Thanks Morgan! It's been a while since I've read Tuesdays with Morrie so I will definitely look that up again. I also like your phrase "emotionally compartmentalize dealing with death." Please, if you get the chance, email me a copy of your paper - I'd love to read it.
Madeline, Thanks for your feedback. What I envision for a reception hall in the hospital is not huge but as aesthetically pleasing as possible - warm with artwork and windows and dining or sitting options. The hospital could cater if they chose. There would be medical technology accessible but not very visible. I think this could go a long way in not only increasing overall patient satisfaction for hospitals whose primary consumers are towards the end of life, but it would also improve the overall perception of hospitals as places that don't just take the sick but welcome people with malady along with their families. I like the idea of a rehearsal dinner because it would mean having a semblance of the funeral just as a regular rehearsal dinner goes through some of the motions for a wedding. But I've heard retirement party, pre-funeral... what would you want to call yours?
Grace, Thank you for sharing your experience. I do feel like that might be a shortcoming for many people - is there a variation of the rehearsal dinner/retirement party that you think could cater to a more low-key or last-minute participant? Would a virtual space make this easier for someone in your stepdad's situation? Again, I appreciate any insight.