Live by Design is a weekly column by Dr Helena Dolny and Mapi Mhlangu about mortality and the conversations around it. They attend LoveLegacyDignity’s Death Café, where a group of people interested in discussing death and dying come together. They meet online every month, with participants from different locations. The Death Café model, started by Bernard Cravitz in 2004, now has branches in 85 countries, including South Africa. The model suggests that Death Cafés should have no agenda, not be grief support groups, and be not-for-profit. The authors of the column appreciate the open and free-flowing nature of their Death Café discussions. They have covered various topics, such as assisted dying, caregiving, and near-death experiences. They believe in organic growth and prioritize safety and intimacy over increasing numbers. While continuing with their Death Café, they also plan to advocate for people to start their own Death Cafés and offer webinars on topics like assisted dying. The authors encourage readers to visit their website for more information. The column ends with a disclaimer about the views expressed being the authors’ own.
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