Living in Latin

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Carpe Diem. Lately I seem to be living in Latin.

Having co-hosted a monthly Potrero Hill Death Cafe with Danielle and Harvey for going on two years I am embracing every moment. Well, as much as possible.

I am inspired by the participants who seek a safe, respectful space where we can talk about this taboo topic. They can feel comfortable sharing questions, curiosity, fears, beliefs and stories about any/all aspects of death, grief, mourning, bereavement. Over the two hours of our wide-ranging conversations, while sipping tea and enjoying cookies, we find that there is often lots of laughter as well as a few tears.

Every morning I engage in a brief meditation (while my English Breakfast tea steeps) which ends with gratitude for another breath, another day. I find myself more sensitive to the sunrise and sunset, to ever-shifting cloud formations, to birds soaring across the sky, to the trees dancing in my backyard. The downside is I’m also more impatient, frustrated with people’s perceived irresponsibility, and sensitive to unnecessary noise. It’s as if by acknowledging my mortality my range of responses has widened. Each second is sweeter, except when it isn’t.

I quip that I need to reevaluate my participation in Death Cafe: people around me keep dying. Of course it’s just that I’m now more aware of life’s fragility and finiteness.

One exercise poses the question: if offered an envelope with the date and time of your death, would you open it? Whatever your response, I believe that embracing our impermanence gives us a new lease on life.

Memento Mori.

Please consider coming to a special Death Cafe on Saturday, March 25 from 2:00 to 4:00 at Skylawn Memorial Park on the peninsula (Hwy 92 at Skyline Boulevard).

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