Let's Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life's Most Important Conversation

Let's Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life's Most Important Conversation

by Michael Hebb

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Overview

For readers of Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air, the acclaimed founder of Death over Dinner offers a practical, inspiring guide to life's most difficult yet important conversation

Of the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death—and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Yet few of these conversations are actually happening. Inspired by his experience with his own father and countless stories from others who regret not having these conversations, Michael Hebb cofounded Death Over Dinner—an organization that encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common. Death Over Dinner has been one of the most effective end-of-life awareness campaigns to date; in just three years, it has provided the framework and inspiration for more than a hundred thousand dinners focused on having these end-of-life conversations. As Arianna Huffington said, "We are such a fast-food culture, I love the idea of making the dinner last for hours. These are the conversations that will help us to evolve."

Let's Talk About Death (over Dinner) offers keen practical advice on how to have these same conversations—not just at the dinner table, but anywhere. There's no one right way to talk about death, but Hebb shares time- and dinner- tested prompts to use as conversation starters, ranging from the spiritual to the practical, from analytical to downright funny and surprising. By transforming the most difficult conversations into an opportunity, they become celebratory and meaningful—ways that not only can change the way we die, but the way we live.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738235295
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 251,874
Product dimensions: 5.87(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Hebb is the founder of Death Over Dinner, a Partner at global wellbeing organization RoundGlass and the founder of Convivium, a creative agency that specializes in the ability to shift culture through the use of thoughtful food and discourse-based gatherings. Convivium has worked closely with thought/cultural leaders and many foundations/institutions including: The World Economic Forum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, X Prize Foundation, FEED Foundation, TED, TEDMED, Apple, United Nations Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.

Michael's writings have appeared in GQ, Food and Wine, Food Arts, ARCADE, Seattle Magazine and City Arts.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Offering Permission 1

Chapter 2 Extending the Invitation 17

The Prompts 35

If you had only thirty days left to live, how would you spend them? Your last day? Your last hour? 37

What foods do you remember a departed loved one cooking for you? 49

If you were to design your own funeral or memorial, what would it look like? 55

Is there an excess of medical intervention at the end of life? 62

Do you have your will, advance-care directives, and power of attorney complete, and if not, why? 73

What is the most significant end-of-life experience of which you've been a part? 80

Why don't we talk about death? 94

How do you talk to kids about death? 101

Do you believe in an afterlife? 108

Would you ever consider doctor-assisted suicide? 117

What song would you want played at your funeral? Who would sing it? 124

Are you an organ donor? 131

What does a good death look like? 139

What do you want done with your body? 147

Are there certain deaths we should never speak of 159

If you could extend your life, how many years would you add? Twenty, fifty, one hundred, forever? 170

What do you want your legacy to be? 179

How long should we grieve? 188

What would you eat for your last meal? 202

Is there a way you want to feel on your deathbed? 206

What would you want people to say about you at your funeral? 211

How do you end a conversation about death? 216

Acknowledgments 223

Recommendations for Further Reading 225

Our Family of Resources 227

Notes 232

Index 239

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