How we talk about death impacts how we live.
So, if you’ve watched the video and are reading along now, you’re open to having these kinds of conversations. I firmly believe talking about what makes us uncomfortable prepares us better for whatever comes. Not only does it prepare us, but speaking openly with your loved ones prepares them as well. You may feel awkward sitting down to discuss what happens when you die. But like most things, the more you do them, the more natural they become. Do you use humor in the face of death? Do you find comfort in tears? There is no wrong way to have these conversations; it’s only important that we have them.
Think About It!
- What do I want to happen to my remains?
- With the ongoing global conversation about these matters, we have begun to explore different outcomes. I think it’s super neat that you can be planted and become a tree or donate your body to medical science.
- Do I have a place in mind?
- Some families have plots or mausoleums, or maybe you decide to be cremated and want your ashes spread where you went on family vacations.
- Have I discussed this with those who will care for me when I’m gone?
- Even if it’s difficult at first, leaving a plan behind for your loved ones is an amazing gift.
Sometimes it seems even harder to ask these questions about our animals than it is to ask them of ourselves. Grief exists on a spectrum. Pets are a huge part of our daily lives, so we feel their loss on that same spectrum. Having a plan in place can provide you a sense of calm whenever the time comes.
Resources for Talking About Death
Endwell is a movement attempting to normalize conversations surrounding mortality by bringing people of all backgrounds together to share their beliefs and experiences.
A death cafe is not a specific place, but an event. Death Cafes are a casual get together where people gather to discuss their thoughts and feelings about death. Originating in England, Death Cafes have made their way across the continents. People crave connection and especially do so during grief. Death cafes give those grieving a safe, communal space to gather and explore their thoughts and feelings.
A doula is kind of like a support team to have in your corner when you’re going through a big life event. Most of us are familiar with or know someone who has used a doula for the birth of a child. End of life doulas guide and support loved ones and their families through a deeply personal time. End of Life doulas can help give the dying comfort, coordinate care, assist in planning services, and organize vigils.