond.

After some time a hospice worker arrived, she stood quietly looking at L’s adorned body, cloaked in red silk, haloed by flowers, candles burning.

After a long silence, she spoke, “I haven’t seen anything like this since I was in India.This is beautiful.”

Since 1993 at our collective,
Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana
(WAMM, www.wamm.org), we have
witnessed the death of at least one
member a month from terminal illness.
Some of our patients were alone and
without resources. In these cases, and
whenever asked, other WAMM members
organized into caregiver teams
to help our friends greet death with as
comfortable and noble a transition as

We have designed Raha Kudo, meaning
the pathway to heaven, as a comprehensive
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Our extraordinary approach combines
all aspects of care and support
within a loving environment.
Information gained is organized and
presented for the enrichment of the dying,
their loved ones and for the benefit
of others and our caregivers.
Our mission sets Raha Kudo apart
from other human service organizations.
Our dedication to education and research
is crucial in developing a depth
of care and understanding essential in
the exploration of alternatives during
death’s journey.


Our aim at Raha Kudo, Design for
Dying Project is to offer help when
death approaches, assisting in all aspects
that may arise; providing a
personalized model of support, including
organizing schedules, 24-hour care,
and identifying and sharing the balance
of tasks.

Raha Kudo is made up of a sensitive,
compassionate team to fill in the gaps
of care as needed.

We see ourselves as midwives to the
dying, extending a choice for deinstitutionalization
at this critical time of
life, helping people stay in their own
homes as they prepare for what lay


The Doctor(s) said "get your affairs in order"
Help! What does that mean?

A printable .pdf file

We recommend that you attach this list, with papers bearing the listed information, to your copy of your Raha Kudo Membership Form.  Keep them together in a secure but readily available folder which can be easily found after death.

Include a note regarding any provision for partial or full payment in advance of funeral costs, inducing title and location of account, its number, and:

  •     a dated list of additional details on the final disposition of your body, such as:

  •     names and addresses of recipients of donation of your body

  •     or of specific organs,

  •     cemetery plot description and location

  •     or columbarium niche number and description

  •     any desired inscription,

  •     place of scattering of ashes,

  •     or details of desired services.

Provide us with a dated list of any expected death benefits such as:

  • Social Security lump sum death benefit,

  • Veterans Administration reimbursement for funeral and cemetery costs (a copy of discharge papers ready for use in making the claim may prove useful)

  • lump sum payment or cancellation on a pension

  • credit union account

  • accident insurance or mortgage

  • dated list of all life insurance policies in force including serial numbers:

Dated list of the following:

  • location and appropriate numbers and combinations of safe deposit box(es), strong boxes, safes and their keys. 

  • credit cards and charge accounts, with serial numbers. 

  • list of merchandise or property on which payments must be made, with dates and amounts. 

  • list of bank, credit union, building and loan, and stock brokerage accounts with serial numbers.

  • list of securities and property which you own. 

  • list of names and addresses of your lawyer, accountant, next-of-kin and executor of your estate. 

  • list of all important papers in your safe deposit box(es).

  • list of all important papers and other valuable items not kept in your safe deposit box, with their locations, such as:

  •     insurance policies,

  •     automobile title slips,

  •     bank books,

  •     income tax returns,

  •     birth marriage and divorce certificates,

  •     discharge paper

  •     jewelry

  • A copy of your will and note of the location of the original

  • list of newspapers/magazine/journal subscriptions,

  • book and record clubs to which you belong

  • any other organizations to which you belong. 

Check list of items for NEXT-OF-KIN.

Some or all these tasks will need to be done at time of death. We recommend that this check list be attached to the other papers mentioned above:

  • Consult written directions for funeral arrangements and disposition.

  • Notify all insurance companies

  • Notify Social Security office and Veterans Administration if eligible for benefits.  (The funeral director may assist in this.)

  • Check for other death benefits such as:

  •     credit union accounts,

  •     pensions, etc.

  • Notify mortgage lenders

  • Notify book and record clubs,

  • Notify magazine subscriptions,

  • Notify banks,

  • Notify stock broker

  • Notify credit card companies

  • Notify merchants where deceased had accounts.

  • Notify Post Office of forwarding address to survivor or executor. 

  • Notify the funeral director named on the Membership Statement form.

  • Ask for enough copies of the death certificate for life insurance claims and similar demands. 

  • Notify medical school, eye bank, or similar organization if arrangements have been made for donation of body or organs. 

  • Decide on time and place of service, if any, in consultation with clergyman, reader, or other appropriate persons. 

  • List and notify:

  •     musician,

  •     reader,

  •     pall bearers,

  •     others who may participate in the service

  •    immediate family,

  •     close friends,

  •     employer,

  •     union,

  •     lawyer,

  •     accountant

  •     executor or administrator of estate.

  •     distant people to be notified and arrange for letter.

Here is what the newspaper is likely to want:

  • full name,

  • age,

  • place of birth

  • place of death,

  • cause of death,

  • occupation,

  • degrees,

  • memberships,

  • military service,

  • outstanding work,

  • survivors in immediate family,

  • time and place of services, if any

Good ideas

  • Keep lists of :

  •     calls,

  •     flowers,

  •     notes and arrange for acknowledgment.

  • Make needed household arrangements  for:

  •     child care

  •     hospitality for visiting relatives.


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