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Book Club

Lakewood Book Club: The Beginner’s Goodbye (Moved to Zoom)

February 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Garden Mausoleum
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Moved to Zoom

Due to the upcoming winter weather advisory, this event has been moved to Zoom. All registered attendees should have received an email this morning with the Zoom link. If you did not see a link, please check spam/junk or promotion folders, and if you still haven’t received one, please email Thank you!

Join us for the Lakewood Book Club, where we read and discuss books covering topics related to death, loss, and grief, as well as what it means to live in the presence of death and dying. This quarterly series will feature a new book with a different topic of discussion.

Registration is required – spaces are limited.

You will need to purchase your own copies of the books (or audio books) and read through them ahead of the event. We encourage shopping locally and buying your books through our neighbors at Magers and Quinn  or other local booksellers, or finding the book through your local library.

Depending on the number of attendees, we will either have a large group discussion or break out into smaller groups. Discussion questions and topics will be provided to spark conversation, but we encourage you to bring your own questions as well!

About This Month’s Book

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler

(Fiction, sudden loss, signs and messages)
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead—in their house, on the roadway, in the market—help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye.

About Your Host

Emily Stacken is a death doula and hospice vigil volunteer. She is one of the organizers of the Radical Death Series, a four-part series of conversations aimed to interrogate the phrase “good death” while prioritizing issues of racial equity, collective grief, and what it means to embrace death as inseparable from life. She attended United Theological Seminary and received a Masters of Arts in Leadership. Her final capstone, Radicalizing Death: A Death Positive Movement for Social Change, explores Ernest Becker’s concepts in The Denial of Death, and how this research informs the current Death Positive movement.


This event is hosted over Zoom. A link will be provided to all who register for this event. If you registered and did not receive a link, please email
Camera access and microphone capabilities are required: Given the sensitive and personal nature of this topic, we will ask that you keep your camera on for this conversation.

Lakewood Heritage Foundation

This event is free however we invite you to make a donation to the Lakewood Heritage Foundation. Donations to the Lakewood Heritage Foundation support educational programming and the preservation and restoration of Lakewood’s landscape, art, architecture and public spaces—for the benefit of all.

You can donate when you purchase your ticket, or on the Lakewood Heritage Foundation page.


Call the Lakewood events line at 612-540-5165 or email to

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