On Friday, May 1, 436 people registered to attend “A Beautiful Death… What Will You Choose?” The Dean’s Health Symposium was held by New Mexico State University’s College of Health and Social Services. At lunch, Gail Rubin, CT, facilitated the largest Death Cafe held in the world to date.
Dr. Donna Wagner, the interim Dean of NMSU’s College of Health and Social Services, was very pleased with the turn-out and responses to the speakers and the topic of the day – directly confronting the fear and stigma surrounding end-of-life discussions for young and old.
Some of the comments from the evaluation forms turned in after the Death Cafe portion of the Symposium included:
- Words used to describe the event – informative, interesting, important, not enough time, enjoyable, caring, comfortable, comforting, dynamic, friendly, reflective, motivational, necessary, helpful, humorous, open, challenging, sensitive, validating, valuable, vital, good food, good information, great speaker
- “Some of our conversation was about personal planning. Some had done none, some had done all and one said she has planned to the date and time of her death. Interesting!”
- “This topic became more comfortable to talk about.”
- “Enjoyable to talk about what matters.”
- “It was interesting listening to others’ viewpoints about death and dying.”
- “Enjoyed talking about death and dying with a neat group of people.”
- “It was a great discussion at our table.”
- I enjoyed the opportunity to learn resources available if needed, and to discuss everything with comfort and ease.”
- “I hope it comes back – I learned so much!”
Many thanks to everyone who made this symposium such a great success!