The stories have been everywhere during the past year and a half. Nursing home residents dying from isolation and exposure. Spouses, parents, grandparents and children dying in numbers so high that for a time morgues and funeral homes couldn’t keep up, and their loved ones were left behind to hastily plan, or postpone, funerals and grieve. One out of every 500 Americans has died from COVID-19. We’re living the reality of a pandemic, and death is one of the overriding themes.
The Springfield-Greene County Library District doesn’t shy away from tough topics. “Death” is no exception. None of us escapes it and there’s no time like the present to talk about our fears, experiences and expectations. You’re invited to join the conversation November 1-14 as the Library presents Death & Dying: Conversations on End-of-Life Matters.
Death and grief, burials and possessions are not always easy topics to discuss, but we’ll tackle them together with grace, compassion, and even humor as we seek to alleviate our fears and live life to the fullest in the face of our inevitable end.
With financial support from the Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks, the Library has scheduled a thought-provoking and enlightening series of programs featuring local and regional experts talking about a variety of topics, from the Buddhist philosophy of grief and loss, to life in the Medical Examiner’s office.
The signature event of the series is the return of Los Angeles-based mortician Caitlin Doughty, host of the immensely popular YouTube series, “Ask a Mortician.” The bestselling author is a crowd favorite for her death acceptance philosophy, which questions our reliance on the traditional funeral industry. She’ll answer audience questions during a moderated Q&A at 6 p.m. on November 4 at Relics Event Center, 2015 W. Battlefield Road, Suite E; reserve tickets at thelibrary.org/death.
We’ll wrap up the series with an opportunity for open, honest discussion during Death Cafe of the Ozarks from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, November 14, in the Library Center auditorium. It’s a chance to talk about the other 10 events in the series or any other topic related to death and dying, and we’ll have snacks.
Most of the events are offered in person and virtually. Find a complete schedule and links to register for the virtual sessions at thelibrary.org/death. You’ll also find a booklist of titles that are good conversation starters, if you’re interested in having these conversations in your circles of friends and family. We encourage you to.
Have you read any great books on death-related topics? Share them in the comments.