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Baby Boomers, the generation that proudly tackles taboo subjects, are now confronting the grim reaper — over food and drink. They are using websites like deathoverdinner.org/ and deathcafe.com as guides.

                                                                                      AARP Bulletin, Dec 2013

JUDITH: Nancy called today. She invited us to a dinner party Saturday. I said yes. Okay with you?

TED: You bet! She’s a great cook. Who else will be there?

JUDITH: The usual suspects. She’s inviting the Winstons, and Ruth and Jim, and of course Beth and Frank.

TED: I’ve been meaning to call Jim. We need to set up a golf date.

JUDITH: I’m not sure if everyone will come. She called us first.

TED: Should we feel honored?

JUDITH: She said we’re the most open-minded.

TED: She means you.

JUDITH: It won’t be our typical get together. There’s an agenda.

TED:   Not a fundraiser!?

JUDITH: We’re going to talk about death.

TED: Whose?


TED: Huh?

JUDITH: We’re going to talk about dying and end of life issues. It’s the newest trend.

TED: Dying is the newest trend?

JUDITH: Nancy told me to go to Death over Dinner dot org. People get together over dinner and–

TED: Death over Dinner? You mean we’re gonna all fall face first into her Chicken Cacciatore? And aspirate marinara sauce?

JUDITH: This is serious, Ted. It’s an important topic.

TED: (laughs) Count me out.

JUDITH: Someday we’ll be doing exactly that.

TED: Not yet!

JUDITH: We need to talk about this, Ted.

TED: This?

JUDITH: Dying. Our demise.

TED: Not over dinner. Maybe … maybe … over a bottle of Chivas Regal.

JUDITH: Ted. We–

TED: Straight up. Neat. No chaser.

JUDITH: I’m going.

TED: Next it’ll be Cancer over Cocktails.

JUDITH: Ted. This isn’t —

TED: Or HIV Happy Hour.


TED: We could meet at a Mexican restaurant and all cash in our tortilla chips.

JUDITH: Not funny. None of us has HIV. But we’re all going to die.

TED: That’s a generalization.

JUDITH: Joke all you want. I’m going.

TED: Have fun!

JUDITH: Honey. We’re going to have to talk to the kids someday. You know. About what to do. This will help us.

TED: If you bring this up with Julia and Derek, they’ll run screaming from the room.

JUDITH: I’m sure it’s on their mind.

TED: Not on Derek’s. Guarantee it.

JUDITH: It’s important they plan for this.

TED: Plan for us to kick the bucket?

JUDITH: Not be caught unawares.

TED: Forget it. Call Nancy. Tell the Angel of Death I pass … oops! … decline.

JUDITH: At least think about it, Ted. Check out the website.

TED: What’s it called again? Choke on a Chicken Bone dot Arg?

JUDITH: Death over Dinner! … dot org.

TED: I’ve done a lot of things over dinner. But this takes the cake. (chuckles) We might not make it to the cake.

JUDITH: There’s another website. Death Café.

TED: Uh oh! Starbucks better watch its back.

JUDITH: Just take a look. What harm–

TED: No one’s gonna go. It’ll be you, Nancy, and Hank. Can’t believe Hank’s going along with this.

JUDITH: Hank’s a progressive thinker.

TED: Ain’t nothin progressive about dyin’.

JUDITH: Death is a part of life.

TED: A quiet, uneventful part.

JUDITH: I’m going.

TED: I understand, Sweetheart. You’re older than I am.

JUDITH: By two months!

TED: You’re more introspective. You’ve probably been dwelling–

JUDITH: I don’t dwell on death, Ted. I try not to think about it at all.

TED: There you go! It’s not a topic one–

JUDITH: I need to think about it. We need to think about it. In two years we both turn seventy.

TED: The new fifty.

JUDITH: I don’t want to wait till it’s too late.

TED: We’ve got sixteen more years on our clock. You probably have twenty.

JUDITH: Okay. Be an ostrich.

TED: I’d rather be a tortoise. They live longer.

JUDITH: You resemble one.

TED: Or a bowhead whale. They live to be two hundred.

JUDITH: You’re a male homo sapiens. Life expectancy seventy- six. That’s eight years away, Ted.

TED: You expect to be a widow in eight years?

JUDITH: Honey, I want you to live a long, healthy life … well, usually.

TED: Death over Dinner. I don’t think I can stomach it.

JUDITH: Please.

TED: Let me think about it.

JUDITH: Thanks, dear. If you do decide to go …

TED: I won’t.

JUDITH: But if you do …

TED: Yeah … ?

JUDITH: You have to take it seriously. No clowning around.

TED: I can’t wear my Zombie costume?


TED: How about that black armband from Pop-Pop’s funeral?

Peggy Dougherty is an award winning playwright/author living in San Diego. She is currently writing her first novel. Her self-help book The Ten Minute Cognitive Workout was released in November, 2013 and won the 2013 San Diego Book Award.

About Peggy D. Snyder. Ph.D.

Psychologist, Author

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