Secretary: Stephan Sibley
Financial Officer: Suzanne Wouk
Arnold Leff, M.D.
Ralph Potkin, M.D.
Joshua Schiffman, M.D.
Valerie Leveroni Corral
Design for Dying Project
Non-profit 501(c) Corporation
849 Almar Street #C317
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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
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
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
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
Here’s what modern day
luminaries have said
about participating in our own death:
“Being invited to the bedside of someone who is facing death is above all a
great honor; full and rich. There is time for everyone to cry, to laugh, to
wonder and to explore the possibilities and practice for their own death. It is
not that I know death, but that I have learned from the greatest teachers –those
who are dying.”
“In the Eastern Tradition, the
state of your consciousness at the last moment of life is so crucial that you
spend your whole life preparing. At the moment of death you let go lightly, you
go out into the light, towards the one, towards God The only thing that died,
after all, was another set of thoughts about who you were this time around.”
is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It
all depends on how you have lived.”
“Personally, I have been looking
forward to dying all of my life. Dying is the most fascinating experience in
life. You’ve got to approach dying the way you live your life – with curiosity,
hope, experimentation and with the help of your friends.”
“Ignore death up to the last moment; then, when it can't be ignored any longer,
have yourself squirted full of morphia and shuffle off in a coma. Thoroughly
sensible, humane and scientific, eh? ”