The Mysterious Metamorphosis at the End of Life
Open Circle in Ajijic, México, January, 2017. Click here to view the transcript (PDF).

Nearly all of us pause on occasion to consider our quality of life. Death and dying, on the other hand are seldom talked about much less planned.

Chrysalis End-of-Life Inspirations was founded to create opportunities to talk about dying and death as a transformative part of life.  Key among these Inspirations is providing a sacred space for that transformation and encouraging long-term care communities and hospitals to take part in evolving our culture by creating Chrysalis Rooms – private, comfortable rooms where the dying and their friends and families can be together to find serenity and peace in sharing the experience of dying.

It is my mission to inspire you to learn more about the dying process as a natural and sacred time of life. May you consider the options for your own end-of-life and have frank conversations with loved ones about their choices of treatment and care. May you be able to create sacred space for the dying and bear witness to one of life’s greatest mysteries. When we support the end of life with understanding, preparation, dignity, comfort, and compassion, we will all live – and leave – in peace.

– Loretta Downs

Photo above by Todd Hochberg.


Dear Loretta, I am very touched by the deeply kind nature of your inspiration and your work. Kindness towards the beloved one who is dying and kindness toward those that are mourning. Thank you for using the metaphor of the Butterfly...I love the image of the chrysalis as that time when preparation is made for the final journey. In fact, when the caterpillar is in the chrysalis, it becomes a kind of soup of "imaginal cells" whose DNA that resembles neither the caterpillar or the butterfly. It's an amazing and important time that our culture can begin to honor more completely, thanks to your work.
Kate Munger, Founder, Threshold Choir


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