Summary for 01/08/2020

Hello Death Positive People!

Thank you to those who came to the first-of-the-year January 8th Death Café – Hillsborough (DC-H) which included ELEVEN NEW people adding to our Death Café’s conversations! Due to there no longer being a Hillsborough restaurant with the space to accommodate our group, this Death Café morphed into a community potluck that meets at a small house in a neighborhood. Thank you for the fantastic food this time too, folks! One of the feedback/evaluation forms received (thank you to those who filled one in!) suggested coordinating what food is brought. I do not have the additional time to do that, plus our food is typically a good variety … so here’s my suggestion: please consider labeling your food dish as to whether it may have meat (and which meat: beef, pork, chicken, fish, shellfish, etc), or be vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free. Thanks for this consideration.

Information about the next DC-H, plus others in our area, follows a key-points summary of our 1/8 meeting.

  • The definition of a home funeral guide was requested so Sara, who is one, elaborated. The basic definition is: a home funeral guide is a trained individual who educates and empowers families to exercise the innate right of caring for their own dead.
  • She also mentioned “The Funeral Rule” of 1984: “The Funeral Rule, enacted by the Federal Trade Commission on April 30, 1984 and amended it effective 1994, was designed to protect consumers by requiring that they receive adequate information concerning the goods and services they may purchase from a funeral provider.”
  • This led Grace to ask for more information about the FCA: check out our local Piedmont chapter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA-P, which will soon join other NC chapters and become FCA-NC) for more information, FAQs, and the free 2019 funeral price list they compiled. You can become a member if you’d like!

·       Faye mentioned two books: Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death, by Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson. The other book she spoke of, per my notes, included the words “notes from the crematory” and what I found online was the quite popular Caitlin Doughty book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons From the Crematory. Please let me know if you had a different book in mind, Faye; thanks!

  • Jessica told us about a podcast called “Imagined Life.” If you had one title in particular to share, Jessica, please let me know and I’ll include it in the “reminder” email before our next DC-H. Thanks!
  • Neidra intended to share this during our DC-H so will here instead: “Death Land” is a recently published 10-video series on YouTube (they are short, 6 - 15 minutes each). After someone mentioned it to me via the DC-H Facebook page, I watched the one specifically recommended (and plan on watching the others) because it is about a Death Doula (such as I am, and others are on this e-list) and a Death Café!
  • Please refer to the attached flowchart that addresses who to call, and who “pronounces,” when someone has died. Thank you to Sara for providing this! For the specific section listing a Guilford County address on this particular guideline, make note to notify the county’s (where the person died) Public Health Department Vital Records office. We talked about this topic during our discussions last Wednesday.
  • We divided into 3 groups of 5 or 6 people, and discussed our answers to two cards (different per group) from Mortalls “The Death Positive Conversation Game A few of the cards’ queries included, “Is death a friend, an enemy, or both?” “What is the best way you can think of to die?” “Which celebrity death affected you most? Why?” This is one means I intend to keep DC-H talking about a greater variety of death related topics.
  • Quotes read during this DC-H: “Your legacy is every life you touch.” (Maya Angelou)  “There is a tombstone in Ashby, Massachusetts, that reads, ‘Remember friend, as you pass by, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare yourself to follow me.’” (from Ram Dass’ website, who died recently)



Here are some links that crossed my desk you may find interesting:

  • Granting dying patients' wishes may help families feel better about end-of-life ICU care:

  • Bereavement and grief don’t exclude laughter:


More upcoming Death Cafes in our area: In Mebane, Wednesday, January 22, 6:00 – 8:00pm at Catrina's Tequila and Taco Bar.


If you are on Facebook, please “like” the Death Café-Hillsborough page and stay updated. The “event” is posted there at and will also be shared on the Hillsborough NC Community Info page in late January.

The “officially approved” DC-Hillsborough event listing is on at




FEBRUARY 12, 2020   6:00 – 8:00PM

AT 903 ENO STREET (27278)

“Fellowship hall” sign on front


THIS IS A COMMUNITY POTLUCK! Please consider bringing a yummy dish to share and labeling whether it is with meat (which kind), vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free, etc. First-timers – we will feed you! You are also welcome to bring just what you feel like eating, such as a full ready-made meal for yourself. We will eat good food while talking about all-things-death, sharing stories and knowledge, and most definitely -- we will laugh! Registration, or RSVP, is not required. Just show up, and feel free to bring friends!

See you there, fellow mortals! 


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