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Stephanie Sugars
Welcome, dear friends and guests!
Important Traffic Information for the day of Stephanie's Memorial

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder that Stephanie’s Memorial is on Saturday, April 22. The original post on March 15 with the link to Eventbrite is below in case you haven’t yet sent in your RSVP or if you want to know the details of the memorial again. (Please RSVP right away if you haven’t yet so we know how many people to expect.)

We also wanted to let you know that the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival is the weekend of Stephanie’s memorial, April 22 & 23. Sebastopol will be crazy traffic congested – especially on Saturday for the parade.

For those of us who are coming to the Stephanie’s memorial from out of town and even those of us who live in Sonoma County – you’ll want to AVOID traveling into, through, or anywhere near Sebastopol that day – particularly avoiding Hwy 12, Hwy 116, and Bodega Hwy into Sebastopol.

Alternate routes to consider…101 to Hwy 12 west, then right on Fulton, left on Hall Road, right on Willowside Road. Or take 101 to Guerneville Road (west) and then go south on Willowside. But do NOT take Hwy 12 into Sebastopol.


Memorial Planning Committee (Angela, Liz, Meg, and Melody)

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, Elinor, and Sandy

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Remembrances and Photos for Memorial

Dear Friends of Stephanie,

Hopefully you can attend Stephanie’s memorial but, if not, you can be present and remember her by sending a story, letter, card, or remembrance that we’ll make available for memorial guests to read. Please send by April 14, to either Liz Larew at For those attending please feel free to also send items for display.

And, if you have one or two photos of Stephanie you would like included in the slide show please send to her brother Dan at or his address at 614B Mormon St., Folsom, CA 95630. Please write your first and last name on the back of the “hard” copies and he will return them to you at the memorial. Depending on the response, Dan may not be able to include all the photos he receives but he will do his best to include at least one of yours. Photos need to be received by him by April 8, 2017.

Thank you,

Memorial Planning Committee (Angela, Liz, Meg, and Melody)

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Stephanie's Memorial - Saturday, April 22, 2017
Dear Friends,

Below is the Eventbrite link for Stephanie Sugars' Memorial on April 22nd. Please click on it to RSVP. Also you can see below the entire invitation to the memorial which you can print out as a remembrance of Stephanie.

We hope that all of you will be able to come and participate in this special day.

Please don’t forget to RSVP by April 10th and to bring a dish if you are staying for the potluck.

Love to all,

Angela, Meg, Melody and Liz (Memorial Committee)

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The Threshold of Life and Death: Bringing Death Home

We want to let you know about a conference about dying and death that was very close to Stephanie’s heart. She herself participated in and organized similar conferences and was very active in The Christian Community and a founding member of The Sacred Threshold Guild, both of which are co-sponsoring this conference. Many of Stephanie’s close friends who were with her during and after her death are helping to organize this conference and keeping her in their hearts as they do it.

This all began when, after Stephanie died, someone sent an email out to The Sacred Threshold Guild to ask how they could set up a vigil like Stephanie’s and what formal documents they would need to make that happen. When I got that email, I knew that it was time to do another conference about dying and death. Stephanie and I had organized a similar conference in 2005 together. I think she was there whispering in my ear telling me to do it! She would have been so happy to see this unfold and continue the discussions about death that were so dear to her heart!

If you are interested in home funerals, green burials and the kind of services and home vigil that Stephanie participated in, this conference may be of interest to you. The leading figures in the death movement in Northern California will be there, several of whom participated in Stephanie’s death (including Jerrigrace Lyons) along with the premier of the movie, “In the Parlor, The Final Goodbye”.

Sanford Miller, the Christian Community priest who visits us here in Santa Rosa who spoke so eloquently about Stephanie at her funeral, will give a talk on Friday night called “Conscious Crossing”, an esoteric Christian perspective on dying and death, based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me (Elinor Biller) at or call Meg McNees at (707)576-1570. Here is a shortcut link to the ticket and event information page: There is also information below about the conference.

We hope to see you there and at Stephanie’s memorial on Saturday, April 22.

With Love,

Elinor Biller


The Threshold of Life and Death: Bringing Death Home

Friday, March 10, from 7 pm to 9 pm and Saturday, March 11, from 1 pm to 5 pm

Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm, Sophia Hall,

655 Willowside Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Gain a spiritual understanding and anthroposophical perspective of what is involved in this sacred time. Caring for those we love during and after death can be simple, thoughtful and deeply meaningful. It is one of the ways we can heal ourselves and our community.

a conference co-sponsored by

The Christian Community in Santa Rosa and The Sacred Threshold Guild


- Heidi Boucher presents the Sonoma County premiere of her film "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye"

- An overview of the anthroposophical perspective on dying and death, based on Rudolf Steiner's insights and indications

- Preparing for this sacred time

- Personal end-of-life planning

- Natural death care

- The purpose of the 3-day vigil

- Understanding renewed Christian sacraments and rituals at dying and death as indicated by Rudolf Steiner

- What is a home funeral

- Green burial choices

- Alternative mortuary options

- Resources available to you

- Meeting California legal requirements


Rev. Sanford Miller

Heidi Boucher

Jerrigrace Lyons

The Sacred Threshold Guild

(See speaker bios, below the schedule)


Advance tickets through Brown Paper Tickets at

Tickets bought in advance: both days - $25 (or Fri. - $10, Sat. - $20)

Tickets bought at the door (cash or check only): both days - $30 (or Fri. - $10, Sat. - $20)

No one turned away for lack of funds.

