Death Cafe profile for Sherry Gilles


Location: United States

About Sherry Gilles:

I am a retired RN. I worked on an orthopaedic/spine unit for fifteen years in Indiana. I then worked as an RN for a major insurance company for seven years. In the past I have also worked in home health and in the nursery of a hospital.

I am going blind so I am retired now.

I hosted one of my first death cafes in Earlville, IL at Pagan Spirit Gathering in June 2013. I think it was the first one ever held at a camping site.

I moved in 2015 and have many death cafes since. I've met a fair number of people here who find coming to a death cafe is a good way to meet up with others who want to share their experiences and discuss what worries or comforts them.

 


What brings you to Death Cafe?

I am comfortable in working with people who are dying. I had much loss in my life starting quite early. And now, in 2018, I have had many more dear people die, in my life.

I like helping people feel comfortable talking about Death.

I've been looking for my niche since I had to retire in 2012. I think I've found it in Champaign County, IL. Although my vision continues to worsen I have and use great public transportation.

 

I facilitate death cafes with the help of Raymond T. Anderson. He's been with me since the first one years ago.


What would you like your legacy to be?

I would like to know if some of the seeds I've planted sprouted and flourished. 

 

 


Thoughts for sharing:

If you want to see the gods laugh tell them your plans.


Contact Sherry Gilles



Sherry Gilles's posts on the Death Cafe website


Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe November 30, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Nov. 18, 2018, 11:14 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Nov. 30, 2018, 3.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (Central)

Accepts donations

The Urbana Free Libary is a welcoming, pleasant venue for our death cafes. It's located near the bus line.

We welcome those who come to talk or to listen ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe October

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Nov. 18, 2018, 11:10 p.m.


Nine people gathered around a table at the library in Champaign IL.

We had one new attendee from the University of IL she was a doctoral student of psychology. Everyone else had attended before.

Participants discussed embalming and the physical structures that support cemeteries to keep the cemetery grounds from collapsing. 

Some talked about not being sure that cremation is good for the environment. Being planted as a tree was part of the conversation. 

Others shared their experiences of being a child when someone dear died and then having to go to the funeral and view the body of the deceased; others were not offered the chance to ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe October

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 2, 2018, 5:01 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Oct. 26, 2018, 4.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. (Central)

Free

The Champaign Public Library is a newer venue for our death cafes. It's located near the bus line.

We welcome those who come to talk or to listen and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe September 22, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 2, 2018, 4:53 p.m.


This death cafe took place at Unity Church and Spiritual Center in Urbana, IL and was well attended. There were 12 of us and 3 people had never attended a death cafe before. Besides myself two of the attendees identified themselves as death doulas who are working with a group in Colorado for training. 

Other participants were an archaelogist, two retired disabled women, and others.

Two people queued up music they found appropriate for death workers or people interested in the topic of death period. They used phones to share the music. 

There was conversation around the topic of singing to the dying to make their death easier ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe September 22, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Aug. 22, 2018, 6:42 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Sept. 22, 2018, 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. (Central)

Free

There is never a pre-set topic or activity at a death cafe. What we talk about is up to you!

We welcome those who come to talk or to listen ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe July 27, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Aug. 22, 2018, 6:11 p.m.

There were five of us at this death cafe held at the Urbana Free Library in Urbana, IL.

Two local archaelolgists from the U of I came as well as a woman who was attending her third cafe in a few days. She had gone to one in Indy and another location in Indiana and then came to this one on her way to Wisconsin. 

She shared her story about cremation remains after hearing one of the participants shared his own similar story. We talked about cancer and loss. 

Everyone contributed to the conversation and we had a good time. 



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe July 27, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on July 17, 2018, 6:52 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

July 27, 2018, 4.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. (Central)

Free

The Urbana Free Libary is a welcoming, pleasant venue for our death cafes. It's located near the bus line.

We welcome those who come to talk or to listen ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe June 23, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on July 17, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

It was a rainy day and we didn't think anyone was coming but there ended up being five of us talking about death. 

We found a picnic table under a tree and we shared homemade blueberry cupcakes and juice. 

Different modes of body disposal or burial were discussed along with a lot of discussion around what happens when bones are unearthed during construction. 

People shared personal stories as well. About half way through the death cafe a misty rain started to fall. It was such a comfortable and comforting time spent with others. 



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe June 23, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on June 12, 2018, 1:10 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

June 23, 2018, 4.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. (Central Time Zone)

0

It's been a super hot summer and their are trees and shade! Since our first death cafe five or six years ago was held at a large camping festival ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe May 22, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on June 12, 2018, 12:51 p.m.

There were seven of us who gathered around a table at a new venue, the library in Champaign IL.

We had one new attendee from the University of IL and she is from the archaeolgy department. 

Conversation drfited from the finding of skeletons during construction projects to people discussing green burial and how they are not sure that cremation is good for the environment. 

