by Caren Martineau
As professionals and practitioners who work on “death avenue” everyday, we gathered at my favorite secret watering hole on Death Avenue, to honor the entrepreneurial drive and higher purpose of Dying To Know Day co-founders Kerrie Noonan and Jessie Williams.
Founded in 2012 as a grassroots initiative, D2KDay embodies the core values of its authors, advocates and volunteer hosts: collaboration, innovation, learning and higher purpose. And to be clear, when I say higher purpose, I’m not talking about God’s work after we die, but our work, right here right now, as we live and breathe.
Like Kerrie and Jessie, I went out on a limb, put everything at risk to pursue a disruptive higher purpose idea that frankly, many friends and colleagues couldn’t get their heads around.
In the year plus I’ve been at this, I’ve never regretted a moment because I listened to the people who work on death avenue not for the pay, but for the reward of making a difference. The ones with knowledge of our future self, the experts who come with simple instructions: #1-Preparation #2-Prepare for preparation.
When 90% of people say they want to talk about their end-of life wishes, but only 27% have done so, something has to change. When we know we need to know, but can’t ask the question, we need help. When we know something needs to get done, but can’t, we need help. And when we can’t complete what must get complete, we need help.
Long before the end is the wisdom bevival and D2KDayUSA offers: guidance, compassion, and education. Creativity. Individuality. Death literacy. It’s a resource where individuals, community, and organizations can talk to one another, where information is not threatening, complicated or ugly. It’s a place one can prepare to prepare.
Sitting around the table at Death Ave reinforced our collective experience of why we believe. After a joyous, raucous evening filled with the richness of life in hi-def, we ended with the gifting of beautiful symbolic glass touchstones. Reminders that fear can be dissolved with awareness, clarity will offer healing, and creativity is the true narrative of everyone’s life.
D2KDayUSA has already brought positive changes to those who have participated. Let's keep the momentum going, for no one should be a stranger to this conversation.