Zen and the Art of Dying
From her origins as a young mother in the UK, to her present day identity as a lesbian, activist, and self-described deathwalker in the idyllic seaside town of Byron Bay, Australia, Zenith (Zen) Virago's personal and professional experiences quietly challenge our core assumptions about life and dissolve our fears around death. The most sought-after marriage celebrant in an increasingly commercialized wedding destination town, Zenith is also co-founder of the Australian Natural Death Care Centre, an organization that provides end-of-life decision planning and DIY funeral alternatives to residents of Australia's North Coast. Zenith's work models a grassroots international Natural Death Care Movement that is gaining momentum as Baby Boomers begin to retire and are demanding more personalized, empowered, and meaningful choices around end-of-life matters, just as they did with the natural childbirth movement. Her example, and the willingness of Byron Shire's citizens to join her cause, invite each of us to reexamine and reclaim a more active role in how we live, love, and die.