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Death, Dinner And Discourse

"Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me," wrote poet Emily Dickinson in the late 1800s. Emily's words seem to personify death and, among other interpretations, indicate that even busy people cannot escape his "kindly" visit.

If Emily Dickinson imagined being too preoccupied by life's business to ponder death during her era, what words would she choose to describe our 21st century daily schedule of checking mobile devices, updating our social media and multi-tasking behaviors? So, when Death does stop by for us, we are mostly caught unaware. We are also frightened by the notion of our own mortality and, rarely, have pondered what kind of control we can have over our inevitable end. We leave it to our survivors to uncover any last wishes, guess at what our attitude toward end-of-life care might be and organize funeral arrangements we may not have envisioned. 

A new movement called "Death Cafes" is hoping to encourage people of all ages to discuss and plan for their demise in a relaxed atmosphere with family and friends. These "cafes" are casual dining events where the focus is on talking about death and options that you have control over while alive. It's purpose is to get the conversation started and allow you to bring that conversation home-both to your own nuclear family and to your elderly parent. 

The Innovation in Aging, Caregiving and Technology Summit (iACT) meetup group is excited to have Elva Roy speak about Death Cafes at our October 15 gathering. Elva Roy has an MBA and retired at the end of 2011 as vice president of a Dallas-based Fortune 500 corporation. Since then, she has been doing work that is more meaningful to her than corporate work. She currently serves as an unpaid volunteer on the Board of Directors of Funeral Consumers Alliance of North Texas, the Advisory Council of the Tarrant Area Agency on Aging, coordinates Age Friendly Arlington and teaches English as a Second Language to Spanish and Arabic speakers. Elva is a secular celebrant for weddings, funerals and valediction "funeral" services (before someone has died). She also has a private hypnosis practice where she specializes in treating bruxism, dementia, onychophagia, fear of flying and virtual obesity surgery. 

Elva will relate her experiences in hosting a “Death Caféevent, as well as, explore some End-of-Life (“EOL”) options that not everybody knows they have. 

She will explain:

· what a “green burial” is

· what a “direct cremation” is compared to a “regular cremation”

· whether a DIY home funeral is legal in Texas

· whether you can bury your dead loved one on your property

· what you need to know about whole body donation (to science) versus “organ donation”

· what a valediction (“farewell”) service is ( as described in the book “Tuesdays With Morrie”).

She will give some ballpark costs about different kinds of End-of-Life arrangements around DFW.

Elva considers death to be part of the natural life cycle and not to be feared.

Here are links where you can learn more about Death Cafes:

Death Be Not Decaffeinated

Death Cafes Breathe Life Into Conversations About Dying

Death Dinners at Baby Boomers' Tables Take on Dying Taboo

If you would like to join us for "Happy Hour" at The Italian Club on October 15 to hear Elva's presentation, click on the link for more information.

 

 

 

 

Positive Outlook Counseling
Barbara Crowley, M.S., LPC-I

16610 North Dallas Parkway, Ste 2100
Dallas TX, 75248

972-733-3988
www.positiveoutlookcounseling.com

Positive Outlook Counseling services range from individual counseling to family therapy to marriage counseling services. Barbara Crowley specializes in individual therapy for adolescents and  adults. 

Click Here To Book An Appointment Online

 

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014