Death Salon at The Mutter Museum

I spent the last three days in the city of Brotherly Love, which I had never visited before. I loved riding the train, looking at the architecture and eating the fabulous food--pizza & cheese steaks! Yeah, baby.

In addition, I got to see some wonderful friends from Goucher College. And there we all are.

The whole reason I ventured to Philadelphia was to attend the Death Salon at The Mutter Museum. I figured since I have a death book coming out in November, it might be a smart marketing move to mix and mingle with the morbidly inclined. This is great for most people who like to talk about themselves. I, however, tend to freeze up when surrounded by strangers. The social anxiety monster struck again. I think I conversed meaningfully with three people, but if it's anyone's fault, it's my own. One of the sad truths of life is that wherever you are, there YOU are. If there had been a dog there, I would have totally made friends with him and told him all about my book and why he should read it. Sadly, there were no canines in attendance.

This is my dog, Shelton.  He never learned to read.

Anyway, enough about my neuroses. The Mutter is a lovely, historic museum with lots of skeletons, body parts and surgical tools. I was not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, but you can Google plenty of images to take a gander at the body parts. The Death Salon was a two day event that brought together artists, death professionals and the like. There were easily two-hundred in attendance and the ticket was a pretty penny. Many people in the crowd were from out of town and it was held on a Monday and Tuesday, so many of us missed work. In other words, the people that were there wanted to be there.

Since a salon's purpose is to educate and entertain. I think the Death Salon did that well. There was an entertaining mix of speakers, and I even learned a few things I didn't already know. But, and there's always a but, I felt that the people at the event were already on the same page as far as death acceptance. I like to see minds changed and people inspired to take action. Maybe if I'd mingled, I would have seen that.

On a super positive note, California's governor, Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act on October 6.  This was huge. It wasn't mentioned at the conference, which I thought was a little strange, considering this was a death salon. But, as I said, I was off in a corner playing with my phone to avoid human contact.

I had a wonderful time. Really I did. I'm even inspired to start a little death group here in the DFW area. Nothing fancy. Maybe a local library or cafe.  We'll see.

Thanks for reading!
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