A lively gathering in Albany WA
A particularly loud and lively gathering today!
We spent part of the session in a single group of about 12 and part split into two or three groups, so the conversation was wide-ranging, coming together as the numbers dwindled to share our experiences of the afternoon.
Several of us had seen the film 'Alive Inside' earlier in the week (about music and dementia) and we talked about how that might also relate to palliative and end-of-life care, which linked into discussions about the sorts of things that evoke special, pleasurable memories for us - particular songs/music, favourite perfumes, the aromas of foods our mothers or grandmothers cooked. We talked about the importance of recording these in our emotional will, both as mementos for our families after we die and as prompts for our carers in the event of dementia or stroke robbing us of the ability to communicate or remember of our own volition.
That led us to other interpretations of 'emotional wills', perhaps as a way of recording our life stories to leave for our loved ones who survive us - and that briefly led to our fairly regular topic of Advance Health Directives, with a few questions being raised.
Returning to the topic of music/ other memory stimulation, we speculated on what we might want or NOT want in our final days - would we want visitors? Touch? Sound? Peace and quiet?
And we talked about the fact that so few men seem to want to talk about any of this! And about ways of perhaps engaging more men in Death Café gatherings - perhaps in a men's shed situation, with coffin-making featuring as a potentially ideal project!
Next gathering will be at Hybla on Friday 28 October, from 2 pm.