Life, death, and cake: Preparing for a good death

BELLOWS FALLS — Death denial in the United States is commonplace, according to a news release from Kasey March, a trained International End of Life Doula (INELDA) and Susan MacNeil, author of 18 Minutes: A Daughter’s Primer on Life & Death.

March and MacNeil will offer a chance to talk about preparing for a good death through the lens of their unique experiences in two events planned for February: Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Rockingham Free Public Library (802-463-4270), 65 Westminster Street, Bellows Falls, and Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Springfield Town Library (802-885-3108), 43 Main Street.

“Fears about dying in pain from a lingering illness and a lack of certainty about what happens to our physical presence or how loved ones left behind will cope when we die make it easier to simply avoid the conversation,” they say.

The two-hour sessions will provide a framework for participants to join in the conversation about all aspects of death. Unlike a Death Café, which is intended solely as a discussion group, March and MacNeil’s program provides a deeper dive into specifics around end-of-life challenges and issues.

The event is not intended to be a support group, although the conversation will be conducted in a compassionate environment.

March will provide resources as requested by attendees and MacNeil will hold a book-signing. Village Square Booksellers will be on site to manage book purchases. Coffee, tea, and cake will be available.

Adults 18 and older are welcome, and there is no charge to attend. Building accessibility is available. For more information, find March and MacNeil on Facebook or through their respective websites: and

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