N DiGaetano: Numbered Days

02nov11:3012:45N DiGaetano: Numbered Days11:30 - 12:45(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typePresentationTopicDying WellSession ID: Session 6B


(Tuesday) 11:30 - 12:45(GMT+00:00) View in my time

Event Details

Niki DiGaetano: Numbered Days: Connecting and Empowering Through Stories of Loss 

A conversation facilitated by Niki DiGaetano. If you would like to play a role in this hosted conversation please BOOK HERE.

In my own life and in others’ lives, I’ve observed the consequences of a death-phobic people. We have become enraptured by safety; we use it to convince ourselves of our invincibility. Then when we finally realize that we aren’t invincible, when it’s clear that our days are running down, we don’t know what to do.

Time and time again, I’ve seen the pain that results from not talking about dying until we or a loved one is, you know, actually dying.

Family members confronted with the barrage of medical, logistical and emotional questions for the first time don’t know how to react.

This confusion and lack of education sometimes results in decisions we regret later. For example, proceeding with a failing operation or a mishandled, difficult conversation.

Ultimately, it’s my hope that by sharing our experiences, others can learn from our past. In doing so, we can foster more conversations around death and dying and be better equipped when we inevitably encounter death once again.

Share your experience with death and dying at “Numbered Days: Connecting and Empowering Through Stories of Loss.”

When you first bore witness to death, how did it go?

Was the process quick? Or was it drawn out and exhausting, demanding immediate answers to questions you didn’t know?

This is a panel conversation designed to educate, connect, and empower both participants and viewers by facilitating the sharing of their experiences with death and dying.

Much of the end-of-life process is entangled with an overwhelming amount of unending questions. Some of these can include:

  • How do I talk to them about this? 
  • Where can I find support? 
  • What’s palliative care? 
  • What does hospice even do?

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t aware of these questions until we’re thrown headfirst into them.

But maybe by sharing our stories – especially those where hindsight is glaringly present – we can become more educated and empowered to face our loved ones’ deaths. And eventually too, our own.

Ultimately, it’s my hope that by sharing our experiences, others can learn from our past. In doing so, we can foster more conversations around death and dying and be better equipped when we inevitably encounter death once again.

To learn more or register, please visit preciousnumbereddays.com/numbered-days-borrowed-time

Speakers for this event

  • Niki DiGaetano

    Niki DiGaetano

    One of the driving forces compelling me to initiate this proposal stems from my own end-of-life experiences. During my family’s first significant loss, we encountered so many situations for which we were not prepared. No one informed us of the minutiae surrounding topics such as: power of attorney, pain management, choosing memory care and hospice facilities, or telling a surviving spouse that her husband passed. Afterwards, I found myself growing exponentially angry that this had never been discussed; it was a taboo. My family never wanted to talk about it, and certainly, the general society never initiated these conversations, nor provided resources that would allow for a somewhat-informed encounter with the end-of-life process. Instead, we entered that process completely ignorant. No one discussed it with us until it was too late; we were slogging through it, waist-deep, and I fear my loved one suffered unnecessarily due to our forced learning curve. Later, I noticed this pattern being repeated among friends. They too were as lost as I was, and they expressed dismay at not being prepared, at not previously discussing these matters. Because I currently do not work in the death trade, I am comfortable identifying myself as “an everyday person” who seeks to expand the death discussion outside of the end-of-life circle. As such, I was immediately interested in your desire to “break the “expert table” model of panels and presentations” through the summit. Although I aspire to an eventual vocation as either a hospice chaplain and/or a death doula, I currently work in the advertising industry, which was my focus during my undergraduate studies. In my endeavor to shift fields, I earned a certification from the University of Vermont’s End-of-Life Doula program in December 2019. I am also in the process of pursuing my Master of Divinity with a concentration in healthcare chaplaincy. As another component to my foray into end-of-life, I was a hospice volunteer for six months. The patients I was honored to sit with reinforced my understanding of profundity in simplicity: the gentleness of touch, the silence of presence, and the power of companionship.


    • Day 1
    • 31/10/2021
    • 16.00 Opening day events16.00 - 21.00Opening day events including keynotesSpeakers: Bayo Akomolafe, Beatrice Allegranti