Those words, "befriending" and "death," are not usually put together. The phrase sometimes causes startled looks when I mention that I'm attending a discussion group called “Living Fully, Aging Gracefully, and Befriending Death.” That group, led by Martha Johnson, started August 6th at the Holyoke Senior Center. (See my previous blog entry for other details.)
I received a notice this week from John Berkowitz announcing two additional groups by the same title that will start in September. The first meetings will be Monday, Sept. 22, 6:30-9pm at the South County Senior Center, 67 N. Main St, South Deerfield, and on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2-4:30pm, at Rockridge Retirement Community, on Rt. 5 at the north end of Northampton. The groups will each meet twice monthly through April 2015. Participants may attend regularly or occasionally. There is no charge, but donations will be requested to cover utility costs.
The discussion leader is John Berkowitz, 67, of Northampton. He has led three similar groups in recent years, with 8 to 15 people attending each session. He’s a grandfather, poet, and environmental activist.
At each meeting, participants are welcome to share their views, feelings, and experiences about ‘Living Fully, Aging Gracefully, and Befriending Death’, or any other topic concerning the joys and challenges of aging. They are also encouraged to bring and share favorite poems, songs, excerpts from magazine articles and books, and video segments. For more information, contact John Berkowitz, 413-387-8439 or via email: johnpberk [at] gmail [dot] com.
Or, for the Holyoke group, you may email us and I'll forward your message to Martha Johnson. Martha has co-led groups with John, and has his permission to use the same group title, which we really like. Come join one of the groups!
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are written by one individual (volunteer Sandy Ward) and may or may not reflect
the views, opinions or positions of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts.