MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - For those who have ever considered having a conversation about end of life with their family and-or friends but haven’t been able to have it, have considered that the conversation could actually be rewarding and interesting, or who simply realize that the dialogue is important -- perhaps even necessary -- but don’t know how to get started, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, Sage Eldercare, and Healing Heart to Heart are partnering to host a 'Conversation Café' event in Summit on September 26, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

So, how does one have the conversation?

Imagine, Sage Eldercare and Healing Heart to Heart are partnering to host the event in to allow people to start this powerful discussion in a safe and entertaining way. Held at La Pastaria in Summit, diners will be playing a fun, interactive game with the people at their table designed to help folks start thinking about their own wishes and how to communicate them to the people in their life.

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Attendees can either come as a group or sit with strangers, and there will also be professionals on hand from each organization to answer any questions and provide documents that can be completed at home.

These types of conversations often don't happen at all and, when they do, they are often after an illness has been diagnosed. Experts indicate that time to have these conversations is when those involved don't have to make stressful decisions quickly.

Mandi Zucker, Program Director at Imagine, said, “Talking about illness and death and dying can reduce fear and stress, open communication and prepare families for end of life decision making. It can actually improve the quality of life.”

According to a national survey done by The Conversation Project (2018), 92% of people think it’s important to have conversations with loved ones about their wishes for end of life care, but only 32% of people actually do.

Cost for the evening is $43 per person, including meal and gratuities. To register for the event, visit imaginenj.org.

La Pastaria is located at 327 Springfield Avenue.