At some level we all know that death is an inevitable part of life. “Everyone dies.” The media are full of accounts of death—sudden or slow, violent or peaceful, expected or unexpected—from war, crime, accident, disease, and “old age.” We all know people who have died or are dying, and people who have dealt or are dealing with the death of others connected to them. Yet it is not always easy to think and talk about death. Some of us are comfortable doing that, and with preparing for our and others’ deaths. Many of us are not.
This series of interactive conversations has been planned and will be led by various members of Old First to provide a “safe space” for us to share perspectives, knowledge, fears, hopes, insights and faith. It will focus on several variations of the theme of “approaching death.” We will explore ways in which each of us approaches—thinks about or tries to avoid thinking about—death. We will also have opportunities to learn how to prepare thoughtfully and faithfully to live life to the fullest and deepen our joy as death approaches. We will also consider ways to talk with others about your and their deaths, and about the benefits of making appropriate and timely decisions and preparations.
Because the series will engage participants in discussions, exercises, and interesting projects between sessions, and because the sessions will build on each other, the leaders ask that if you are interested in attending you register ahead of time and you commit to participating in at least six of the eight sessions. Please register using this form.
If you make these commitments we intend that at the end of the series you will be…
- More comfortable with thinking and talking about death and dying
- Able to use resources of faith in that thinking and talking
- More knowledgeable about the religious, medical, and legal dimensions of death and dying
- Able to plan effectively for end of life care, medical decisions, funeral services, and wills
- Able to help others do those things, as appropriate.
In addition to individual sharing, discussions, and information, the sessions will provide opportunities to actually prepare an advanced directive, living will, and will, and to think about identifying your healthcare power of attorney.
The sessions will be held in the Social Hall after worship (12:30-2:00) on the first Sunday of the month. Those who wish to bring a lunch may eat together during the session.
March 6—Beginning to talk about aging and death
April 3—What faith offers to help with aging and death
May 1—“Dying well” v. the challenge of medical capabilities, part 1
June 5—“Dying well” v. the challenge of medical capabilities, part 2
September 4—The benefits of planning ahead and of planning well
October 2—Wills and bequests
November 6—Funeral plans
December 4—Necessary family conversations
The first session on March 6, led by Delilah M., Bobbie B., Bob S., and Pastor Michael, will start to create the “safe space” within which we can begin to share our perspectives, knowledge, fears, hopes, insights, and faith as they relate to our and others’ mortality. The session leaders will share some of their experiences with aging, and with dying at different ages, and will provide questions for group discussion. This first session will pave the way for the later ones.
I hope to see you on Sunday, March 6. Please register using this form.
– Bobbie B., for the planning committee