Wine and Death Event Inspires Conversation About Planning for the Inevitable

Joe McElroy
Posted7/2/2014 5:01 PM

It might seem like a typical cocktail party, but count on little of the usual, banal cocktail party chatter.

"Wine & Death: Planning For the Inevitable," is sure to be an introspective conversation on Thursday, July 10 at Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook, starting at 6:30 p.m.


"No, I expect you won't hear much bragging about kids and grandkids' achievements," concedes Steve Byrne, one of the event's organizers. "We will be discussing end-of-life issues," he explains, "but I promise that people will enjoy themselves while they learn, and be glad they came."

Byrne is a founding partner of Final Roadmap, an event sponsor. Final Roadmap is a comprehensive, innovative online tool kit that guides its members to determine and communicate their healthcare, financial and personal wishes to their family, friends and loved ones. "We help people start the conversation, and make sure that people you trust know what you want at the end of life." According to Atul Gawande, MD in a New Yorker article entitled "Letting Go" [August 2010], "People who have substantive discussions...about their end-of-life preferences were far more likely to die at peace and in control of their situation, and to spare their family anguish."

In addition to Final Roadmap, sponsors are Elements: The Cremation Company, and GCG Financial. All three companies are based in metro Chicago. Broadbent Selections, based in Richmond, VA will supply the wine.

Although still a difficult subject to discuss, end-of-life issues are now avoided less than in the past. Also, cremation has become much more widely accepted; in the United States, cremation rates have gone from 3.6 percent in 1960 to 41 percent today, according to the Cremation Society of North America.

To register, please email Ronette McCarthy at or call Laurie Glazier at 847-457-3162. Attendance is limited so early reservations are recommended.

Butterfield Country Club is at 2800 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, 60523. Take Interstate 88 to Midwest Road south. Butterfield Country Club will be on the right (west) side.