TedxBloomington sponsors death discussion


Judy Farnsworth, one of the participants of Drink to Your Death, talks about her personal experience when her husband was dying and wanted to know if he really made an impact in life during the TEDxBloomington event Wednesday at Monroe County Public Library. Stella Devina and Stella Devina

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes, Kel McBride said, quoting Benjamin Franklin, to open her TEDxBloomington presentation on end of life facilitation.

The presentation took place Wednesday, April 13 at the Monroe County Library.

McBride manages Clearly Depart, an end of life planning business in Bloomington and Louisville, Kentucky.

“She wants people to be thinking of all the things that lead up to the end of their lives and everything that comes after,” Luci McKean, curator for TEDxBloomington, said.

Death and Taxes, the title of McBride’s presentation, is part two of the spring TEDxBloomington salon series, which focuses on shorter, more interactive programming rather than the traditional TED style lecture, Jennifer Borland, executive producer for TEDxBloomington, said.

“We want to keep people in the community engaged around TED Talks and ideas,” Borland said. “We take ideas that are stewing in the community and turn them into salons.”

McBride’s presentation was centered around four TED Talks projected onto a screen, with each followed by group discussion facilitated by McBride.

Alison Killing’s TED Talk “There’s a Better Way to Die, and Architecture Can Help” led to discussion around hospital architecture.

“80 percent of us wish we could die at home, but the reality is most of us will die in a hospital,” McBride said.

The few times she has been in a hospital, McKean said she feels like a cog in a machine and is just a number that needs to be processed.

The tile and fluorescent light make hospitals feel cold, McKean said.

Filippo Brunelleschi’s Hospital of the Innocents built in 1414 in Florence is an example of ambitious architecture that distinctly contrasts from hospital architecture today, Killing said.

Brunelleschi’s hospital features courtyards to provide fresh air and high ceilings to establish a feeling of comfort, Killing said. This building is proof that hospitals can be beautiful, she said.

“What would the ideal hospital be like?” McBride said. “What would make you feel better in a hospital? These are the kind of questions we need to be asking ourselves.”

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