Discussing Mortality:  A Community Conversation

During March and April 2016 many libraries in Franklin and Hampshire Counties are participating in a regional program coordinated with staff from Cooley Dickinson Hospital and inspired by Dr. Atul Gawande's bestselling book, Being Mortal. 

The Jones Library in Amherst, for instance, is holding its fourth "On the Same Page" community reading program, with discussions of the issues raised in Dr. Gawande's book. On Thursday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m., Attorney Valerie Vignaux of Bacon Wilson will discuss end-of-life planning: "The Legalities of Life's End - Protecting Your Wishes."

For a listing of participating libraries and community organizations and the programming being offered, see Cooley Dickinson Hospital's webpage: Being Mortal: Community Conversations about End-of-Life Care.

Meanwhile, our FCAWM board is discussing revision or re-issuing of an article about 911 (pros and cons of calling emergency services when a death occurs). Is the death an emergency? Did the dying person wish to be "rescued" from it?  Or is the death a natural phase of life, a normal stage in our mortality? The crux of the matter is attitudes toward, and preparation for, death. In other words, acceptance of our mortality.

Update: The Granby Free Public Library hosted two showings (April 7 and 13) of the PBS Frontline documentary "Being Mortal."  These were very well attended, and many in the audience signed up for Death Cafés scheduled for April 26 and April 27 (see ).

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed here in "Sandy's Blog" 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.