Some time ago I learned about the website Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death. I thought it seemed rather daring. Who sits around and talks about dying (crazy people) over a home cooked meal? I sat with the idea for a long period of time; letting the idea grow on me a bit. Living in NSCLC land I discuss dying often but really only felt comfortable talking to my husband about the subject and often talking in circles.
I needed to branch out, talk to a professional. I contacted a woman I knew, Holly Pruett, a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. I asked Holly for some help on planning my death and dying process. She accepted the job.
I got mixed feedback from people when I told them what I was doing. The most common response was, “do you think you are going to die soon?” Truth is, I feel pretty darn great. No better time to address things that need addressing. Anything to relieve some of the burden from my husband when I do die needs to happen while I can still make it happen.
Holly and I have decided that for the time being meeting monthly is reasonable. For our July meeting I was to review some questions she sent me just after our June encounter. I’m a project manager by training but I am a bit out of practice when it comes to nailing a deadline. So, 2-days before our meeting I started to dive into the multi page questionnaire. Wow. I was in way over my head.
What will people remember most about me? (Is that a trick question?)
I decided to do what you are supposed to do when you need help. I asked for it! I sent out a email Monday afternoon inviting my dearest dozen girlfriends over for Friday night pizza, wine, dessert, and uh…death.
I was comfortable hosting the event for the 10-friends that could make it. Having confidence in facilitating a meeting with your friends does not mean you don’t semi-dread the conversation. I admit the thought of canceling the function Friday afternoon did cross my mind. Do I really want to talk about this??? Yes!!!
We laughed. We cried. For 90-minutes a group of young women (36-43) talked about death and dying; specifically my death and dying. I was zapped emotionally for the next few days.
The event was a huge success.
You can read about things from Holly’s point of view here.
10,2015 Update: Questions from this event have been added – look for the link below the Aquarius vs Cancer banner or click here.
A leadership role you never signed up for… you are inspiring and empowering so many you’ll never even meet by your brave and open hearted example, dear Kim.
Kind words…. xo
You rock, sister! I am always sitting around learning from you. You make a hard path look reasonably easy.
I’ve embraced SW’s pet phrase:
You can be desperate but never look desperate.
Love the picture. Looks like your walking into a Bon Iver album cover!
It was supposed to be this great easy hike…We of course walked the loop backwards making it quite treacherous. My blisters are well coordinated with my red toenail polish. 🙂
(Note: This is the first time I’ve pulled out the red since I was wearing it when I found out I had brain mets. Why is it that I remember that but have no clue why my glass case is?!)
You are quite remarkable. What a healthy way to approach this.
It is working for me; but each person needs to find what works for them.
very brave thing to do. hope you have a nice weekend!
You are amazing! So many different ways to approach this subject – or NOT approach at all. Simply amazing…
It’s only taken me 3.5, 4 months to respond to this… 🙂 Kim, this was an amazing experience; I’m grateful to have participated with such a fantastic group of thoughtful women. You created a safe, lovely space with the ground rules, discussion questions, room set up, food and drink. It seems like talking about death is such a scary thing but something that everyone needs to think about and plan for. I’m glad that you have space to be thoughtful about what you want and that you’re asking for and finding support when you want or need it. Love you!
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Wow, that is tough Kim. Tears and love flowing. I love what you doing with your life right now. I am sure you are helping a lot of people on your path. I am optimistic. I will never give up on you.
What a great idea! We are all headed in the same direction. Sometimes it takes a major illness or the death of a loved one to get us to realize that death happens. Time to face up to it and talk about it. What better way than with a mouthful of pizza?!?
Sounds like it was a success. Here’s to many, many more!😁!