This led to discussion of body farms and places where there is no soil to dig in or the water table is high which led to talk of above groun interment and reuse of mausoleums and other concrete structures.

People discussed their views on ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe May 22, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on May 10, 2018, 1:25 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

May 22, 2018, 6.30 p.m. - 8.30 p.m. (Central)

0

The Champaign Public Library is a new venue for our death cafes. It's located near the bus line.

We welcome those who come to talk or to listen. this ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe April 28, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on May 8, 2018, 10:16 a.m.

This death cafe was held at the Unity Church and spiritual Center. There were five of us and one person was new. 

Conversations about funerals people had attended in their lives were shared and discussed. There was acknowledgement that the dreary dead time was passing and Spring was on the way.

One participant was celebrating humour month and regaled us with words and phrases common in US English that have come about, over time, with death in the title. 

She was also kind enough to bring the cake. 

We would have had more attendees had we made sure nothing big was going on in town. Our death cafe ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe April 28, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on April 5, 2018, 9:29 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles

April 28, 2018, 12.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe: Cancelled - Chambana Death Cafe February 24, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 31, 2018, 7:58 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Feb. 24, 2018, 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe January 27, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 31, 2018, 7:33 p.m.


We met at the Urbana Free Library in Urbana, IL. There were five in attendance. I found out after scheduling that a fair number of people who might have come were at a local church watching "How to Die in Oregon" and couldn't be in two places at one time. 

 

Cupcakes and donuts were served. People brought their own beverages.  

 

Participants discussed having come to many of the other death cafes and how much they valued attending and talking. 

 

One of our attendees is a forensic archeologist who told us about a book she really enjoyed reading. She said "Spook" is a book about the afterlife. People ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe January 27, 2018

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 3, 2018, 2:28 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Jan. 27, 2018, 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe December 16, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 3, 2018, 2:12 p.m.

We met at Unity Church and Spiritual Center in Urbana, IL. There were six of us. I speculate that attendance was low due to the holidays. One person came and then left because he felt ill.

 

Coffee and cookies were served. One of the attendees brought home made cookies. They were very tasty.

 

We had an interesting conversation covering old and fertile ground including types of burials and customs surrounding some of them. Also, this being the time of year when focus wanders to death of family members and friends, people talked about that as well. 

The most interesting part of this death cafe is that one of ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe December 16, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Dec. 4, 2017, 10:55 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Dec. 16, 2017, 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe November 25, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Dec. 4, 2017, 10:40 a.m.


We met in the basement of the Urbana Library and had a good conversation. Four attendees were new. We served coffee and cake and it was well-received. 

Conversation topics were: history of death through the ages, home versus funeral home funerals, and unscrupulous behavior by family members at the time of or after death.

One woman discussed that her Mom gave her post it notes to mark items she would like to have after her mother died.

Another person said she had a similar experience with colored dots. Every sibling marked what they wanted and, if two or more people claimed something, they had to work it out ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe November 25, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 24, 2017, 9:24 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles and Raymond T. Anderson

Nov. 25, 2017, 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. (central)

free

Talkng about death is not too scary once you give a death cafe a try. Meeting people who are willing to listen or talk can be very freeing and helpful ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe October 21, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 24, 2017, 9:05 p.m.


Our most recent death café was held on October 21 at the Universal Unitarian Church in Urbana, Illinois. 

There were a total of fourteen sitting around the table. One person was a "regular" and everyone else was new. People heard about this death café through word of mouth, Facebook event posting, and friends.

The start was awkward but people finally started speaking. 

One elderly gentleman with a hearty laugh notes he has heart trouble and while recuperating from heart attacks his daughter who was helping him said "you are going to have a hard time dying." This was possibly due to the fact that he now has an ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe October 21, 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 2, 2017, 2:48 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles with Raymond Anderson

Oct. 21, 2017, 12.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. (central time zone)

Free


Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe September 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Sept. 28, 2017, 10:36 a.m.

Our most recent death café was held on September 16, 2017 at the Unity Church and Spiritual Center on Main Street in Urbana, Illinois.

 

There were a total of eleven of us around the tables. One woman left early to attend to a car problem. Two people were new and two attendees were thirteen years old.

 

People heard about this Death Cafe through word of mouth, Facebook event posting, a flyer, and from family or friends.

 

After a quick round of introductions the conversation started with topics including green burials and cremation and death rituals.  

 

There was a fair amount of discussion about the similarities between Jewish and ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe September 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Aug. 26, 2017, 11:28 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Sept. 16, 2017, 12.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe July 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Aug. 12, 2017, 1:23 p.m.


Our most recent death café was held on July 15, 2017 at the Unity Church and Spiritual Center on Main Street in Urbana, Illinois.

This was the first death café I held since the death of the founder of Death Café and Impermance, Jon Underwood, died unexpectedly about a week before. I was shocked and managed, for this café, to get some pictures and shared a bit of his story before we got started. 

