On November 2nd an interview on Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme asked if culturally we pretend that “death isn’t there” and we have “made a mistake in pushing death out of our lives”. I sense that many of us have. Despite losing four other immediate family members suddenly and unexpectedly it wasn’t until I lost my son and learnt that the undertaker that I had hired had violated my son’s final resting place that I began taking an interest in the legal rights of the bereaved.
One person keen to encourage that people think about and discuss issues around death is Jon Underwood at Death Cafe.
“The idea of running Death Cafes came from the work of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz. Jon Underwood read of this in a newspaper article in November 2010 and immediately decided to offer Death Cafes himself”. http://www.deathcafe.com/
I’ve studied what the law says in relation to “disposing” (an insensitive legal term) of our dead and attempt to share what I have learnt with other people, but unless people begin willing to discuss death itself, they cannot begin to grasp what the law says about it. Those with an ‘agenda’ will continue to have psychological power over us all when someone close to us dies. The wrong people (strangers) assume powers and those who have legal powers are not told. Reality and perception remain at odds, but I sense that Jon’s efforts will go a long way to dispelling much of the misconceptions that currently exist.
Death Café forthcoming events can be viewed here http://www.deathcafe.com/p/forthcoming-death-cafes.html or on Jon’s very new website “Impermanence at work” http://impermanenceatwork.org/