Marianne Bailey Jun 6, 2023
Marianne Bailey Apr 30, 2023
Laura Lyster-Mensh is a death doula who has proposed a unique idea to the Congressional Cemetery. She asked if she could be their death doula for a year and provide death education and awareness work to the community. To her surprise, they said yes! This opportunity has allowed her to spread the message of “Death Positivity” and help individuals plan for the inevitable.
Every Saturday morning, Laura hosts activities for people in the community at the cemetery. These activities are designed to encourage positive thinking about death and help individuals make their end-of-life wishes known. One activity that Laura is particularly proud of involves the Threshold singers of Washington DC. These singers come in and perform a song bath for attendees, who recline in zero-gravity chairs as if they were dying. This moving experience has touched many individuals, ranging from young people to the elderly.
Laura has noticed that the majority of attendees are women. She agrees with me that women are natural planners and that it’s important to support individuals as they plan for their end-of-life care. Unfortunately, many seniors die alone, without family or friends to support them. By providing death education and awareness work, Laura hopes to change this.
One of the activities Laura has organized is a “Write Your Own Obituary” event. She encourages individuals to write their own obituary so that their family members don’t have to worry about remembering details like family member names and relationships. By updating their obituary every year, individuals can ensure that their wishes are known and that they will be remembered as they wish to be remembered.
Laura recommends the podcast called Dying Kindness, which is about being kind to those who will be taking care of things after you’re gone. This podcast is an excellent resource for individuals who want to learn more about death education and awareness work.
Another activity that Laura has organized is a game called Death Deck. This game features questions that are not normally asked at the dinner table. However, by initiating conversations about death, individuals can learn more about each other’s wishes and gain a better understanding of how to support one another.
Laura is grateful to the Congressional Cemetery for being so open and accepting of her ideas. The cemetery has been around since 1807 and is the final resting place of many presidents and famous people. By hosting these events, Laura hopes to encourage individuals to see death as a natural part of life and to help them plan for their end-of-life care.
In conclusion, Laura Lyster-Mensh is a death doula who is making a difference in the community by providing death education and awareness work. Through her work at the Congressional Cemetery, she has been able to spread the message of “Death Positivity” and help individuals plan for their end-of-life care. Her activities, such as the Threshold singers and the “Write Your Own Obituary” event, have touched many individuals and helped them gain a better understanding of death. By promoting death education and awareness work, Laura hopes to change the way society views death and help individuals live their lives to the fullest until the end.