On November 5th Quadra’s Way to Go presented its 3rd Death Education Fair at the Quadra Community Centre. The community was encouraged to come, converse, and learn more about death, dying, and grief in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Many of us are forced to learn about these topics when feeling vulnerable and emotions are high. The Fair was an opportunity to explore them now, while people can absorb information more easily and make better decisions. If they knew what was possible, many would choose to navigate death in a simpler, more natural, and affordable method than our usual practices.

The Fair ran from 1:00 to 3:30 and tables were set up around the Main Hall with topics of interest. People were invited to chat, ask questions, and learn about the following topics: Way To Go, Community-Led Death Care, Estate and Personal Planning, Quadra Island Foundation, Advance Care Planning, MAID / VSED, Quadra Circle, Better at Home, Senior’s Housing, Nav-CARE, Caregivers Support Group, Campbell River Hospice Society, Grief and Loss, Quadra Island Cemetery Society, Pure Joy Threshold Singers, Suicide and Grief, Meaningful Memorials.

The Green Room held a Death Café, where people were invited to have a cup of tea and some snacks while sharing meaningful conversations related to death and grief. To keep folks on topic, a list of suggested questions was provided.

At 1:30 pm, Betsy and Margaret introduced the Fair and gave a brief introduction for each table. At 2:30 pm, everyone present was asked to sit for an educational presentation. A short video on Natural Burial was shown, as this is a new option that now exists on Quadra Island. We then watched a short video on Aquamation, an environmentally sensitive alternative to fire cremation, and encouraged people to sign the petition to make this a legal choice in BC. This was followed by a poignant slide show on Community-Led Death Care, which is about caring for one’s own dead and dying, in community.

The “In Remembrance Table” provided a place for people to honour loved ones with a photo or memento. The afternoon ended with a tender song blessing for this table by the Pure Joy Threshold Choir.

During the course of the afternoon, close to 100 people attended the Fair, and over 30 volunteers contributed. Way To Go is grateful to the Quadra Island Foundation, both for participating and for the Neighbourhood Small Grants, which covered the room fees and all other expenses. It was wonderful to provide an event free to our community, with no financial hardship.

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