Well, this past Sunday I facilitated my first “death cafe”. I put it in quotes because it was difficult to find a coffee shop in the Richmond area that would allow me to call it that! So…I called it a Peaceful Passings Cafe: a forum to talk about all things about death. It was nothing short of amazing! I ran it like a true Death Cafe and the two hours flew by. My love is working with my clients (and I use the words “client” as both my patient and the family. Although the dying process is physically happening to only one person, the journey to death has ripples that touch so many. I hold the space for the family, as well as, for the patient) but I see so much of my role as a community educator. This is a grassroots movement!
We live in such a death-phobic society. As the baby boomers are starting to see their own mortality, they are starting to ask questions. They are pushing boundaries. Decades ago they did this with the birthing process. Can you imagine the look on the first OB/GYN’s face when their patient stated that they didn’t want to labor on their back, but walk around! That they wanted the baby to be placed right on them and not whisked away! As this generation is facing their last chapters, they want to take that power back again. This time saying that they don’t need every medical test, drug and study preformed on them until it has robbed their already frail body of any light and energy that remains. They are showing the medical community that while there are a lot of medical experiences around death, that death, in and of itself, is natural and should be treated as such.
There certainly will be more Peaceful Passings Cafe’s in the future! Out of it has come a new public website for like-minded people (RVA End-of-life network), new ideas of how to spread the message and the beginning of a true movement in Richmond!