Fun at a Death Café? Sure!
Jul 21, 2013 by Victoria Noe
On July 15, Dan Bulf and I held our second Chicago-area Death Café. We’d hoped for 20 people, but we were stunned when our lovely room at Curt’s Café in Evanston was filled to overflowing with 40. The poor air conditioning couldn’t keep up. Thank God for iced tea! There were many there whose work involves confronting death: hospital chaplains, social workers, grief counselors, hospice volunteers. There were men and women of various ethnic groups and a wide age range: 20’s to a self-professed 87 years old. But that didn’t mean they had talked about their own, personal feelings about death.We broke into four groups for wide-ranging conversations about our attitudes towards death and dying, particularly our own death....
Stepping Back from Friend Grieving
Jan 22, 2013 by Victoria Noe
123rf.comI’ve written about this before, but I thought this was a good time to revisit the topic of self-care when writing about grief – or any difficult subject. And I believe the same principles apply to those working in hospice, therapists and grief counselors.The fifth book in my series about grieving the death of a friend will be about 9/11. I always knew it would be included, but I deliberately positioned it late in the series. My blog posts about that day have been difficult to write. It’s overwhelming at times to even think about it. So I gather research, read books, and fill up a shelf in my bookcase. And I walk away. Eventually, I’ll have to take a...
Writing About Depressing Stuff
Sep 18, 2012 by Victoria Noe
I’ve written before about how writing about grief can affect you, but I think it’s worth revisiting, in a little broader sense.There are people who cringe when I tell them what most of my writing is about. I understand their feeling that grief is “depressing”. But there are many whose work could be classified that way: Hospice volunteers AIDS outreach workers Oncologists First respondersI had a friend whose job was to fire people in her company (I hate “lay off” – let’s call it what it is). I thought she had an incredibly depressing job, but she didn’t think so. She was so considerate about how she handled each person that they often wound up sympathizing with her.I’ve also met...
Dying Matters - For Friends, Too
May 17, 2011 by Victoria Noe
I’m in my best friend’s will.She told me long ago what she was leaving me. It has no value to anyone in her family; in fact, she’d prefer they didn’t open the box at all. It’s a personal keepsake of our past, mostly high school.I think it was when I was in St. Louis for her father’s funeral that I told her there was huge flaw in this plan. “You’re assuming you go first,” I told her. After a moment, she agreed that was problematic. (Plus, I really, really, really would like to have that box now.)This week is Dying Matters week in the UK, a time for people to at least begin the difficult conversations we must have but...