CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF SENIOR LIVING
Before I bring up the subject of the Death Café, I wanted to ramble a bit about aging, life and death. I suppose that as we age, we start thinking about our mortality. As our families pass on, it becomes ever closer. Working in a retirement community, I see more than the average person. I have been there during the last hours and minutes of people’s lives. The death rattle is a unique and unforgettable sound that I am familiar with.
Toss in the death of a blog acquaintance. Recently I’ve bounced my helmet off the pavement after a (thankfully) light motorcycle/car accident, which spurs me onto even more thoughts.
What will death be like? What are the philosophical implications of my life and passing? What does it all mean? I don’t pretend to have the answers. Some people would argue that religion would make it all understood. But I am not wired that way. I need facts and figures. Which of course, won’t happen with something so nebulous.
There is one observation that I’d like to make. We hide death here in the United States. It is hidden. Once it occurs, the bodies are quickly taken away. The life is celebrated, true, but our attitude is muted somehow. With the Goldenboomer wave due upon us, there will be more deaths. Perhaps it is time to take a closer look at this experience called death. I‘d written about this before. But as time goes by, I am refining my thoughts on the subject.
Not surprisingly, these thoughts haven’t reached a cohesive pattern. They were just spinning around in my mind. This morning, I happened to see an article in the New York Times that mentioned the concept of the Death Cafés: ”Doctors and scholars who study attitudes toward death say that for most people, such conversations are healthy; talking about death can ease people’s fears and the notion that death is taboo.”
This subject fascinates me. Keep in mind I am no expert. I just have a questioning mind to what lies ahead. We’ll talk about it some more. For right now, take a look at this article, and let me know if it makes sense to you.