As a self-proclaimed “death junkie,” I’ve dedicated my career to working with people facing end-of-life questions and death.
As a clinical expert in the early stages of the AIDs epidemic, I witnessed great end-of-life suffering, with little hope of survival. Later, as a hospice nurse, I saw patients empowered to create the terms for their dying. Many often chose to die at home, surrounded by family or friends, and pets. I have accompanied many people on both good and bad death journeys.
Now I am a Care Manager with Iona. My role allows me to assist and advocate for promoting healthy aging, while also providing guidance on end-of-life goals of care. With clients, I might talk to them about choosing a healthcare decision-maker, or developing an Advance Healthcare Directive. But, it’s not all about dying. I also help clients think about what makes life worth living and what a quality life looks like to them.
Through these experiences, I’ve come to see just how taboo talking about death is. And I want to change that!
We prepare for everything else in our lives—from researching what TV to buy to creating vision boards for home décor or weddings. Yet, though death is the only assured reality we’re all going to have, most of us aren’t comfortable thinking, let alone talking, about it.
But, what if talking about death demystified it?
That’s the philosophy behind the Death Café movement, which started in September 2011. Since then, the model has expanded to more than 7,500 groups, with conversations and meet-ups happening across the globe. Death Cafés are safe and friendly discussion groups, not grief support groups or counseling sessions. All ages are welcome.
The subject of death and dying is never easy to discuss. But, why not share, learn, and talk with others in a friendly and relaxed environment?
Why a Death Café? Why not?
By: Dixcy Bosley, RN, MSN, FNP.
Prior to joining the Iona Care Management team, Dixcy served as a hospice nurse in various community settings. She is passionate about claiming life by demystifying death for young and old people alike.