Death: Something to Talk About, A Reading Initiative
Launched in 2014, Death: Something to Talk About project is an initiative sponsored by the Division of Palliative Care at McMaster University in partnership with Bryan Prince Bookseller, PX Dermody Funeral Homes, and Hamilton Public Library (HPL).
One of the underlying premises of the project rests on the work of Allan Kellehear. He posits that issues of death, dying, grief and bereavement need to be “reclaimed” by the community — by private citizens, by society which has increasingly become death-denying and that expects all of end-of-life care to be priced by our health care system. His argument is that we need to develop what he calls compassionate communities whereby social supports are strengthened in the community such that citizens are well supported at end-of-life by families, friends, neighbours, social agencies, volunteers, etc. To this end, the Death: Something to Talk About project attempts to use books to spark a dialogue amongst citizens with the hope that grassroots efforts begin to take place to build the social fabric we will all need at end of life. The project aims to “de-medicalize” the experience of death & dying and engage community agencies and activists.