Virtual meetings launched to help people discuss death amid coronavirus pandemic

AN end-of-life doula has opened free online meetings, giving people a space to talk about death amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SUPPORT: End-of-life doula Jaqui Williams is encouraging people to discuss death amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SUPPORT: End-of-life doula Jaqui Williams is encouraging people to discuss death amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jaqui Williams launched death cafes in the Redlands earlier this year but has taken the concept online while access to library meeting rooms is restricted.

People from all over the world can join the meetings, which are being held once a month using Zoom.

Ms Williams said it was important for people to have frank conversations about death, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Discussing death is so important because we need as a society to normalise death as it is a natural part of life that we will all experience with loss of loved ones and eventually ourselves," she said.

"When we don't get the opportunity to purposefully prepare for death ... then this can lead to difficult decisions having to be made in crisis that often leave the family to make choices that they aren't sure reflect their sick or dying loved one."

Ms Williams said moving death cafes online had been a challenging experience, as the virtual environment was less personal than face-to-face meetings.

She said the advantage was that people from around the world could join the discussion.

"It also provides the opportunity for connection when people are in lockdown," she said.

"(It is a chance) to talk about dying and death, which can be cathartic when every minute of the day we are being exposed to it because of COVID-19."

The next online meeting will be held on Saturday, August 8 from 6.30pm.

To secure a spot, visit eventbrite.com.au.

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