On what has come to be known as ‘Dying to Know Day’ (8 August), a gathering of 50 people, some from Sydney, met at a local café to share personal stories and experiences around death and dying.
One of the organisers, Dr Michael Barbato, reports some of the most spirited discussion centred on the stress of caring for a dying relative at home, the need for more community-based palliative care services, caring for someone with dementia, the potential role of Death Doulas, Advance Care Planning, dying with dignity and the draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill soon to be introduced to the NSW Parliament.
“The meeting was vibrant and resulted in as many laughs as it did tears and ended with a request for further Death Cafés to explore topics that rarely see the light of day,” says Michael.
Given the enthusiasm, Michael and his fellow organisers Ann Barbato and Elaine Raper are planning to hold the next Death Café in late September.
Death Cafes are held around the world to encourage people to talk about the issues around this generally taboo subject.
Details: Those wishing to register or find out more can contact Michael on 0421714048.