Have you heard of a Death Cafe? Having originated in the UK, death cafes are popping up everywhere stateside and offers a great place to have a conversation about death in all its capacity. There is no agenda, no set topics, no religion was pushed, it isn’t meant as therapy… it was just a simple, straight-forward gathering to have open conversations about death and to help dispel the taboo nature of it all. In the past, death was talked about more freely by society. Epidemics, disasters, and war made death a daily reality and it was more wide and openly discussed but as medical technology emerged that extended the human lifespan, our mortality became an underground topic. But we should talk about it… A LOT… openly and honestly with friends and family so when the time does come, everyone is prepared and on the same page as to one’s final wishes.
I recently attended one in Poughkeepsie at the library and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and came away thinking about death and how it affects everyone differently. My own views have been affected by certain events in my life, religion, genealogy, and my “real life” job. To see others had the same/similar things that changed their views of death too, was somewhat of a comforting relief. I have always seen death differently, not a terrible, fearful event but an inevitable beginning to a hopeful new adventure. And never being afraid to talk about it, doesn’t always make you a popular choice for a companion or friend. (shrug)