Jane Hughes Gignoux, a native New Yorker, is the author of An Insistence on Life: Releasing Fear of Death to Fully Live and Some Folk Say: Stories of Life, Death, and Beyond, a collection of stories and poems from cultures around the world and throughout time, with commentary and original color illustrations.

She offers workshops, courses and talks on: "Embracing Life, Death and Beyond;" “Is Death My Enemy?”; “Stories that Heal;” "Visions and Stories of the Afterlife;” “EXIT Plan – for people who love life;" throughout the USA, in Federal Prisons, as well as in San Paulo, Buenos Aires and Bali. 

Her new book, An Insistence on Life, is a collection of inspirational real-life stories of how accepting death transforms life. Ms. Gignoux hosts two monthly Death Cafés, informal gatherings whose purpose is "To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their  precious and finite lives."

In August of 2013, she was featured in a national TV news program on Death Cafés and on a Huffington Post live chat. Ms. Gignoux appears in the forthcoming film, “Death Makes Life Possible” being produced by the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, CA. She was an advisor for the Viewer's Discussion Guide accompanying the PBS series that aired in September of 2000 – “On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying”. Her book, Some Folk Say, is listed as a resource in that Guide. 

Ms. Gignoux has a background in theatre with a BA in Theatre from Smith College. She has been on the faculties of Wheaton College, Norton, MA, St. Mary's School, Peekskill, NY, and the New York Open Center. She has spent the last thirty-four years studying healing and consciousness in many forms. In the eighties she studied with the energy healer, Barbara Brennan. From 1998 – 2001, she studied with the Ehama Institute learning some of the Earth wisdom teachings of the indigenous people of North America. She has helped found a number of on-going dialogue groups.

Starting in 1984, she was a volunteer play therapist with the HIV and AIDS pediatric patients at Harlem Hospital for eighteen years. She is an active member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ (IONS) and past president of the Friends of IONS based in NYC. 

Ms Gignoux is an ordained certified Celebrant, working with couples, families and groups to offer ceremonies of all kinds including funerals and memorials. In addition, she participates in the NYC Metro Anti-Racist Alliance, an affiliate of The People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond. 

Watch a CBS News program featuring one of Jane's Death Cafés

Sponsors of Workshops and Presentations by Jane Hughes Gignoux


Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, CA 
First Congregational Church of Guilford, CT
Saint Luke's Parish, Darien, CT
Trinity Church Wall Street, NYC
Wellness Center of Riverside Church, NYC

Civic Institutions

New York Junior League
New York Public Library
New York Society for General Semantics
Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles, CA

Colleges, Schools, Seminaries & Universities

Auburn Theological Seminary, NYC
Community School of Naples, FL
Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
Marymount Manhattan College, NYC
Philosophy Day School, NYC

Learning & Healing Centers

Alternatives to Violence Project, FL
Alumine, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Crossroads Center, Chicago, IL
Friends In Deed, NYC
Inner Light Center, Naples, FL
New York Open Center, NYC
New York Shamanic Healing Circle, NYC
Project Renewal, NYC
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL
Willis Harmon House, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Conferences & Festivals 

Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA
Quest for Global Healing Conference II, Bali, Indonesia
Teton Wellness Festival, Jackson, WY
Theosophical Society International Conference, NYC

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Coleman, FL
Ray Brook, NY
Petersburg, VA

Hospices,  Hospitals & Medical Centers

Cabrini Hospice, NYC
Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, NC
Connecticut Hospice
Cornucopia House Cancer Support Center, Durham, NC
Duke University Hospital Bereavement Services, Durham, NC
Hospice Atlanta, GA
Hospice Federation of Massachusetts
Hospice of Hancock County, ME
Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, MA
Hospice of Petaluma, CA
Hospice of Santa Barbara, CA
Hospice of the Tetons, WY
Jacob Perlow Hospice, NYC
Jansen Memorial Hospice, Tuckahoe, NY
Moses Cone Health System Regional Cancer Center, Greensboro, NC
Mt. Sinai Medical Center, NYC
St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, NYC
Unity Hospice, St. Louis, MO
Visiting Nurse Service, NYC
Washington Home and Hospice, DC
Zen Hospice of San Francisco, CA

Community Groups

Coalition for OneVoice, NYC
Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, NYC
IONS Community Group, Bracey, VA
Mendocino Community Group of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, CA
Montclair, New Jersey Group
Various IONS Community Groups


Channel Thirteen, WNET, NYC