Demystifying discussions about death

The Final Checklist: Around a dozen people enjoyed an afternoon sharing their experiences and talking about death and dying at Tura Marrang Library on Tuesday, August 8. Picture: Melanie Leach
The Final Checklist: Around a dozen people enjoyed an afternoon sharing their experiences and talking about death and dying at Tura Marrang Library on Tuesday, August 8. Picture: Melanie Leach

Around a dozen people enjoyed an afternoon tea filled with laughs on Tuesday while discussing a subject that most people wouldn’t associate with fun...death. 

It was all part of one of three Death Cafes around the Bega Valley hosted by the Bega Valley Home Hospice Group as a way of starting a conversation and celebrating Dying to Know Day.

One of the organisers Sue Middlewood said the Death Cafe was aimed at educating and helping people become more familiar with the end of life.

“It was about demystifying death and giving people permission to speak on any subject they like related to death and dying,” Ms Middlewood said. “One of our aims is to educate the public on death and dying and the need for really good palliative care.

“There’s a bit of a taboo and we just was to open the door to make death less scary and more part of life,” she said. 

There were a number of questions placed on the tables as a way to get the conversation flowing including:

  • What would be your final expression of love before you die?
  • Where do you want to die and why?
  • What would you like to pass along to those left behind?
  • What would be most difficult about leaving you loved ones behind? 
  • What does a good death mean to you?

The Death Cafe held at Tura Marrang Library was so successful that all those who attended expressed their desire to see these events held on a more regular basis. 

The Final Checklist: Around a dozen people enjoyed an afternoon sharing their experiences and talking about death and dying at Tura Marrang Library on Tuesday, August 8. Picture: Melanie Leach

The Final Checklist: Around a dozen people enjoyed an afternoon sharing their experiences and talking about death and dying at Tura Marrang Library on Tuesday, August 8. Picture: Melanie Leach