September Death Cafe Iowa
For our September Death Café Iowa we met on Zoom. Buffy Peters and Becca Suvalsky from the Bereavement Professionals Group facilitated the group. In total there were 7 people in attendance, 2 men and 5 women, and participants ranged in ages and professions. We had individuals join from California, Connecticut, Florida, and Iowa. Several interesting topics were brought forward for discussion.
A few topics included:
Elliot Dallen article from the Guardian: One member brought an article by a young man who was actively dying from terminal cancer. The author talked about how by not avoiding death he was not avoiding life. Another member mentioned that we need to give those who are dying permission to be vulnerable.
Megan Devine’s quote “Just because it feels bad doesn’t mean it is bad”: We need to do a better job of addressing the elephant in the room. One member shared that after she experienced a family member’s death it almost felt like another death after the funeral because no one talked about the person who had died. We also talked about
Focus on a “good” death: We are so quick as a society to categorize death as good or bad. Whether that be the nature of the death or the circumstances leading up to death. We have to be careful to not make funerals a production when the death is traumatic or untimely. All Deaths deserve to be honored no matter how a person dies. One member posed an interesting question asking members, if they would rather have an untimely death and have a ton of people at their funeral or live to be really old and only have a few people come to your funeral because you have outlived everyone. The group had very mixed responses.
September 11th, 2001: One member mentioned how difficult it must be for the families who had a loved one die on 9/11. This member shared how hard it must be for the families to see the picture of the planes hitting the world trade center. For these people that was the exact moment of their deaths. A lot of the members had never thought of it like that before.
It was such an interesting and eye opening Death Café as we welcomed a few new members from across the county. We look forward to more interesting and insightful conversations in our next Zoom meeting in October.