By Dan Hiestand, Houstory Marketing Guy
Have you ever sat down with a small group of people — strangers, actually — over a warm cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake, and talked about death?
Well, after last week, I can check this off my (kick the) bucket list. I attended my first “Death Cafe,” a worldwide “social franchise” movement that started several years ago. The group I participated in included about 30 people who were there to talk about anything and everything that had to do with death and dying. As someone representing The Heirloom Registry, one topic included family inheritance — an important part of the death process.
A future blog post will be dedicated to this important movement, which is very much in line with what Houstory stands for: planning for the future and protecting your family by preparing for the inevitable now.
During my Cafe experience, I was part of a smaller, four-person breakout group that talked about death for more than an hour — specifically on advanced directives and end-of-life medical decisions. We actually had to pause the roundtable just as we were getting started, but it initiated a very healthy conversation.
In fact, earlier today, one participant of the group (a stranger no more) e-mailed me this recent New York Times story that discussed the complexities of having dementia and facing end of life decisions. The common theme to all of this: plan for your “finish line” scenario now. After all, death is always toughest on those who are left behind.
Check out the Death Cafe Web site to find out about groups near you.
Now, on to The Herd….
What is “The Hearth Herd.” It’s simply a roundup (hence the name “Herd”) of a few stories we’ve seen recently that we feel our fellow Houstorians would be interested in. The Herd’s content will be confined to three main categories: 1) House and property history; 2) Family heirlooms; 3) Natural Resource Conservation. Basically, the things you’ve come to expect when you visit our blog.
This is where you come in: If you see stories you think would make our monthly collection, please shoot me an e-mail to info (at) houstory (dot) com, say hello on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.
Author: Marla Jo Fisher, Orange County Register
Herd-Worthy Because: “After my grandparents passed away, my other relatives went through their tiny clapboard house like a pack of ravening wolves, taking everything of value. But they ignored the radio, probably sensing it was nearly worthless.”
Author: Matt Gurney, National Post
Herd-Worthy Because: “(The solution) struck me as a thoroughly 21st century solution to the problem; effectively, you outsource the emotional impact to someone who won’t feel it the same way that you would.”
Author: Catherine E. Shoichet, MarketWatch
Herd-Worthy Because: “More than 200 years after Samuel Adams and Paul Revere first buried it in Boston, it took an hour to remove all the objects crammed inside a tiny time capsule.”
Author: Anna Rumer, Times Recorder
Herd-Worthy Because: “Sometimes, however, because of their size or location, smaller pieces of history can be overlooked. But people such as Nancy Ranck and Mary Flanagan are refusing to let those things pass them by…”
Author: Megan Turchey, Times Recorder
Herd-Worthy Because: “The Paul Revere House in the North End has already used their 3D model to do renovations on the house, keeping it as authentic as possible.”
Author: Justine Hofherr, Boston.com
Herd-Worthy Because: “Some of our choices are practical – about construction or decoration. Others are non-fiction narratives about building or creating a home. And we threw in a few fiction stories in which characters struggle with their own ideas of home.”
Until we “Herd” again…