The Joy of being a Death Cafe Facilitator!



It never ceases to amaze me how people can come together, many and most as strangers, sit in a circle and allow themselves to all become connected at some level. As a Death Cafe facilitator I have found each event to be unique and very interesting. We had our 6th Death Cafe yesterday with a crowd of 42, our first one had 15. 

Many who attand have no real idea what to expect or perhaps even why they are there. It's a special situation really, getting together with a group of people to talk about death and dying! It's a conversation that most have not really had the opportunity to broach and the eagerness to do so is huge. As I have heard more than once "you can't really call up your girlfriends and say let's do lunch and discuss death". The respect of one another's opinions and backgrounds has been stellar. 

Our participants have been very diverse in age and occupation. The age range has been from 11 to 96, and from student, doctor, journalist to grandmother. The commonality is this... we are all aware that at some point we will die and we all have some level of desire to try and figure out what that looks like for ourselves or our loved ones. A nice man shared this with me yesterday, “In my twenties I suppose I knew I would die someday but it was not part of my life,  not even so much in my 40’s, but now I am 63 and death is a part of my life and I need to figure this all out”. 

As life is a cycle, a cycle of meaningful moments, it may serve us well to have an affinity with the succession of events from beginning to end. This also helps to create the reality that the moment we are currently experiencing, this very moment, is all that there ever really is. An enormous sense of bliss interweaves with peace and a new zest for life when we come to this realization. Living and participating in each moment fully and completely releases fear and all that accompanies that emotion. 

The conversation always flows as it should and the main topics seem to be worry and anxiety over losing quality of life, our right to die with dignity and choice, funerary options, getting our affairs in order, Hospice care, fear of pain and dying, acceptance or denial of the afterlife, suicide, and immortality.

The common thread of humanity that I have observed at all six of our Death Cafés thus far is not as much about death as it is life. We all seek community and connectedness, acceptance, acknowledgement and love. We all strive to create the life we desire to the very best of our ability. These human traits are predominant in all our Death Cafés.

 

My partner and I have received a great deal of joy, insight, compassion and connection to our guests as facilitators, it really has been amazing. I encourage more people to host this important, worthy and necessary event. Death Café changes lives. 


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