Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Death Cafe Ann Arbor #4

By Merilynne Rush,

The Death Cafe was different for some today because of a recent loss. For others, we recognized that being able to talk about death together helps with the fact that we can't talk about it in other settings, like at work or with our family. We talked about various reasons why people don't want to talk about death and ways to overcome that. We recognized that it's important to take someone where they are at; you can't force the conversation. The discussion ended up with making plans for our National Healthcare Decisions Day event on April 16. We are going to have a party to fill out our Advanced Directives together! But more than just having the legal document filled out, having the conversation with our family is so important.

Here are some of the resources that were mentioned, for further reading:

Carl Sagan's wife talks about his belief that there is no afterlife.

“You have little time left, and none of it for crap. A fine state. I would say that the best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.”
Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power

"The mindfulness tradition considers reflecting on death to be both liberating and essential to living a full and satisfying life. Contemplate the ways in which our culture conditions us to avoid and deny death, and learn four meditations that deepen both the awareness of life's transience and our ability to live freely."
Finitude - Living in the Face of Death, from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation - The Great Courses

My Wonderful Life - Your Own Funeral Planning Website

The Conversation Project - Talking about your wishes for the end of your life, co-founded by Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe

Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death, by Irvin D. Yalom

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