Friday February 22, 2019

America celebrates ‘Before I Die I would like to……’ festival

"If you have thought about it when you're not in the midst of a crisis, the crisis will be better."

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Graveyard, Image credits :beforeidiefestival.co.uk
  • This festival was held in mid-April.
  • People talk about what they would like do before death in this festival.
  • Various art and wall paintings related to death are also displayed.

Before I Die Festival is a festival celebrated in the U.S. Held in mid-April, the main purpose of this festival is to get people thinking ahead about topics they want to achieve in their remaining days. i.e. regarding organ donations, funeral arrangements, wills, good and bad deeds etc.

Lucia Wocial, the festival’s organizer and a nurse ethicist at the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics in Indianapolis said: “This is an opportunity to begin to change the culture, to make it possible for people to think about and talk about death so it’s not a mystery”.

A 62 years old Tom Davis has been lately thinking a lot about his life and death. He had a heart attack. Initially, he was planning to jolt but after the attack, he wrote “I want to see my grandkids grow up.”

Several books, films, and death related arts are displayed in this festival. At Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library once 61 pairs of boots were displayed which represented the early death of Indiana soldiers.

There are various other attractions of this unique festival such as

  • Death wall paintings
  • Death Cafes
  • Death discussions among people in the whole city
Art gallery during the festival, Image source : beforeidiefestival.co.uk
Art gallery during the festival, Image source : beforeidiefestival.co.uk

The festival organiser further told that “Death has changed, Years ago people just died. Now death, in many cases, is an orchestrated event.” This statement can be well supported by the fact now medicines have brought new innovative ways to extend the life expectancy of an individual.

Moreover, workshops on how to write an advance directive are also organised in this festival. Special emphasis was being laid on advance care planning. These documents tell doctors that If someone falls ill and can’t communicate his/her wishes then family members are enlisted in the document will take decisions on his/her behalf. Wocial thinks that “If you have thought about it when you’re not in the midst of a crisis, the crisis will be better.

Jason Eberl, a medical ethicist from Marian University said at the festival that “advance directives can address these financial issues, too. People themselves, in their advance directive, will say, ‘Look, I don’t want to drain my kid’s college savings or my wife’s retirement account, to go through one round of chemo when there’s only a 15 percent chance of remission. I’m not going to do that to them.’ ”

Coming to the festival tours to cremation facilities are also provided. Biodegradable urns are made available to dispose of human ashes. There are many things one thinks of before dying. This festival indeed makes it harder for people to think of a particular one.

Related article :

Prepared by Pritam, an engineering student in Kolkata, India and an intern at Newsgram. Twitter handle : Pritam_gogreen

Next Story

The Polar Vortex Disrupts The Life Of Daily Citizens

The agency said severe snowstorms may be more likely in a warmer climate because of the increased moisture in the atmosphere.

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USA, Cold
Commuters brave the wind and snow in frigid weather in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

Millions of Americans are experiencing temperatures so cold that a burst of wind could cause frostbite within minutes — conditions that have caused the suspension of regional train service, work and school schedules, and even production of television and stage shows.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday some 25 million people will face temperatures that cause near-instant frostbite in New England (the northeastern United States) and the Midwest — states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.

In Chicago, Amtrak canceled train service, and even federal mail delivery was suspended in many areas to protect the mail carriers, whose motto declares they deliver mail in almost any weather condition.

In some cities, bus service has been suspended because the cold can cause mechanical difficulties.

 

USA, Cold
A car passes an elementary school closed due to cold weather in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

 

The governors of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin have declared states of emergency.

With the wind chill, it was minus 32 degrees Celsius (minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit) in North Dakota on Tuesday and minus 52 degrees in parts of Minnesota. The high temperature in Minneapolis on Wednesday is forecast to be minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit).

In the city of Chicago, renowned for its tough winters, the temperature Thursday is expected to dip near the record low of negative 32.8 degrees Celsius.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling the weather “life-threatening.” Transit buses with nurses on board will be dispatched across the city to serve as emergency warming shelters for the homeless.

Churches throughout Detroit are also keeping their doors open for anyone who has no home and needs a place to keep warm.

At least four weather-related deaths have been reported.

The cold air will stretch from the Midwest to the East Coast and as far south as parts of Florida.

USA, Cold
Ice is seen on the side of the Great Falls National Historic Park as a couple takes in the sights during a frigid winter day in Paterson, N.J., Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

Meteorologists blame the weather on a breakup of the polar vortex — cold temperatures above the North Pole are being pushed south across North America because of a blast of desert heat from North Africa.

Global warming

Reacting to the weather, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday “What the hell is going on with Global Waming? (sic) Please come back fast. We need you!”

It is unclear if the president was joking.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is devoted to climate science and information, tweeted, “Winter storms do not prove global warming is not happening.”

The agency said severe snowstorms may be more likely in a warmer climate because of the increased moisture in the atmosphere.

Also Read: Extreme Weather Due To Polar Vortex Across The U.S. Causes Misery

NOAA denies any connection between the president’s comment and its social media posting.

“We routinely put this story out at these times,” the agency said in a statement. “Our scientists weren’t responding to a tweet.” (VOA)