Belleville, IL Death Cafe
3252017 Belleville Death Café Summary
We had another great discussion. One thing that came up with one of the participants was the idea of saying, “He’s dead” did not feel quite natural (and maybe in my opinion uncomfortable anxiety on both ends of that conversation) and the preferred reference was “passed away” or “passed on”. Where did these euphemisms originate and why? The rational attitude is not fear of death or a desire to put it off for as long as possible, but perhaps to make it more comfortable to talk about it. What happens when a loved one has died and someone calls or asks about them? I have been on both sides of that, especially the older I get. How many times have we seen someone after a long period, only to find out that his or her loved one died? How awkward is that?
According to the view of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus:
So death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead, since for the former, it is not, and the latter are no more.
While writing the summary, there was a bit of introspective reflection on my part-based on my training, religious/spiritual beliefs, and personal experiences. It seemed natural to transition to the religious/spiritual aspect as the basis to what each individual’s euphemism for death was/is.
We went on the discuss cremation and the legality of the dispersion of the cremains. Law varies so it is always wise to check with the state but for Illinois, one can go to http://www.cremation-society.com/resources/learn-about/cremation-process/, http://www.ifda.org/page/funeralfaq, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1517&ChapterID=35.
The next Belleville Death Café will be held on Saturday, April 22nd from 6 – 8pm at the Miscellanea House Café. We tabled the conversation on various ways to memorialize our loved ones and/or advanced planning so we can come together once again to discuss the choices available.