When I mentioned I was hosting my first Death Café, there was an audible intake of breath. Or she might have been choking, but she recovered well. My friend knows that I am heading down a new path as a death doula, but the term Death Café seemed to be more than she could handle.
I think she was confused/horrified/appalled/embarrassed/nauseous/disbelieving…or possibly all of the above. Those two words don’t typically go together, do they?
“That’s a bit morbid, isn’t it?”, she asked.
Here’s the thing. Everybody will have to cope with the loss of a loved one at some point, and nobody is getting out alive. Even so, talking about it is somehow considered bad luck? Or bad taste? Or anti-social? Or morbid? This has not always been the case, and some cultures deal with it better than we do. In fact, we make a huge fuss when a new life is born into the world, it would just make sense that we also feel free to discuss and prepare for the moment when the time comes to leave it.
So, what is a Death Café? It was created in England by a man named Jon Underwood, who recognised that there was a need for a safe space where people could talk, share, and ask questions about death and dying. It is designed to be an in-person event, but of course that’s out of the question at the moment. On Sunday I hosted my first (virtual) café and we talked (and laughed!) easily for an hour. We shared our thoughts, concerns, questions and stories, and everyone left feeling better, not worse, than before.
I plan to offer a Death Café once a month, with the next one being Sunday May 16 at 2.30pm. If you would like to join us and see what it’s all about, please email me for a link. Rest assured, if you would rather just listen than share, that is completely okay 🙂
Do you have questions or concerns? You can reach me any time at www.juliecryns.ca or email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you.