DeathChats* are gatherings to explore the reality of death and all that surrounds it, in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.
We talk about aging, serious illness, the dying process, and the various options for caring for our dead. And just about anything related to those.
The purpose, really, is to help us get more comfortable with the ideas of death and dying before we get there ourselves!
Why in the world would people want to talk about death?! Most Americans are uncomfortable talking about death and dying. In fact, many would rather live as if it will never happen to them.
Some of us, however, do want to explore these subjects. During the 20+ years I’ve worked and volunteered at hospices and hospitals – and now in my private practice – hundreds of people have pulled me aside to ask questions, share their feelings, and spill their thoughts about these difficult topics.
What about you? Would you like to get together with others who want to talk about about these things? Are you curious about these gatherings? If so, read on…
Are DeathChats* grim? No, they’re not. We’re talking about facts of life. Often there’s a feeling of tenderness or reverence. Sometimes even mirth! In so many ways, our conversations are more about life than they are about death.
Are DeathChats* disrespectful? We hope not. Sometimes our discomfort with the end of life gets expressed in uncomfortable laughter or jokes, but we try not to get stuck there. After all, one of the reasons we’re talking about this is to get more comfortable with it. And that can take some time.
How is a DeathChat* different from a Death Cafe? DeathChats* are a program of Companioning Care LLC, and don’t include cake – sorry! They do, however, include a DeathChats Reflection Guide™ for each participant at each meeting.
I chose to create this new kind of gathering for two reasons. First, Death Cafes can not promote businesses and I didn’t want to risk the perception of breaking that rule, even though there’s nothing promoted at DeathChats*. Second, I wanted you to be able to choose which topic(s) you want to explore instead of risking being stuck in a conversation that doesn’t interest you.
What if I’m grieving? If your bereavement is new or your grief responses are still strong, please contact me about grief support sessions or groups. (Groups are listed on the Events page.) DeathChats* will be useful to you later.
The first DeathChat* is next weekend, in Eugene, Oregon. If you’re interested in an online version, let me know. I’m excited to expand this idea, since I know how much it’s needed.
Any questions? Please get in touch. We’d love to see you at the inaugural DeathChat*!
*DeathChats and DeathChat are Service Marks belonging to Companioning Care LLC.