Talking to strangers can be liberating

A group of people met online to discuss all things death and dying. each one took five minutes to talk about their reason for joining the group:

- realised they were scared about death and responded to the facebook post

- another had lived in London for a few years and this had been inthe back of their mind - curious about end of life planning and surprised that people think about insurance but not death - pracitcal aspects like who would feed the dog but also how considering death brings meaning into life

- the third spoke of her history and how a major back accident had led her to re-examine priorities and consider death

- the next spoke of her wish to work towards having a beautiful death. growing up in her mothers dementia nursing home she had end of life experience but was shielded from funerals. Her work in property often required dealing with estates and death.

a fifth spoke of hte agony of his baby son dying after only three days of life and the pain of bereavement. His journey though had brought some special moments connecting with other bereaved fathers, playing football with them and the power of human touch. He had been enlarged by the experience especially the encounters iwth difference that he would not have experienced otherwise. 

Looking at different cultures the context made such a difference - in Korea there is no pension provision and so you have to fall back on the family. Inthe UK the state offers nothing to a bereaved dad and one was lobbying his MP for support to be available.

Feedback included the following words to describe the gathering:

1. Moving

2. Helpful

3. Informative

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