Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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!
Don't forget, I'm having a contest during the month of October.  Post something in the comment section and I'll enter your name into the hat.  I'm giving away a new Fire tablet from Amazon.  Tell your friends!  Tell your neighbors!  Call your Mom!



16 comments:

  1. I'd call my mom, but she's dead! ;)

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    1. You can say hello to her at any moment and it's free:) Thanks for commenting, Barbara. If nobody comments during the month of October, that tablet has your name on it.

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  2. Pam, we need to live closer again. I would totally go with you to these events. I think I have somehow (in the last couple of years) made the official switch from introvert to extrovert. I'm sorry you didn't get more out of the event. But...I'm so excited your memoir is coming out next month!!!! Much congrats!

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    1. I agree. You are in the book a little bit. Thank you for commenting! You are now in the running for the tablet.

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  3. Glad you had a good trip. And I totally get social anxiety, I once spent 45 minutes in a bathroom pep talking myself into joining a party. Ah, life. Death and taxes and everything in between.

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    1. At least you made it to the party, and I'm assuming that you talked yourself into going. I usually don't make it that far. But I'm trying! Thanks for commenting! Your name is in the hat.

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  4. So glad you got to go and to experience a bit of my favorite city. And you got your Philly cheesesteak fix!

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    1. I definitely will go back. There is much to explore there. Thanks for commenting, Murfy! (I know it's you!)

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  5. I didn't even know this place existed! This is super cool, and if I am ever up that way I'll have to make a point of visiting!

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    1. The Mutter is cool, but the Death Salon travels to different cities. At the conference, they said they were going to have a short film festival in Houston in 2016.

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  7. Hey there classmate! I googled you after you mentioned having a book coming out and look at this! Pretty neat, I have to say, and I'm intrigued to read the book when it comes out. Good luck with this endeavor, and of course in class! ~Jamie~

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    1. Thank you! I am up late doing research for our upcoming paper:)

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  8. I am so jealous...The Mutter Museum is a dream destination for me. Was it as grand as it is in my imagination? Lol. Some people want to travel the world and see all the tourist sights and ancient architecture...I want to travel and tour Death and cemeteries. I love the idea of a DFW group, that NEEDS to happen!!! :) P.S. great blog!

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    1. Yes, the Mutter is pretty darn grand. You should go! And if you happen to know of a good place to have a group, let me know.

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!