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Sheila Kitzinger died calmly on the evening of 11 April 2015
Last year, Sheila was diagnosed with cancer. After some initial investigation and treatments, she recovered well enough to finish her autobiography A Passion for Birth. When the illness returned, she decided not to have further investigations.
Sheila approached death with the same attitude as she did birth - questioning the need for various medical interventions and making her own choices. Just as she believed in thinking about what you would want while giving birth, she also believed in the value of thinking in advance about dying - and making plans.
Sheila was cared for at home, as she wished, and that is where she died. On the 12th of April her family carried her body in the brightly decorated cardboard coffin she had requested to a natural burial site for a small private ceremony. We read some of Sheila's own poetry at the graveside and scattered the coffin with earth, sprigs of rosemary and camellia blossom from our lovely garden.
In the meantime, thank you for all your kind messages of support for our family, and the powerful testimonies you are sending about the value of Sheila's work and life.
As Sheila wrote in one of her own poems: