Michael Hebb

What started as a graduate course in 2013 has grown into a global movement that invites friends, family and strangers to talk about Death Over Dinner. Hebb’s approach for initiating one of life’s most difficult conversations is an easy to follow recipe that ensures attendees are well nourished.

Word renowned gerontologist Dr. Mario Garrett

Exit Interview conducted by Caren Martineau

CM: What is the one lesson you wish everyone could get in life, and at the end of life?

I wish people understood the power of self-talk, that your internal commentary literally creates your world and your experience of it. I wish that more people learned how to be kind to themselves, and speak in a loving way internally. Transforming my self-talk has been the single most healing thing I have ever done.

CM: What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Growing food, cooking it for those I love, and being next to the woman I love. Close to mountains with beautiful water to swim in…

CM: What is your current state of mind?

I’m overlooking Lake Washington, watching my dog sleep and my tomatoes ripen in the sun…it’s pretty close to bliss.

CM: Do you have a favorite book or writer(s)?

D.H. Lawrence is my favorite writer, his ability to explore the invisible universe of emotion changed the way I see everything. I am constantly changing my favorite book, however Wabi Sabi by Leonard Korten has been a perennial favorite.

CM: What are you reading, what’s on your bedside table?

All that Remains by Sue Black

CM: What is one thing people would never imagine about you?

I often have gold toenails.

CM: What is your exit plan? How would you like to die?

I imagine it like a circle that keeps getting smaller. I would love to have forewarning so that I could allow my community of friends to come spend some time feasting and playing together. Then it would get closer and closer until my daughters and my love were the only ones at my side. The rest is less important, of course there is a long list of other things I would like, but this idea of an enclosing circle is far more important than the set or setting.

CM: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A dolphin. They seem like they are having a pretty lovely time.

CM: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Beethoven, Sonata no.3 for cello and piano op.69— or on second thought, Thomas Tallis, Spem in Alium.

You can support this series by purchasing ‘Let’s Talk About Death (Over Dinner)’ using this Link

To learn more about Michael and his work, visit: hebb.life & death over dinner

Exit Interviews are edited for clarity.