For questions contact Elinor Biller at or Meg McNees at (707) 576-1570

You can view and download a printable PDF of this flyer, here:

Facebook page about event:



*FRIDAY NIGHT: 7 pm to 9 pm Sophia Hall

- On Friday night, Rev. Sanford Miller gives a talk, "Conscious Crossing", introducing an esoteric Christian perspective on dying and death, based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy. He will also talk about the purpose of the three-day vigil, and the renewed sacraments and rituals at the time of dying and death as celebrated by The Christian Community, which came into being with the help of Rudolf Steiner in 1922.

- Sue Gimpel introduces the work of The Sacred Threshold Guild in supporting the 3-day vigil and home funerals.


*SATURDAY MORNING (optional): 10:30 am to 11:30 am Eurythmy Barn - Summerfield Waldorf School

- The Christian Community came into being with the help of Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. The Christian Community religious service for adults, the Act of Consecration of Man, is an open communion service. It will be held at 10:30 am (promptly) in the Eurythmy Barn near the farm at Summerfield Waldorf School. The service is followed by a potluck lunch or bring a bag lunch. All are welcome, regardless of affiliation.

- The Christian Community is a worldwide movement for religious renewal that seeks to open the path to the living, healing presence of Christ in the age of the free individual. For more information about The Christian Community in Santa Rosa, contact Elinor Biller at or (707)696-4731.


*SATURDAY AFTERNOON: 1 pm to 5 pm Sophia Hall

- Filmmaker and anthroposophical home death care guide Heidi Boucher speaks on Tales from the Threshold: A Personal Journey of a Home Death Care Guide

- Filmmaker Heidi Boucher presents the Sonoma County premiere of her film "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye" (1 hour 20 minutes). The movie is both a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death care movement. See the trailer for the film here:

- Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages speaks about local resources for green burials, ecologically conscious final disposition, and trainings and education for home death care.

- Meg McNees of The Sacred Threshold Guild presents how to plan details for your death, and make your wishes known.



- Sanford Miller is a priest of The Christian Community who has been connected to the work of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy for over 35 years. Following his university degree (Religious Studies) he lived and worked in a Camphill Community, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Then he studied in Stuttgart, Germany for the priesthood in The Christian Community where he was ordained in 1982. Sanford lives in Sacramento where he is a priest and visits Santa Rosa once a month for services. He is father to five children and grandfather to six. Sanford is insightful, inspirational, funny, beloved, and not to be missed.

- Heidi Boucher has been involved in the film and television industry for over 20 years in Oregon and California. For over 3 decades Heidi has worked as an anthroposophical home death care guide, offering Compassionate Support, Training & Workshops in both California and Oregon. Her recently released film "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye" (80 minutes) is both a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death care movement. See the trailer for the film here:

- Jerrigrace Lyons is a pioneer in the home funeral movement and international death educator. She informs and guides families who wish to participate in the natural death care of a loved one, having funeral and grief rituals in alignment with their own personal and spiritual values. Jerrigrace founded the educational non-profit organization Final Passages in 1995 to inform the public about little-known funeral options, natural death care rights and practicalities, green burial and the benefits of bringing funerals back into the home and family care. Jerrigrace is a death midwife, home funeral guide, minister, educator, and Reiki Master, living in Sebastopol, CA. Visit her website at:

- Sue Gimpel, of The Sacred Threshold Guild, is certified by Final Passages as a Home Death Care Guide, collaborating with families to create their own funeral and grief rituals and earth-friendly green burials. Sue is an Interfaith Minister, M.Div.C., with a certificate in Anthroposophical Counseling Psychology, integrating body, soul, and spirit.

- Meg McNees has been an advocate for death and dying support since her own experience of illness 40 years ago. Her studies with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Waldorf Education and Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy have widened her understanding to welcome the transformation of death as a gateway to spiritual life. She believes that families participating in a loved ones dying process, vigil, meaningful funeral and body disposition can dispel fear, strengthen the human connection, deepen daily living and may offer spiritual growth and perspective. She is a member of the Sacred Threshold Guild and The National Home Funeral Alliance.

