Summary for January 9, 2019: DC-Hillsborough

Greetings, Death Positive People!

Our January 9th Death Café – Hillsborough (DC-H) was a positive and stimulating way to start off 2019!  What a great group of 16 interesting folks! Thank you to those who came. Below is a summary of our discussions (links included, different subjects marked with an ‘*’) followed by a couple of relevant events, then details about the next DC-H on 02/13/2019.

Here are some of the many questions asked that we explored: *Geri asked if any had felt the presence of, or seen signs from, someone who died that you had known; *Heather asked if anyone had had a dream in which they themselves died; *Heather’s daughter “K” had lots of good questions too such as, “where do we go when we die?” and “what does death mean?”

·         We also enjoyed discussing several topics: *Marsha told us about Santa Muerte (shortened from Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte), who is a female deity or folk saint in Mexican and Mexican-American folk Catholicism. A personification of death, she is, in part, associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. *Linda spoke of the app WeCroak. From their website The WeCroak app (cost is $0.99 for each Android and iOS) is inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying “to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.” Each day, at random, they send you five invitations to stop and think about death. Messages include quotes from poets, philosophers, or notable thinkers. “We believe that a regular practice of contemplating mortality helps us accept what we must, let go of things that don’t matter and honor the things that do.” *Anne said we all had to finish eating dinner prior to sharing what a Sky Burial is (haha). Native Americans and Tibetans, amongst potentially other cultures, follow certain steps in this ritual. “Sky burial is simply the disposal of a corpse to be devoured by vultures. In Tibetan Buddhism, sky burial is believed to represent their wishes to go to heaven. It is the most widespread way for commoners to deal with the dead in Tibet.” *Carolyn expressed a desire for more discussion on what death is and what happens when we die. *”Coffin John” shared that his family has a “Doomsday Book” (lovingly named such) that holds each family member’s information, such as Advance Directives, all in one place and is portable. *Neidra spoke about what offers: Leg8cy offers a free messaging service. You can send messages and gifts dated in the future that will be sent after your death. You can also create a private diary for your eyes only that you can choose to have sent to someone on a designated date. *Neidra also shared: Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood Cemetery (which has a Green Burial section) is celebrating 150 years in 2019, by launching the Death Letter Project- North Carolina They will release the letters for the public’s view each month on the 1st and 15th; two have been released thus far. Our very own Anne Weston submitted a Death Letter for this NC project, as did Mebane Death Café’s host Sara Williams. For more information on the original project begun just over 4 years ago as a PhD research project: *Finally, see the link below for the English Memorial Jewelry Neidra mentioned too.

It was another stimulating Death Café filled with lively conversations, information, connections, smiles and laughter!!

«For those of you who missed seeing this video excerpt, here’s the link one more time. I gleaned it from PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow” ~~ it features English Memorial Jewelry dating back to the late 17th/early 18th century! Rings, and a brooch, that depict skulls, skeletons, snippets of hair, coffins, and shovels. Her collection has a surprising value too.

JHere's a 15 second FUNNY for ya!  

Relevant Local Events:

**Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking (VSED): A little Known End of Life Option Thursday, March 7, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at the Seymour Center, Chapel Hill. Fee: FREE

As modern technology prolongs our lives, a life well-lived can often end with a long and painful struggle. Increasingly there are choices available about end-of-life options that afford greater personal control over the time and manner of death. A “good death” is more likely when medical practitioners and those supporting the dying person are more informed about these options. The Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team proudly hosts Elliott and Susan Schaffer for a discussion of the medical, ethical and legal issues involving VSED, Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking, a little known end of life option. Please RSVP by Thurs, February 28 at the Seymour Center front desk, 919-968-2070.

**Let’s Continue the Conversation: End-of-Life Care Conversation Groups Thursday, March 21, 5:00 – 7:00pm (Initial Session) *and* Thursday, April 18, 5:00 – 7:00pm (Follow-up Session; must first attend initial session). Both are held at the Seymour Center, Chapel Hill.  Fee: FREE

Did you know that 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end of life care is important, but that only 27% have actually done so? The Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team is working to change this! Please join us for two sessions: (1) a small, facilitated group discussion on March 21, and (2) a follow-up session on April 18. The sessions are inspired by the Conversation Project, an organization dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end of life care. In small “Conversation Groups,” coached by Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team members, participants will learn how to engage their loved ones in end of life care conversations. Adult attendees of all ages are welcome. Attendees will receive the Conversation Starter Kit from The Conversation Project and a free copy of The Five Wishes Booklet. Please RSVP by Monday, March 12 at the Seymour Center front desk, 919-968-2070.




FEBRUARY 13, 2019   6:00 – 8:00PM



(PLEASE NOTE! The February DC-H is the last one in Pueblo Viejo’s current historical house location! The March DC-H will most likely be held at the restaurant once they have moved across the street to where Jimmy’s Hot Dogs was, and across from Wendy’s. I will keep you all properly informed as we go. The new location will only be shy 2 or 3 total tables indoors, as I was told by a manager, though the wonderful patio will be missed.)


FOR the next 02/13 DC-H, stick with the same location, GO TO: 107 James J Freeland Memorial Dr., Hillsborough, NC 27278

I-85 exit 164, go north on 86/Churton St, past Wendy’s, turn right at the light

{{{Please note we are meeting UPSTAIRS at the restaurant}}}


Registration or RSVP is not required. Just show up, and feel free to bring friends! We will eat good food while talking about death (yes, yes, we will!) so please consider arriving a bit early to place your drink and food orders. Pueblo Viejo Link:


An updated DC-H listing is on


If you are on Facebook, please “like” the Death Café-Hillsborough page and stay updated (the “event” will be posted soon) at:


Let’s look forward to talking about death WEDNESDAY evening, FEBRUARY 13, for the 5th monthlyDeath Café-Hillsborough!!!

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