Talking death at a Perkins Restaurant

Attending a Death Café

We really had no idea what to expect. Grieving widows? Goth gangs? Coffin salesmen?

The conversation was…. diverse! Wide ranging and thought provoking. We went from cultural customs, assisted suicide, individual rights, public policy, medical marijuana, societal norms, personal perspectives, medical proxies…

The group of folks attending was really quite extraordinary. Our moderators were the esteemed Tedford J. Taylor, an ordained Quaker minister, and the inestimable Laurie Dinerstein Kurs, a rabbi, both chaplains at Robert Wood Johnson. My fellow attendees were a perfect melting pot – retiree, college student, white collar worker, state employee, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Muslim….

Everyone actively participated and had something to contribute. One poignant story was about a departed grandmother’s photo album, and not knowing the names that went with each of the faces. A large part of the family history had never been captured before it was lost.

Which led to bevival's very own founder to quote Banksy, “…they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”  Which in turn then led to a discussion about capturing stories, before it’s too late.

The tone for the entire evening was extraordinarily positive and informative.

All in all, a unique experience and very worthwhile conversation. I left energized, with some fresh perspectives about a very old topic.

Next report: Objects I keep