CWDC - 23 February 2020
We were a small meeting of 5, with several people who had planned to come along unable to at the last minute. Small numbers notwithstanding, we nonetheless enjoyed a selection of Bakewell Cake, Banana and Chocolate Chip Loaf, and a Vanilla and Chocolate Marble Cake!
Themes to emerge from the group’s discussion:
The recent and tragic death of Caroline Flack. The relationship between shame and suicide. The pressure and isolation of living in the public eye. Suicide as a final resort for those who feel they have no one to turn to, and nowhere else to go. Perception as reality. The privileges of a life more ordinary, and of mediocrity. The impact of a suicide on those left behind, ‘a special scar’.
What are our expectations of life? How are we meeting these? Letting go of attachments, and the tenets underlying Stoic and Buddhist philosophy – having a ‘light[er] touch’ on life. Where do children fit in to this? How to manage the responsibilities of parenthood.
Where do we place our energy and attention? Change as inevitable, and inescapable. Growth as optional. What are we choosing?
The significance of an experience of being present at another’s death – coming to understand, and make sense of something more deeply, for ourselves. Preparing for the inevitable, and the comfort that may be derived in the process.
Greg Wise and palliative care conversations – guided by emotion, rather than by medical science. The shift incumbent upon clinicians at this point: making that all-important shift, from doing to being. There is nothing more we can do – and yet there is so much that can and may still be done in how we are around the dying!
The costs of care: How crazy it seems, that hospices are not (yet?!) state funded. The incredible cost of care. At what point does longevity come second to quality of life? The role and value of having a Living Will. How can we ensure the dignity of the dying? Thailand as a destination we’d entertain – for our loved ones, and ourselves. Our death: the final lesson we teach our children?
With gratitude to all who took part, and to NCJS - our cake baker extraordinaire!