Do you know about Death Cafes? I am thrilled they exist, not just in Europe but also in many cities across America.The most recent post on Google indicates there are 4 Death Cafes in New Mexico: 2 in Albuquerque, one each in Dixon and Los Cruces and surprise, surprise – there is one in Taos. It’s wonderful to have designated places and events where one can discuss death and dying without someone saying “Let’s change the subject and discuss something more positive.”
My childhood training included: never discuss politics and religion. Death & dying should have been included on that list. It is never a well received topic of conversation, as when folks ask: “Are you well; is something wrong with your health?” “No, why do you ask?” “Because you bring up the subject of death and dying.” Yes I do and for many good reasons.
Think of all the cliché, routinized phrases we use in various circumstances surrounding this subject – phrases like: sorry for your loss and we all gotta go sometime, or perhaps we tell someone, moments from death: don’t worry, every things gonna be A-OK. Death Cafes offer places where small groups gather to drink tea and eat tasty treats while discussing fears and understandings of death and dying.
One of the difficult aspects of death is the ability to let go. This is true for both the dying and the survivors. In some ways I am freer than many in that my only survivors will be my 3 dogs. Of course they concern me but not the way children, grandchildren, husbands and lovers concern most people. It is a blessing to know that no one is going to live with a broken heart over my passing. Doggies recover quickly when given a loving home.
Physical suffering is the culprit and when absent from the dying scenario there is nothing to fear…………today is as good as tomorrow for the big event; one is never ready to say goodbye. I know I must sound conflicted and perhaps I am deep in my subconscious but my conscious self is not afraid to be gone. My fears lie in the going. If it is peaceful and painless I can welcome it’s embrace.
I can welcome death’s embrace because I have had a wonderful life and the party is always over before we’re ready to go home. I get it and …………… I’m also a little sick of the direction the world is moving. But I love life and will love it until I breathe no more. What is impossible to reconcile is the death of close friends; I don’t believe in an afterlife recognizable to humanity. By that I mean energy lives forever but not in the form of Jane and Bob and Jill. These are some of the concepts, feelings, beliefs that can be discussed at the Death Cafes.
I hope I’m free of all fears of death but there is no way of knowing for sure until the time arrives. I did have the dehydration experience, knocking my head against a concrete floor producing an enormous knot. I was very woozy but went against all advice to go to the hospital even tho I knew mom died in a similar experience. I had no fear of dying; the experience was very liberating. But who knows? Guess I might discuss this at a Death Cafe.