Last Things: Program explores death and burial planning

Woody Allen once quipped, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

Many of us feel the same way. Even so, the Church encourages us to grapple with the reality of our “last things.” There’s good reason for this: the time of death is always a crisis. For each one of us who lives on, the death of those we care for is (to one degree or another) a painful and traumatic experience. It’s an event that changes the landscape of our lives, for the rest of our lives.

And yet, despite its inevitability, we tend to come to death not only suffering from natural grief, but unprepared. The crisis, then, deepens and becomes even more painful as we are forced to do what we don’t want to do, and to make decisions for which we have not planned. The spiritual, emotional and financial repercussions can be immense.

The time to think and talk with one another about death is now – instead of waiting for the moment of crisis. Such preplanning is a prudent and loving act that yields a multitude of blessings – now, and in the hour of our death.

The Affirmative Aging Commission invites you – whether you are nineteen or ninety-nine – to join the Rev. Charlie Brumbaugh at the Procter Center for an exploration of these issues on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of $15 per person covers the whole program and lunch. Please register online by April 4.

There will be much to learn and many stories to tell as we consider Christian perspectives on death, grief, burial practices, rites of burial and stewardship in death. It’s our hope that by the time you drive home, you’ll be well on your way to making wise and loving decisions about what is to happen upon your death. We are confident that you’ll find this seminar not only informative and useful, but also thought-provoking and, yes, even fun!


Saturday, April 18
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Procter Center

Bruce Smith serves as chair of the Affirmative Aging Commission in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.