Staying alive to die

Counsellor and behavioural scientist Ava Reyerson. Picture: Martin Kennealey d400978
Counsellor and behavioural scientist Ava Reyerson. Picture: Martin Kennealey d400978

The Fremantle resident, counsellor and behavioural scientist has dedicated much of her career to helping people facing death, running workshops that aim to inspire them to live fully before they die.

In her A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Death workshop, Ms Reyerson takes participants on a journey, allowing them to share their thoughts on death and how they can be more productive with the time they have left.

She said society had lost the ability to talk about death and dying in an everyday way and these workshops helped to rectify that.

‘We have systematically removed evidence of death in our daily lives and because of this we have become fearful of dying, of even mentioning it lest it comes that much closer,’ she said.

‘It all comes down to truly accepting that we’re going to die and living fully in spite or because of it.’

During the workshops, Ms Reyerson talks about death in other cultures and religions while also showing an array of humorous, tearful or inspiring videos all centred around accepting death.

‘The theme of the afternoon goes something like ‘OK, so now that you know you’re going to die, what are you going to do with the time you have left’?’ she said.

‘The biggest inspiration from the work I do is to live life fully and passionately now, not someday, not when you’ve got an end-of-life diagnosis or when a loved one has died.

‘I want to inspire people to talk about death because something magical happens when we do.’

Visit www.passionatelife consulting.com for more information.