Got a group? Need a speaker?

This was how I spent last Saturday morning, talking to a men’s fellowship group at a local church.

 

16722602_1846234505618771_8126780348854229177_o

 

They gather once a month for breakfast and conversation, and this month invited me in to do a presentation for them.

AND WE HAD THE BEST TIME TALKING ABOUT DEATH!   (Surprised?!)

Several of the men said they were amazed at how much fun it was, and how everyone was so engaged, seeing as we were talking about death.  But I find that over and over again–once we break open the taboos around talking about death, everyone wants to talk.

Everyone has their stories, their wishes, the disasters they’ve been through, and their ‘now that I know’ tales.  Most everyone has a definite opinion on how they want to go out, even if they’ve never talked about it with anyone else.

Stories and wants are great, but driving actual planning and sharing hard facts are why I’m there. So I do just that..

And, to a person, their jaws drop open when I share the FCA-CTX Funeral Home Price Survey with them.

gpl

 

It’s one thing to know what you want.  It’s a whole different ballgame to see how the same funeral can vary by thousands of dollars, just because you called one funeral home instead of another.  To overpay by thousands when a simple burial balloons into a full-boat funeral as the gathered family adds on features. Or worse, to end up with siblings not speaking to each other over decisions made.

And that’s why I do what I do.  That’s why these conversations are so essential, to prepare and protect you and your loved one.

 

Not everyone knows the laws, that funeral homes have to give you price lists if you ask, that you can bring your own casket or urn.

Or that there’s no state or federal law requiring embalming, even for a viewing (and ZERO compelling health or safety reason to do so).

Or that it’s legal to care for own dead at home.  That we live close to one of the premiere natural burial grounds–and that we in Austin have both internationally known guides AND home funeral/green burial friendly funeral directors who can help you through the whole green burial process.

But I do.  And I want to share it with you, all of it, while we laugh and talk.

Do you have a community group who needs an engaging and fun discussion about deathcare options?  Maybe you just want to plan a happy hour with friends, for Drinks and Death?

Let’s talk!

 

Trouble for Death with Dignity?

On Tuesday night, President Trump announced his nominee for the US Supreme Court vacancy, a seemingly well-qualified and respected judge named Neil Gorsuch.

NOTE: This blog will not get partisan, and will in general leave political analysis, opinions, and predictions about Judge Gorsuch and his path to confirmation to other more qualified and topical outlets.

 

But it’s with sadness that I have to share that Americans, and our rights regarding the Right to Die, are definitely at risk if Judge Gorsuch is confirmed.

j8317

Judge Gorsuch is the author of the above, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, a 2009 publication in which he argues against the practice from both a moral and legal standpoint.

From the opening pages of his book:

It is an argument premised on the idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong

And from the publisher’s website:

Gorsuch builds a nuanced, novel, and powerful moral and legal argument against legalization, one based on a principle that, surprisingly, has largely been overlooked in the debate–the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. At the same time, the argument Gorsuch develops leaves wide latitude for individual patient autonomy and the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-sustaining care, permitting intervention only in cases where an intention to kill is present.

It appears, if Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, that our Death with Dignity advocates will have their work cut out for them.  I can only hope that the reported “wide latitude for individual patient autonomy” does indeed exist, and guides his thinking in deciding case law about this human right.