Have you ever planned details of your funeral?

I have, and I know many others who have as well, despite the event (hopefully) being many years in the future.

Maybe it's a reporter thing. We're confronted with death so often that it seems natural to think about how you would like to go.

My colleagues and I sometimes have discussions about the things we would like at our funerals - one friend wants to have Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel playing, another has pointed out the photos of herself she would like displayed at her service.


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I'd like everyone to wear something in my favourite colour - blue - and play a song so ridiculously unsuited to the occasion that everyone is shocked out of their sadness. Maybe one of my old favourite Spice Girls songs, or something a bit heavier like a System of a Down song.

I reckon a bit of humour would help alleviate the situation.

Maybe it's morbid, but is thinking about what happens when you die that terrible?

Carole Spice, the co-facilitator of Tauranga Death Cafe, doesn't think so.

"Talking about dying and death won't kill you," she told reporter Rebecca Mauger in Friday's Bay of Plenty Times.

Death Cafe is a global movement where people meet socially to talk about aspects of dying and death.

Spice says the group is not a bereavement group, nor is it "grim or morbid".

Instead, the participants meet up and discuss topics like the afterlife or what happens at the time of death, what happens to our bodies as we die, euthanasia, burials including natural burial, fear of death and people's experiences.

Most Death Cafe members are inspired by the fact that no one knows how long they have and appreciate their life, making the most of every day, Spice says.

Maybe talking about it more will help dispel some of the fears we face when confronting our own deaths.

After all, it's the one thing we will all have in common, no matter our age, income, religion, social class or race.