Summary for 10/14/2020 Death Cafe - Hillsborough

Hello everyone,

**Mark your calendars for the next DC-Hillsborough November 11th, 6pm-8pm, via Zoom meeting. For those looking ahead and whomever may wish to know this now, DC-H will not occur in December and will resume in January (the 13th).

Thank you for your patience in awaiting this summary; some of these need more preparation time. For two reasons I re-read the guidelines on for hosting and facilitating a DC. One is because DC-Hillsborough just celebrated two years and I thought it responsible to continue ensuring my facilitation skills stay on par (at last year’s 1st anniversary, I asked for evaluation forms be filled in for constructive feedback). The other reason was to locate choice statements on the website to share with you. “In general, the facilitator's role consists of….Ensuring, during the discussion, that our guidelines are respected especially regarding tolerance for others' views…” and, “This role can be summarized as making people feel safe to talk about death.” ALL Death Cafés are “safe spaces.” The definition of safe space is, “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.” Safe spaces can provide a break from judgment, unsolicited opinions, and having to explain yourself. It also allows people to feel supported and respected. We gather to talk about death and dying, not other unrelated topics (i.e. marriage status, name change). We gather to listen to others talk about death and dying, and if there is anything they do not wish to share (i.e. a recent death, a shocking death) we do not press them to do so. Talking is not required at any Death Café. Respect is. Thank you for co-creating with me a safe space so every single person in attendance feels safe to be in a conversation about death.

SUMMARY: • Topics we discussed and shared (separated by **): **We lit candles, had a moment of silence to honor our ancestors, and then shared short stories about them. **There’s a new movie on Amazon titled “Blackbird” with Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet. The trailer shows a dying woman who has opted for MAID (Medical Aid In Dying) and has family over to spend time together before she dies. The movie “Sister Cities” was suggested; see attached to this email a screenshot description. “The Last Word” was also suggested; its description on Netflix: “Suddenly widowed, a woman becomes a eulogist while navigating the existential landscape of death, grief and love.” Another movie suggestion shared with us was, “Clouds” -- available on Disney+ according to this website which includes a full description. **We talked about the upcoming celebrations: Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Halloween. “5 Facts About Dia de los Muertos”: **Some cultural and religious differences in views and attitudes about death (and the types of death) were shared. **It was mentioned that facing death and one’s own mortality changes your perspective on life and living. I say, “Death is a Life Coach!”

• Helpful resources/websites for other topics we talked about: **VSED (Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking) was mentioned briefly so for those who want more info, see Compassionate Choices **MAID Medical Aid In Dying legislation in NC updates at **Aquamation, also known as Alkaline Hydrolysis, was legalized in N.C. effective on October 1, 2018. There is currently one operating in Shelby. **While on that topic, human composting was broached. Read more at **The Advance Directive for Dementia (a simple way to document the medical care you would want if you had dementia) can be downloaded from You’ll also find instructions, resources and news on that website.

• A recent article that may interest you: “Hospice Workers Share What They Wish Everyone Knew About Death”

• And another: “What it's Like to Learn You're Going to Die”

• Educational and fun opportunity: The 5th Annual Death Faire in Pittsboro, NC is Saturday October 31st! It “will be mysterious, COVID-19 friendly, outside at The Plant and focusing on grieving our old way of life, honoring the lives lost this year and welcoming the transformation happening.” I had hoped to provide a workshop again but those are not really possible this pandemic year. Lots is still happening though!

• Also happening on a special Halloween night (10/31 6-8pm) is the next Death Café Mebane! To sign up for the Zoom link, please email host/facilitator Sara Williams

With regard to the approaching holiday season, some of us expressed the desire to talk about death, and the dead (personal relations, plus those that have occurred during the pandemic, whether related to COVID or not), as well as loss (like the hugs we are all missing and the special dinners usually enjoyed during the holidays – with loved ones, alive or deceased). I’ve made note to pick this up in November as an idea. If you are on Facebook, please “like” the Death Café-Hillsborough page (search @deathcafehillsborough). DEATH CAFÉ – Hillsborough VIA ZOOM! NOVEMBER 11, 2020 6:00 – 8:00PM Stay safe and be well, fellow mortals! Neidra

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