Death dinners trending in the USA as baby boomers age.
Shannon Pettypiece wrote at Bloomberg that baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) in the USA have developed a new trend – speaking about death at specially designed dinner parties and directly confront the usual taboos about dying, a widespread phenomenon particularly in the western world.
“For the generation that brought on the sexual revolution, led the anti-war movement and turned their midlife crises into a time for reinvention and self-improvement, baby boomers are trying now to have it their way right to the very end.
“Death wasn’t always such an awkward topic. A century ago, with higher rates of infant and maternal death and shorter life expectancies, people were more likely to die at home with their families rather than in hospitals behind closed doors and surrounded by doctors and nurses. It was, for better or worse, more common, natural and visible.
“Today, more than half of deaths take place in hospitals and medical facilities, often after extensive interventions including the use of ventilators, feeding tubes or other life-support devices. In a culture that talks of ‘fighting’ illness and ‘surviving’ cancer, where doctors and patients turn to technology for answers, dying is seen as losing the battle.”
Photo: Shannon Pettypiece/Bloomberg
There’s not only the issue of the body dying but people have practical questions that need to be addressed, such as the extent of medical care for a dying person, should life be prolonged by means of life support, would a person want to die at home, be cremated or buried, etc.
It is an important step for people to face reality and this is a move into the right direction. However, making plans and decisions ahead of time is not enough. The actual fact that the body will die must be realized. People need to understand that most religions have made death look like a severe punishment. A penalty for a life not lived according to stingy and petty rules. And even worse, after death there would be purgatory and hell and torture! The priests support a death cartel and have everybody under their thumbs to exert their questionable powers. And one of their most sinister armaments is spreading fear about dying.
No wonder that the mere thought of death is something most people until now have avoided at all cost. No wonder some severely ill people even pay fortunes to have their bodies frozen and stored, so they can be resurrected one day when there is a cure. And what will they do – in case this actually works – when there is a new disease threatening them? And what will they do when their bodies are thawed and they are facing life on the planet a hundred years from now? The mind can come up with such incredible nonsense…
So during a death dinner, when all the practical issues have been dealt with it is vital to move just a little bit further, to come to the understanding what death really means. To understand and embrace that nothing ever dies, that death merely means to discard one’s body and allow the excitement of moving into an unknown dimension. Deep within people know that consciousness is eternal yet at the same time there is also an inherent fear of death for all those believing in the false messages broadcast by most religions.
Once you start living your own religion, your own principles, and your actions are initiated by love, fear of death disappears and one is ready to leave this body with happiness whenever the call comes, without trying to avoid, postpone or cheat it.
“There is no death. Death is the greatest illusion there is, the greatest myth – a lie. For even a single moment, if you can see that you are deathless, then no meditation is needed. Then live that experience, then act out of that experience, and the doors of eternal life are open for you.”
Osho, Ancient Music in the Pines, Ch 5