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New Ways of Sharing about Death and Dying

Looking for new or unusual spaces and places to meet others and talk about caring for someone, living with a life-limiting disease, or getting your own affairs in order? Or just some inspiration to try? Try these ideas.


1. Outdoor spaces such as Community gardens, Supported Garden Programs.

These are places of beauty where people get together- whether you are caring for or living with a life-limiting disease.

We all know nature is good for our health but did you know it’s given a name? Yes- biophilia. It means our innate and genetically determined affinity with the natural world.

In a garden or in nature, you can interact socially without saying much if you don’t want to. Or you can be alone if you want to, while outdoors for a while.


2. Labyrinths

When you enter a labyrinth, you ask a question while walking towards the centre, then pause at the centre. While walking back out of the labyrinth, some new ways of looking at your “question” might appear to you.

Some of these outdoor spaces are also dementia friendly.


3. Death Cafes

Sometimes called Dialogue cafes.

These usually have no costs – you just meet somewhere publicly, and they often have a facilitator.

The facilitator may invite people to share why they are there, and you can talk about whatever you want.

You might talk about practical things such as dealing with voice messages left on the phone after someone has died, using Facebook as a memorial site, learning about different cultures, your loved one’s favourite songs, learning about funeral photography.

Or you might discuss finding someone to be your Enduring Guardian when you have no family or friends available.

The facilitator will keep the meeting to around two hours maximum. He or she may introduce some group “norms” for example you all take turns in talking, and there is a consensus for respect. It’s all about sharing of grassroots knowledge and caring, and you may decide to only go for one or a few times.


4. You may also want to learn about body disposal, alternative methods of doing funerals, vigils etc.

There are many death doulas and others now teaching about all these things. Watch this very  personal and intimate video about home vigils, and death doulas here.