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.