Monday, 18 March 2013

Notes from the Death Cafe Ann Arbor, Michigan

16th March 2013

By Merilynne Rush

The Death Cafe was particularly wonderful today. These are some of the things we talked about:

Consider today is my last day. How does that affect how I choose to live?

Little deaths happen throughout life. Our attachment to things is based on fear.

One can learn about oneself by dealing with the death of another.

What defines a meaningful life? Sometimes I feel like I'm dying right now. I'm pissed off about death: Life is over before I figure it out.

Holding someone while they are dying is like a repeat of the birth process. When I was born my spirit entered through my mother. When my mother died and I held her, her spirit left through me.

I'm thankful to the dying for letting me be present to the process; some people feel a great need not to burden others. These two feelings require a balance.

Death is messy and untidy. But forgiveness can be the outlasting memory.

Forgiveness is not neat and tidy. It needs to be done again and again and it hurts.

Why wait until death to make your peace?

We are really talking about how to live, not just how to die.

When I die I want to leave some money for my friends to go out and eat fine food and enjoy fine drink.
By Your Bedside (local hospice volunteer program to provide someone to stay with a dying person if the family can not)


Top 5 regrets people have expressed on their death beds (Bronnie Ware):
  1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
  3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Forthcoming events with Merilynne:

I am presenting on "Home Funeral and Green Burial in Washtenaw County" on Tuesday, March 19, 7 - 8:30 pm, at Creekside Middle School in Dexter.  Cost $15.  I will give in-depth info on some of the topics we were discussing today for those of you who want to make your arrangements.

Tuesday, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day and I will be hosting an "Advanced Directives Party" at the Center for the Childbearing Year, 722 Brooks St. in Ann Arbor.  6:30 wine and cheese, 7:00 informal presentation and thoughts about the importance and the challenges of advanced directives, Q & A then filling them out!  Cost is $15 and included documents.  Let me know if you would like to help out or donate food and drink!

Next Death Cafe is April 20 at Cafe Felix, 204 S. Main (corner Washington), Ann Arbor.  Tell your friends!

This month's Observer has an article called "Full Moon Funeral" about the first home funeral I attended.

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