East York Death Cafe - but why?

Our first Death Cafe at Woodbine Heights is still 5 weeks away, but I'm already thinking about it, pretty constantly.

This is partly due to the seeming incongruity of hosting a gathering to talk about death in a religious institution that is apparently supposed to focus on life, both the temporal and eternal kind. But here we are.

I'm looking forward to the unique configuration of strangers and friends that will come. I am saddened by the fact that there are those folks in our community who will automatically disregard this opportunity because we are a church, particularly a church of the baptist variety. I'm also interested to listen in on the chatter in the background from church folks who wonder what the heck we are doing by hosting such a gathering.

It's coming up on 15 years since our oldest daughter, Madeleine, died, after enduring ovarian cancer, three surgeries and two and half rounds of chemotherapy. She was 15 years old when she died. I live with the reality of death every day. Every day.

I am hopeful that our gathering on the 21st of March will provide an opening for honest and respectful conversation about the one sure thing in each of our lives: the eventual end, in death.

A book I most heartily recommend is Jennifer duBois' "A Partial List of Lost Causes." From that book, this quote: "People who haven't grappled with their own mortality think that to speak of death is to make it real."


Listen. Whether we grapple with it or not, it is real. And it is worth taking some time and intention to discuss.



Your post touched my heart. I'm holding a Death Cafe in AZ this afternoon and plan to open it with the quote from Jennifer. So true. You're taking the tragedy and pain of your daughter's death and morphing it into service to others by hosting a Death Cafe. I've had touching/inspirational DCs with as few as 2 people and as many as 16, so I know that your's will be meaningful regardless of the turnout.

Posted by nancyreecejones

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