by GERALDINE CARDOZO
For Umina retirees Anthea Paterson and Clive Salzer, life has never been better since facing up to death.
The couple, who call themselves “death fans” say they had a life-changing experience after attending an end-of-life course.
“Both our mothers are 94 and approaching death, so we went along to an end of life course to try and prepare ourselves for what is to come,” Mr Salzer said.
“While it was very emotional, the experience has changed our outlook on life and death completely.”
The pair are now part of the Central Coast End of Life Collective, which is associated with the Groundswell Project – the group behind Dying to Know Day.
“This is a national day of action challenging the taboo of death and bringing to life conversations around death, dying and bereavement,” Central Coast organiser Gypsy Artemis said.
“To me, Dying to Know Day is about saying things you may wish you’d never left unsaid.”
Ms Artemis, formerly known as Kim Ryder, said her fascination with “society’s last taboo” was sparked after a near-death experience in 1997.
“This changed my outlook on life forever and then my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in 2008. This was my first first-hand experience with death and I started thinking about how we, as a society, don’t deal with death very well.”
For Mrs Paterson, talking about death has helped her deal with grief associated with the death of her father.
“It’s not a morbid thing, this is about exploring death to enhance life,” she said.
ORGANISE YOUR OWN FUNERAL
Find out information about how to organise your own funeral, alternatives to cremation, how to make a will and advanced care plan at Dying to Know events next week. For details visit www.dyingtoknowday.org.
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