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Taboo against talking about dying is about to change, locally

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,
Ever wonder what kind of a crap game you're in and who the players are? Wonder no longer because a Death Café is coming this way very shortly. Talking about dying has long been taboo in our culture but that's all about to change. A movement which started about 10 years ago in Switzerland and spread to Belgium and France then the UK and since 2004 has made its appearance in various cities as Columbus Ohio, Vancouver BC , Sonoma County, California and Chicago.
The goal is to raise awareness with the view of helping people make the most of their lives. It has to be a good thing when people are open to get together and talk about death. Keeping it socially unacceptable and taboo is how the funeral industry got so commercial. Usually meetings are held over coffee and donuts and usually run themselves even though there is a facilitator.
Sample questions that you might run into are: How do you want to die? In your sleep? In the hospital? Of what cause? When do you want to die? Is 100 too old? Are you scared? What kind of funeral do you want — if any. Is cremation better than burial? What do you need to accomplish before your life is over?
You may also learn about creating wills and advanced medical directives. I'm sure near-death experiences and communicating with the dead will pop up somewhere! What happens after death? Is there a heaven or hell? What are the different views of various religious traditions? Sound kind of gloomy to you? I thought so too at first but anytime we can demystify and throw light on a subject — to the horror of western religions — I'm all for it. If you're interested in attending such meetings you can call Starr King on Fairgrounds Rd.  in Plymouth at 536-8908. Go easy on the donuts though. One too many may make these meetings more pertinent than you think.
If you're young enough to last another 10-15 years you might not need to attend. There are some very bright people sponsored by some very rich people who are looking into making us all immortal in the very near future. It's just a matter of downloading your brain and exchanging your flesh and blood for some shiny mechanical parts. Voila! Instant immortality. Snicker all you want. We share 60 percent of our genes with a banana; 90 percent with a mouse; and 99 percent with a chimpanzee. I look at it as "upward mobility". Pass the lubricant.
George Maloof