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The Power of Storytelling

Since the mid nineties, Jane Hughes Gignoux has been focusing her attention on helping people change their relationship to Death. Most people, whether consciously or unconsciously, fear Death. This overriding fear, therefore, affects how they live their lives. Gignoux has written and published two books that address this fear in very different ways. The first: Some Folk Say: Stories of Life, Death and Beyond, is a collection of folktales from around the world and throughout time, with Gignoux’s commentary on each story and original color illustrations. The second book: An Insistence on Life: Releasing Fear of Death to Fully Live, is a collection of inspiring real-life stories of how embracing death transforms life.

Releasing Fears using Death Cafés

In addition to giving workshops and other presentations, Gignoux hosts two monthly Death Cafés in New York City. These open conversations are part of an international grassroots movement that allows people to feel more comfortable about Death. By sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences about Death they are released from a lifetime taboo.

Tools for Peaceful Living

An outgrowth of exploring beliefs and experiences of Death and dying, led to the connection between fear and war. A pacifist for many decades, in 2014 Gignoux wrote a short article, “Is a World Without War Possible?’ and a set of five key phrases: “Tools for Peaceful Living” 


Tools for Peaceful Living
When Feeling Upset: Start with the Self and ask:
  1. Why do I feel threatened - am I really in danger?
  2. Is this about a past wounding?
  3. Acknowledge my fear - breathe deeply.
  4. Suspend judgment – embrace possibilities.
  5. How can I help?

“Peace begins with a smile.”
—Mother Teresa


Another outgrowth of her work helping people shift from fear to celebrating life, was Gignoux’s becoming a Celebrant ten years ago. She studied with and was certified by The Celebrant Foundation and Institute and offers Ceremonies to people celebrating or commemorating all manner of life cycle rites of passage—everything from birth through death.

Jane Hughes Gignoux, a native New Yorker, is the author of An Insistence On Life: Releasing Fear of Death to Fully Live. She offers workshops, courses and talks and hosts monthly Death Cafés in New York City. She appears in the forthcoming film, “Death Makes Life Possible” being produced by the Institute of Noetic Sciences. As an ordained certified Celebrant, she offers ceremonies of all kinds including funerals and memorials. Ms. Gignoux has recently been featured in a national TV news program on Death Cafés and on a Huffington Post live chat.  Learn More....