- Elinor Biller is the moderator for the conference. Elinor is a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (similar to acupressure) and has worked with many clients as they near death. She has helped in preparing the body, creating a vigil space and organizing funerals for several community members and friends. She is very active in The Christian Community in Santa Rosa and is a founding member of The Sacred Threshold Guild.

- The Christian Community is a worldwide movement for religious renewal that seeks to open the path to the living, healing presence of Christ in the age of the free individual. For more information about The Christian Community in Santa Rosa, contact Elinor Biller at or (707)696-4731.

- The Sacred Threshold Guild is a collective service group founded in 2013 in Sonoma County, California. Inspired by the wisdom of the human being, Anthroposophy, arising from the work of Rudolf Steiner, the Guild aims to provide practical and spiritual support to individuals and their loved ones throughout the transition of crossing the threshold of death. It is not affiliated with any organization and seeks to be of service to all, regardless of beliefs. Contact: Facebook: MailChimp mailing list signup is here:


The beautiful anthroposophical artwork is by Margarita Woloschina, and may be purchased from this website in the Netherlands (use if you need the page in English):

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Stephanie's Memorial

Stephanie's dear friend Angela, a member of her Circle of Care, has reserved a space at Summerfield Waldorf School, west of Santa Rosa, for Saturday, April 22, 2017 for her Memorial. The serendipity of that being Earth Day can't go unnoticed.

Please save the date if you would like to attend. More details will follow as the time nears. Thank you.


Stephanie's obituary is in the Press Democrat today

Dear Readers,

Stephanie's obituary is in her local newspaper today and will be online for 30 days. If you would like to view or post the link is:


Stephanie Sugars Funeral

Funeral: There will be a funeral with Rev. Sanford Miller from The Christian Community on Friday, November 25 at 11 am at Santa Rosa Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematory, 1900 Franklin Ave. in Santa Rosa.

Stephanie wanted to encourage all of you to come to her funeral even if you have no connection with this religious stream. This is to honor Stephanie’s passing and will include the priest giving a comprehensive biography of her life. It is not like any other funeral you have been to. For questions about the funeral, please contact me at 707-696-4731 or

If you are interested in contributing homegrown or wild gathered flowers or foliage for the funeral, please contact Meg at (707) 480-1598, (707)576-1570 (home) or email Stephanie requested that there be no commercial flowers.

Memorial: There will be a memorial in the Spring when the community can come together to celebrate Stephanie’s life. An invitation to all will be posted here on her blog when we have a date and the details.

Elinor Biller

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Stephanie Sugars Vigil

Our dear friend, Stephanie Sugars, died on Sunday, November 20 at 6:15 p.m. in her beloved home near Kenwood, California.

Vigil before her funeral: After her death, her body will be prepared and there will be an at-home vigil for her. The hours of the vigil will be from Monday, November 20 at 4 PM to Wednesday, November 23 at 2:30 PM. If you knew Stephanie and would like to come sit with her body, you can get more information and sign up at

Please do not come without signing up through the above link as there is limited space at her home and there are times reserved for the members of her Circle of Care.

Funeral: Details about her funeral will be posted on Monday, November 20.

Memorial: There will be a memorial later. Details and invitation to all will be posted at My Lifeline and shared by email.

Elinor Biller

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Stephanie died peacefully tonight

Our dear friend, Stephanie Sugars, died peacefully tonight, Sunday, November 20, in her beloved home near Kenwood, California. We will send an email out soon with more information. Elinor Biller


Transitioning from this life

Our dear Stephanie Sugars has entered the very beginning of her journey to the other side. As of Saturday, she was rapidly declining, unable to rise from her bed, no longer speaking, and being held in deep quiet and tender care by her beloved friends in her Circle of Care on a twenty-four hour basis. We expect she will be gone within days if not hours. It could be anytime soon. Please hold her in your hearts with all the love she has expressed and given to so many of us for so long…and be with her in spirit as she passes from us. She will be waving to us, to you. Written by Kathleen Kraemer

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All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)

peace, ease, release, be love.

tension, fear, adventure, companionship, fart of poop, commode.

ativan, uneven loud breathing, not eating.

shit is my earthly focus, no coverage for nights and thanksgiving and two days around. Paid caregivers turn up.

Know my care circle members will not be able to stay around the hospital bedside (due today between noon & 2).

Paid caregivers will come to care for me.

Yet, when I'm more actively dying and have lost conscious, more circle members and close beloveds will gather too.

My treasured hospice nurse Thalia says I'm in the red zone. I say, I'm emerging through death's door into eternity, clear light and beauty.

Body fails - cannot sit without aid, cannot stand without a strong body assisting me, cannot walk without assistance, Bed has chux and soft cloth loose diapers for frequent productive farts. I'm drinking water from a syringe and a bit of food with magnesium.

All is well!

All is love and light and that allows me to hold the physical pain, the fear, the concern, the letttig go.

Just be, Stephanie

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