August Death Cafe


For our August Death Café Iowa we met on Zoom. Buffy Peters and Becca Suvalsky from the Bereavement Professionals Group facilitated the group. In total there were 5 people in attendance, 2 men and 3 women, and participants ranged in ages and professions. We had individuals join from California, New Jersey, and Iowa. Several interesting topics were brought forward for discussion.


Topics included:


Lifeweb360: LifeWeb360 is a memorialization website where people can create a LifeWeb account for a loved one who has died. Friends and family members can leave messages, videos, and pictures of the person. We discussed how a lot of funeral homes have something like this but that this could be a good option for those who don’t use a funeral home or would like something different.


Death practices around the world: During this time of COVID-19 we are noticing people getting more and more nervous about the pandemic. Several members shared that their own families and friends have started saying things like “in the event of my death” or “I want this when I die”. It seems like people all around the world are starting to realize this could be what they die from. A lot of group members think that we are only at the beginning stages of this pandemic.


The idea of death and dying needs to be worked through: Death is one of the toughest things to think about because the reality is we don’t know what it will be like. None of us have ever died before. This leads to a lot of people to question things. This is why we believe Death Café is so important and needed. There is simply no shortcut to dying. We have no control on how it will feel to die or what will happen after we die. We have no control of the circle of life.

Palliative medicine: How physicians can use palliative medicine to help control pain for those who are chronically ill. Palliative medicine is not the same thing as hospice care. Someone can be on palliative medicine and not be terminal. Palliative medicine can dramatically improve the lives of those living with pain.


It was such an interesting Death Café as we welcomed a new member and several familiar faces. We look forward to more interesting and insightful conversations in our next Zoom meeting in September.  


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