Talking about Death

As a thanatologist, I have a passion for teaching about death and dying. I teach an online class in this subject, for Kaplan University. During our last seminar, we talked about funerals,the value of this ritual, and how it is celebrated in different cultures.

We explored several issues that concern us when we plan the arrangements, and how do we feel talking about it. I realized once more, unless a person has experienced the loss of a loved one, there is a tremendous lack of information, and we need to have the conversation.

This is one of the reasons I will be offering at The Center forTransforming Lives the series of classes Talking About Death:Confronting Our Mortality and Yes, even the name may scare you, because talking about death is a taboo in our society, and…we prefer to avoid the subject, even at times when need to confront it. Still, based on my experience of many years working with the bereaved, and having gone through the experience of losing my beloved father, when I 12 years old, I believe it is necessary to start having the conversation we stopped having, many years ago, when people did not have a distant relationship with death.

For example, most people died at home surrounded by their loved ones. Now, 70% die in institutions (Corr et al, 2011). The wakes were at home. Many times the family participated in building the casket. What about the origin of cemeteries? My class had a fascination with this subject as we started talking about famous cemeteries in the USA, such as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, or St. Louis No. I, in New Orleans, which is famous for its tours.

I shared with my students that in Miami, we also have a historical cemetery, Woodlawn Park Cemetery North, which on March 30th, 2016, is celebrating its 103-year anniversary . It is a pity this term I am not teaching my class on Death and Dying at Florida International University (FIU), because I would have taken my students to this tour, because cemeteries are special places. Furthermore, for many people going to a cemetery can be a ritual. For me, it is. Each time I visit my country Nicaragua, I go to the cemetery to visit the tomb of my father. It is more than a visit. It is a connection. For me, it is a loving ritual. We all have personal rituals…if we consider that performing an action that has a special meaning to us.

I understand this is not an easy subject, still, it is meaningful. We will be talking about this and much more atThe Center. The purpose is to give you the opportunity of sharing your thoughts, feelings, and concerns about choices, the grieving process and…the afterlife, which, is an intriguing subject by itself.


I wish you a beautiful day,

Remember…Your Life has Meaning! Speaker, Author, Life & Grief Coach


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