We are bombarded, day in and day out, with images of youth. Even those who appear in ads about cancer facilities appear young and vibrant. It is great to think that we are going to live to very advanced ages, the reality though is dependent on our lifestyles and genetics. Our society does not prepare us to accept death. Doctor's are reluctant to sign death certificates because it is accepting failure for them. We have an entire industry that is focused on removing us from death. When a person dies in a hospital, a call is made to the mortuary and the deceased is picked up and taken to a place where strangers prepare the body for burial or cremation. Families may get a moment to say goodbye at the hospital or hospice and then they never see their loved one again. Certainly in some cases this is necessary when there has been a devastating accident or contagious illness. The point of this is that we have become conditioned to fear death and dying, and we should not.
Image by sites.psu.edu
Another passion of mine is the facilitation of "Death Cafe's", this is a kind of salon where people get together to discuss the issues of death and dying that frighten them so that they can be addressed without fear. It is also a chance to discuss the practical issues of dying such as directives, wills and other plans that should not be left until the last minute to be decided by those who are in immense emotional pain. I have included a link to an article that discusses this kind of gathering, if you would like to have me facilitate something like this for you I am happy to do so. At the bottom of this post are several ways you may contact me. http://www.phillyvoice.com/death-cafe-philadelphia-out-of-the-closet/ .
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