ABOUT OUR ALLIES
In 2016 six professionals, service providers, advocates and educators in the End Of Life field came together as a grassroots community-centered alliance with the intention of raising awareness of death and dying as a way to enrich the human experience of life and living. From this collaboration, the Living/Dying Alliance was born. We recognize the passion and dedication of the Co-Founders of this alliance: Jennifer Mathews, Judith Milburn, Judy Dolmatch, Laurel Miller, Lily Myers Kaplan, and Selene Seltzer.
Judy Dolmatch, MSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, with a private practice in Ashland since 1988. She specializes in guiding people through life passages, grief, and how to live in a broken culture with awareness and truth. Judy teaches and performs Playback Theatre, a form of improvisational theatre based on audience stories, and facilitates Zegg Forum, a group process that values authenticity and aliveness. She is part of the Ashland Death Cafe facilitation team, has volunteered with WinterSpring, and is inspired by the work of Stephen Jenkinson, Martin Prechtel, and Francis Weller. Contact her: or 541-708-0766.
Jennifer has a passion for uplifting the human spirit. After her life-partner died in 2011, she began sharing her experiences of death, grief, joy and optimism to support others on their journeys (JenniferMathews.com). In her 2019 TEDx Talk "Death is Inevitable, Grief is Not," Jen challenges us to rethink the expectation of grief and how we respond to death. In recent years, she has worked with the community outreach and training team for the award-winning film Death Makes Life Possible. Jen has led conversations about death and the afterlife in various communities across the USA, as well as in the UK and Ireland. She is an organizer and facilitator of the Ashland Death Cafe. Her home base is Mount Shasta, CA.
Laurel is passionate about working with people, young and old, around end-of-life topics. She completed the Anam Cara Program at the Sacred Art of Living Center. She volunteers with Compassion and Choices working with individuals and their families as they make their end-of-life choices. She’s a member of the Southern Oregon Hevre Kadisha. She leads workshops that support the participant’s desire to explore themselves and the mystery of life and death. Also a seasoned mediator, an independent coach and facilitator, Laurel is dedicated to supporting individuals and the conversations that they need to have before they are no longer able. You can reach Laurel at
Lily Myers Kaplan
Lily Myers Kaplan, author, workshop leader and soul-coach has focused her career on guiding people to build meaning and purpose from the most challenging life circumstances. Lily is the founder and director of the Spirit of Resh Foundation which uses story to inspire people to build a relationship with death that influences how they choose to live. With thirty-plus years in private practice, Lily draws from studies in mythology, archetypal psychology, experiences as a program director of a modern-day mystery-school, and hospice volunteer manager. Using story as a force for healing in her southern Oregon community is Lily's passion. This service and providing one-on-one retreats at her twenty-acre Sanctuary at Rainbow Ridge is Lily’s way of honoring ancestors, sharing wisdom gained through hardship, and helping others find beauty in the midst of their losses. Lily can be reached through the Spirit of Resh Foundation:
Judith is a psycho-spiritual, Jungian-oriented depth psychologist particularly concerned with making peace with one’s inner depths and learning to love one's self unconditionally, as the way to live fully and prepare for conscious dying. She says, “Death, has presented itself to me viewing my great grandmother lying in her casket in her darkened living room, hearing my grandfather before he died say he was hearing the angels sing, brushing my Mother’s hair moments after she had died, and sitting with my brother as he released his last breath. I am a student of this Great Mystery." Find out more at Judith Milburn.com.
For those facing a difficult diagnosis, Selene understands that people are more than their bodies, more than their diagnosis and wish to live as well as possible for as long as possible. As a Clinical Healthcare Chaplain specializing in a palliative approach, she advocates for and provides “whole person” care to ease pain and suffering in the body, heart-mind and spirit. As one navigates the uncertainty of illness, Selene’s program Living Well with Serious Illness™ offers holistic, integrative support, care, and guidance to optimize one’s quality of life, find joy and a greater sense of wellbeing. Find out more: SeleneSeltzer.com.