Death Cafe, Winchester, Virginia
Death Cafe June 7, 2015
A bright and dynamic group of twelve people gathered around the table at Steamy’s Cafe in Winchester, VA on a bright and beautiful day in June.
A story of a dedicated caregiver for many people was told. After tending to her beloved husband for more than 20 years, his death came peacefully, and now she wishes to be alone for awhile, to be quiet before the rituals and family surround her. A time for grace, introspection, and rest.
The right to determine one’s time for dying is always a topic of interest and dialogue. The right to choose to die before a crippling long term disease, be it dementia or progressive, painful disease process is a concern for many. It is part of the changing dialogue in living and dying and the language for it is difficult and the need for clearer language without negative connotation is needed. Someone asked what is gained by making this choice. The answers included less suffering, not being a burden to others, a person’s personal right to determine the time of death, a good death, not debilitated physically or mentally, and the basic right to choose.
POA, advanced directives, do not resuscitate orders, and POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) also became part of the dialogue. Having these directives in order and dialogue with the participants is key to having some control of what happens as death becomes a nearer reality.
Making peace with oneself is part of the end of life awareness, forgiving self and others, clearing the slate, making amends were ideas for cultivating and living our lives consciously.
Our next meeting is July 5, 2015 at Steamy’s Cafe in Winchester, VA 22601.