We laughed, we cried, we loved we learned.
As it was our 1st Death Café experience as facilitators and participants we were curious and excited as to how it might unfold. We kept it true to DC format and opened with a brief explanation of what a Death Café was, the founder Jon Underwood, and the details about the organization itself. We then went over what a DC is not… a grief support meeting, a place for self-promotion or a meeting with an agenda.
What an amazing event! Sarasota’s 1st Death Café was an astonishing success. 20 people were in the room aging from 11 to 76 and from all walks of life. We had entrepreneurs and Ministers, Therapists and a Middle School Student, a few Professional Mediums and a couple of grandmothers. All of us just normal people looking to come together to talk about death, and all of us having something to say, to share, to feel and to let go.
It was a beautiful thing to see people gather in anticipation of sharing! From the first woman through the door arriving a full half hour early, a funeral celebrant who’s energy lifts the spirit with her smile, to the sweet woman who shed the first tear and shared her thoughts about already missing her aging mother as she realized that she will eventually physically leave her, we all knew it would be an afternoon to remember. We found many commonalities with our shared thoughts about death and dying, as well as our deepest desires and intentions for living fully and presently!! Remember to have tissues available- our host had to dart out to the convenient store on the corner for tissue as the room began to release some pent up emotions about death and dying. The healing began almost as soon as the first person grabbed a cup of tea.
Two hours flew buy and we all reluctantly moved towards the door to return to our everyday lives. We shared huge hugs all around and the feeling of connectedness of bonding. We believe that Death Cafes absolutely bring out the best in human beings. They provide great opportunities for expression and sharing and are a wonderful way to remember how awesome people and life really are.
Sarasota’s 1st Death Café was way beyond our expectations and we are now joyfully planning the next one!
P.S. The cupcakes were yummy too!
Feedback from our attendees –
“A wonderful gathering at Radiance of heartfelt and soulful sharing about death and dying , life and living, while we shared our laughter, tears, love, support and inspiration with one another.
Wonderful coffee tea and cupcakes too” - JT
“It was a delightful and refreshing experience! Will definitely be of benefit for all!” – SM
“This experience was incredibly touching and heartfelt. It was so inspiring and deeply touching to be part of a group of people that met on a Saturday afternoon and shared intimate thoughts, ideas, and stories about a deep and intriguing topic… death, dying and life! What a special experience.. the tears of several, the wisdom of many, including a delightful 11 year old girl, and the bonding that occurred in the span of 2 hours. What a treasure!” – LM
“Lori and Mark, what a great job hosting the first Death Cafe in Sarasota. Hope there will be more to come. Enjoyed the opportunity to listen or speak or both. Participating with like-minded individuals gave me the opportunity to open my mind to the thinking processes of young and old. The only suggestion I might make is you do not allow the group to become too large (maybe under 20). Otherwise, the intimacy will be lost and so might good conversations. Thanks much for the opportunity to attend. It was nice seeing both of you again.” - JA