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Death is the topic of a 10-part series by the Springfield-Greene County Library starting this week

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Crocuses bloom in a cemetery

Death & Dying: Conversations about End-of-Life Matters begins Thursday night.

The Springfield-Greene County Library District series, Death & Dying: Conversations on End-of-Life Matters, kicks off Wednesday night, November 3, with "On Angels' Wings." The founder and president of On Angels' Wings, Michelle Cramer, will will share stories from families she has worked with as well as her own experiences with bereavement and grief recovery.

Mortician and author, Caitlin Doughty (DOH-tee), who has been interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air, will give a presentation Thursday night, November 4, at Relics Event Center in Springfield.

There will be 10 programs in all, most of them at the Library Center. Some require registration, and some have both a virtual and an in-person option.

Cemetery expert and author, Abby Burnett, will present Tombstone Bootcamp on Saturday, November 6, at 2 at the Library Center. She says participants will learn about the kinds of things found on tombstones that could be misleading.

"If you're doing family research or if you just love cemeteries, and you're looking at stones, there are so many things out there that aren't what they appear to be or have information on them if you know where to look for it," she said.

She’ll also share tips for reading inscriptions and talk about how to properly clean a grave marker.

And at 3, Burnett will present Gone to the Grave. She’ll share stories about burial rituals and funeral customs in the Ozarks before professional death care was available. Burnett says the community used to come together anytime someone was near death or had died.

"All the neighbors, friends, lodge brothers, church members all put aside their own jobs and duties and helped the family by showing up and, not only helping as they nursed the family member, but then immediately sprang into action to build a coffin, dig a grave," she said.

A tour of Hazelwood Cemetery will be held Sunday afternoon (11/7) at 2. Registration is required.