What Are The Convenings?

The Spark

The spark for The Convenings comes from grass roots work done by Honoring Choices Minnesota in communities across the state and the discoveries made about living by a dying man: Bruce Kramer.

Bruce′s Story

Bruce was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. In the weeks after the diagnosis, he asked himself how would he live into the new life he was given. How he decided to live, led to remarkable personal growth that continued until he died in March of 2015. Bruce was 59 years old.

We Know How this Ends, Living While DyingThroughout that time, Bruce and Minnesota Public Radio host Cathy Wurzer, shared a series of candid broadcast conversations that turned out to be a source of hope and inspiration for listeners around the world. The revealing interviews were the catalyst for a book, We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying, published just days after Bruce died.

The thing about dying is that you have to live through it. – Bruce KramerBefore he died, Bruce got Cathy to promise that she’d carry on his work. His family and friends banded together to create the Bruce H. Kramer Collaborative, a group dedicated to creative community engagement and inspired leadership around living and dying well.

Bruce would be thrilled that Honoring Choices Minnesota is the partner in this exciting new initiative.

It Takes a Village…
Honoring Choices Minnesota is the highly-regarded end-of-life planning project of the Twin Cities Medical Society. The program, which uses trained volunteer facilitators, is designed to encourage family conversations around end-of-life planning and the implementation of advanced medical directives. Honoring Choices is in many Minnesota communities and is a model used across the U.S.

Together, Honoring Choices Minnesota and the Bruce H. Kramer Collaborative have teamed up with other partners including Allina Health and Health Partners, KARE-11 and Twin Cities PBS to create The Convenings. The goal of The Convenings is to inspire people to think about and discuss their choices for living and dying well. Conversations and sharing of individual stories at community gatherings are facilitated by area leaders and resource providers giving “communities of care” the support they need for discussing the important, and sometimes urgent, of end-of-life issues.