Death Over Dinner — Another starting place

I seem to be fixed on the theme of conversations related to death, and here’s another approach taken by a group from Seattle.


I think it a more open and engaging way to begin a difficult conversation (as compared with the My Gift of Grace game I wrote about yesterday), but there still needs to be facilitation and ongoing support to turn these salon moments into substance, family and medical care awareness, legal documentation, etc.

A thought occurs to me. We could use an entirely new professional category in this world, an ombudsman for the mortality process, someone trained in the law and in medicine of course AND also in the psychology of families, and the spirit, and in love and re-creation after the moment of death has passed–multifaceted to say the least. But we need someone who can and will bridge these silos of decision making and experience so that someone dying–and the survivors surrounding that person–can all have as complete and meaningful an experience as possible, at end-of-life and beyond.

After all, there is dying yes, but there is also a whole lot of living and carrying on that must happen after that last breath. So far, I see little concerted attention focused on the what comes after a dying person leaves the medical facility. There’s so much more we can and should do. Hard, but not impossible, and why in the world shouldn’t we try?

Commentary & Notes
3 comments on “Death Over Dinner — Another starting place
  1. BT….These things are what the hospice team should offer. All these things is what I do daily. And my co-workers too. If you choose the right hospice, you have a team of people who not only walk a person “home”, but accompany the people they love on the journey. And bring the right people in (with the family’s permission, of course) to provide whatever they may need.
    You are indeed so much better at what you do than just your title, my friend.

    • At least in our area, I don’t see that outcome happen consistently for families. People so often put off hospice until very late in the end of life cycle, which limits the time available for hospice to serve and support.

      Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but in my mind’s eye I would imagine a support system that extends for at least several months on either side of that last breath and ideally much longer than that.

      Socially, practically, we are more and more scattered and harried. How then can the system of care provide a sense of community and communion in and around these end stages and afterwards?

  2. Bereavement. Services are for at least 13 months. Longer if the family needs it. I have been with some families for over 4 years.

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