Vitual Death Cafe Iowa

We had a virtual death café on September 19, 2023 via Zoom. Buffy Peters from Hamilton’s Academy of Grief and Loss was our facilitator. There were a total of nine people who joined Buffy online.

One thing that we focused on discussing, is when to have conversations with loved ones about death. For some, it is so important to have conversations pertaining to our wishes, what we do and don’t want, transportation and disposition of our bodies, what is & isn’t allowed in our state, and all things death. For others, they would rather not have those discussions and let their loved ones make those decisions. Sometimes our loved ones don’t want to discuss death; we need to be aware and respect those who have different opinions or thoughts. Talking about death lead us to talk advanced directives, responsibility when it comes to planning (before-during-after) for death. A statement that stands out during that part of the conversation was “last moments of life should be freedom from everything”! It is important to take on the responsibility ourselves to plan but also to give that to someone else at the end, “there is room to do both”. It is wonderful that preplanning is available for people who do have details and know exactly what they want.

We bounced in to talking about fear and worry briefly. People can be afraid of dying or afraid of death, but it isn’t necessarily fear. A quote that was mentioned “worry is the fear we manufacture”, which when we think about it, it is! Someone mentioned that genuine fear is in the moment, while worry is usually in the future. Richie Norton said, “To escape fear you have to go through it, not around it”, and that is something all of us can relate to.

Towards the end we circled back to talk again about responsibility of planning and funerals and when it is best to have those conversations. There was so much to consider, to think about, and to even write down. Planning our funerals or choosing not to, our wishes, who bears responsibility when we can’t, having those conversations with loved ones, and even wondering if death causes us fear or worry. We should think about our experiences, whether or not those shape our decisions, and why our experiences shape them. We should think outside of the box and be open to everything.

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