"Listen to the Whispers"
We will begin by announcing one of our members was just diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I dedicate the title of this month's Death Cafe - Visalia to him.
Our conversations were lively today with enough people to even have few side bars. We met in the round, and if we continue to have this amount--or more--I would like to break into small groups of 3 or 4 for part of our session together to make sure everyone is heard and able to share.
We had a special guest from Turlock that travelled just for us today;) Gerry Grossman is the Program Manager for Advanced Care Planning for the Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton. We gave him a good example of the rules of the Death Cafe.
For example, he started by discussing advanced planning like the POLST Form and Advanced Directives. We gently turned him toward HIS feelings of death and dying, and what was his first experience with death. He told the story of losing his beloved Chinese Grandmother. Thank you for sharing Gerry.
Please note, advanced planning and forms are discussed and not off limits, but for Gerry's first experience, and the fact that he teaches advanced planning, I thought it best to give him a chance to get personal. Death Cafes are a safe place to explore our feelings about death by telling stories about the people we love and lost. As we do so in a group, we learn from each other--it's a beautiful thing;)
In closing, Crystal and I would like to thank everyone for attending today. Our conversations were meaningful and insightful. We wish our friend, and group member, blessings of comfort and love as he and his wife walk the path together at End-of-Life.
Our next Death Cafe is on 8/17/19 1:00 to 3:00 PM @The Centers for Spiritual Living, 117 S. Locust St. Visalia, CA
Thank you Center for providing this great space to explore death and dying.