The social side of death

copyright the Chronicle September 6, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — “We’re only guaranteed two things,” Anne-Marie Keppel told the small crowd that turned out for a Death Café at the library on August 31. “The fact that we are alive right now in this instant — and that we’re going to die.”

Talking openly about death is pretty much taboo in our society. Even people who want to talk about it may likely find that friends and family don’t want to hear.

So Death Cafés were created to give people a safe place to talk about life’s greatest certainty, usually with a group of strangers.

Last week’s group ran the gamut from nine Sterling College students at the younger end, to an elderly man there with his 20-something companion and caregiver.

Some had been to other Death Cafés. Others were new to the experience.

But everyone had come to talk about death — or at least to listen to other people talking about death.

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