Visitors, mostly aged 50-plus, enter the center's cool, dimly lit quarters, where they're invited to help themselves to tea, pastel-colored pastries, gluten-free brownies and a seat within a large circle of chairs. They are not necessarily seeking radiance, wellness or inspiration. They are here to participate in a frank, open-ended discussion about life's grand finale at the monthly Sarasota Death Cafe. The idea? To provide a casual, comfortable space for people to discuss everything from the practical (legal documents and right-to-die legislation) to the ethereal (near-death experiences and the great "What's next?").
Nobody really wants to talk about death. Especially not their own death. We tend to avoid thinking about it or discussing it with our loved ones. However, many people think we can actually lead more fulfilling lives if we discuss the subject openly and if we make plans for situations that could arise at the end of our lives.
News 4 Jax,in an article titled "Death Cafes allow end-of-life discussions," tells the story of a new trend that has strangers coming together to talk about the once taboo subject of death and dying.
At these gatherings called "Death Cafes" people discuss a wide range of issues concerning end-of-life care, the right to die, and legal documents such as powers of attorney and wills. While many people will find the subject too morbid to discuss, from an estate planning perspective this could be a great new trend.
Most Americans do not have an estate plan, oftentimes because they do not want to talk about death or confront the fact that they will die. The lack of an estate plan often causes problems for the family members who are left behind. If death cafes encourage people to talk about death and get estate plans implemented, then they could be very positive.
Regardless whether you want to seek out and attend a death cafe for yourself, it is a good idea to consider what will happen at the end of your life and after you pass away. However, do not just stop there. Take the next step and have an estate plan prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney.
Reference: News 4 Jax (September 20, 2014) "Death Cafes allow end-of-life discussions"