CDAPress: Over lunch one Sunday, the two pastors and Redman’s wife, Vira Melendez-Redman, batted around the what-if scenario of taking this topic to a bigger audience, opening it up to the community at large. Far from running from the opportunity, people turned out in force, with more than 110 participants taking part in a pair of Community Conversations to date.
The attendees included caregivers and family members who, like Redman, found themselves face-to-face with the reality of death, as well as the reality of society’s aversion to discussing it. Facilitated by a panel that included a representative from Hospice, a psychologist and both Redman and Graves as pastors, the first two Community Conversations opened the floodgates of pent-up communication.
Much of the Community Conversations session topics have been based on the format used by a national group called The Conversation Project, which encourages taking the hard step of initiating “the talk” as a way to ensure that the end of life is in keeping with the dying person’s wishes, not controlled by legal or medical professionals after they die. To learn more about resources available through this organization, visit their website at: www.theconversationproject.org