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We laughed. We cried. Death over pizza.

My Death Over Dinner experience was more than wonderful. I nervously hosted an event with 10 of my closest girlfriends to talk about death and dying; specifically my death and dying. The ages ranged from 37-43 and most of the group has a limited experience with death. The topic has been lurking in my brain since my Stage 4 cancer diagnosis in May 2011. I was finally ready to talk about this process with my friends. I could think of no better format to discuss this heavy topic than over pizza, wine, and dessert. The results were amazing!

My blog post about the dinner:

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 nightpizza, wine, dessert, and uh…death.
I was comfortable hosting the ev 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.

November 4th, 2014