DEATH CAFE’ VERONA – 15TH DECEMBER 2014
The sixteenth Death Café in Verona took place on a cold and rainy winter’s night. There were 8 of us at Elisabetta’s house and, as usual, it was a fruitful evening with shared thoughts, fears and feelings on the themes of death and dying.
The things which came to mind when reflecting on the word “death” were: light (crossing over into a bright light); spirit (nothing is lost, we transform into something else, from a physical body to a spiritual life); infinity (a place without a dimension); transition (passage, reincarnation, we never die, our energy remains); life (it makes me feel weightless, a passage into a real life); peace (all anxieties end, we feel an interior peace when a loved one dies); sleep (thinking of death as a long sleep); liberation (from dashing around and everyday chores); fear (of not being fully aware of what death means); anger and injustice (regarding the death of a young person, something has been left unfinished); ignorance (not knowing what happens after death); hurrying and dark (awareness that we could do many things but death arrives and everything becomes dark); love (love can take many forms, through children or voluntary work); fractals (everything has a precise order moving towards infinity).
In the first part of the meeting, we talked about how we would like our death to be and what we would want for our funeral. Some said they’d prefer to die in their sleep, without suffering or awareness; others would want to be conscious at the moment of death, maintaining consciousness in order to give some value to the human experience. This would give dignity to the moment. Some would prefer there to be a calm, serene atmosphere at their funeral with their passage into a new life being celebrated. Others would prefer to die alone, far away, in the middle of nature in a natural way, with a Tibetan style funeral, i.e. their corpse being exposed to the elements and devoured by animals and birds, in this way allowing the spirit to escape and fly away.
After we spoke about what we’d like to do before we die and what is preventing us from doing these things now. “My limit is myself in that it’s the way I am which stops me doing what I want”; “I’d like to travel and discover other cultures but it’s not always possible to do that because we can’t afford it or we live with other people”; “I’d like to be more flexible. I have lived my life and done what I wanted and now I’m trying to live in the present”; “Time is limited so it’s important for me to do now what is meaningful for me”; “I’d like to have the people I love best with me when I die”; “I always do the things that I like doing but I’d like to know what my particular gift or talent is, what it is that gives sense to my life, what I was born for and what I will leave behind”; “I want to live life to the full and make the most of my relationships with other people. This is something I’m managing to do more and more”.
The words used to describe this Death Café were: emotional, constructive, reflexive, pleasant, serene/serenity, tranquillity, carefree, comparing notes, silence, curiosity, irony.