Incidentally he had been working with a Buddhist temple to arrange death services and burials to be done there. They honoured him by making his funerary service their first.

There were a total of ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe July 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on May 12, 2017, 6 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

July 15, 2017, 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. (central, daylights saving time)

Please donate directly to Death Cafe!

Free to attend. Come as you are. Bring your sense of humour if you can. This is not a support group for the recently bereaved. We offer a comfortable and ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe May 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on May 12, 2017, 5:40 p.m.


Our most recent death cafe was held on May 3, 2017 at the Urbana Free Library in Urbana, IL. The library does not endorse organizations, topics or presentations but is kind to provide free meeting space for non-profits once a month.

 

There were a total of ten of us around the table. Several people were new to participating in a death cafe. 

 

After a round of introductions the conversation covered popular themes like green burials, cremation versus traditional burial in a cemetery and the usage of vaults to keep cemeteries from caving in. Mushroom suits and being planted as a tree were interesting topics some brought up.

 

Family ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe May 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on April 2, 2017, 3:38 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles

May 3, 2017, 6.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. (CST)

Free, suggest you donate to www.deathcafe.com if you are so inclined.

No RSVP necessary but happy to try to answer questions if you choose to email them. You may bring a child to the event if you wish. There is also ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe March 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on March 21, 2017, 12:32 a.m.


Chambana Death cafe March 4, 2017 was held at the Unity Church and Spiritual Center in Urbana, IL. There were 13 of us and six people were new and, some were not. There were about four no shows also.

 

Three people found us through the death cafe website and several through public FB event posting. Also the church advertised through their bulletin as well.

 

Eve joined us at the last death cafe and this time brought cake. She is an archaologist with the U of I and  has been involved in human remains excavation in IL among her many responsibilities.

 

Deb is a minister at the church. She ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe March 2017

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 29, 2017, 4:40 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

March 4, 2017, 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. (central)

Free

Come and share your stories, insights and cake! with people who are sharing their own stories and insights on death. 

Wear comfortable clothes and, if you can, a sense of ...



Death Cafe write up: Chambana Death Cafe December 14, 2016

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Jan. 2, 2017, 3:30 p.m.


Chambana Death Cafe was held on the evening on the fourteenth of December, 2016, at The Urbana Free Library in Urbana, IL.

There were six attendees; one could not appear in person. Four had never attended a death cafe before. Two were associated with the University of Illinois and death research is part of their jobs. One was also an Uber driver, one was retired and one woman, a nurse, stated she had authored a child's book on death and I got a peek at it before she left as her friend had it on hand. Finally the one who was in absentia had sent me a ...



Death Cafe: Chambana Death Cafe December 14, 2016

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Nov. 8, 2016, 1:44 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles and Raymond Anderson

Dec. 14, 2016, 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. (CST)

free

Both Sherry and Raymond are comfortable talking about death having sustained many losses early in life.

Sherry writes poetry, much of it with an existential twist and Raymond has a ...



Death Cafe write up: 2nd PSG Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Aug. 23, 2014, 1:32 p.m.

Sherry Gilles and Raymond T. Anderson offered Death Cafe to participants at Pagan Spirit Gathering for the second year in a row. Sherry is a Certified Death Midwife and Raymond T. Anderson is a musician and historian.

Topics touched on were end of life care including the work of ministers and death doulas, hospice and personal experiences of the eleven attendees.

This Death Cafe was welomed and well-attended. Because this event took place at a time when two other workshops were scheduled many people also contacted me before and after wishing there were more time slots available and initiated their own conversations with Sherry about death and dying ...



Death Cafe: 2nd PSG Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on June 10, 2014, 2:17 p.m.



With Circle Sanctuary - Pagan Spirit Gathering 2014

June 17, 2014, 1.00 p.m. - 2.30 p.m. (CST)

none

Hosting the conversations around death is important in order to support our community members and friends. Pagans generally acknowledge all seasons of life but, as with the general population, some ...



Death Cafe write up: Crete, Illinois Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on June 9, 2014, 8:59 p.m.


We expected about a dozen people to come to this Death Cafe but had a number of cancellations due to illness. 

Six people came to discuss death topics such as loss of a loved one and what types of funeral or cremation ceremony might suit each person the best. End of Life conversations, having taken place or not, were discussed and how it affected each participant. 

One guest arrived later and discussed the effects of radiation on the body and how certain types of radiation caused death.. 

We served snacks, chicken and noodles, cake and various libations. I received evaluations from all attendees. All said they would be ...



Death Cafe: Crete, Illinois Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on March 10, 2014, 3:08 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles and Raymond Anderson

March 29, 2014, 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. (Central)

People who are coming may bring a gift of food or drink if they so desire.

This death cafe will be offered at Sherry's home in Crete, IL to friends and family as well as to others, locally, who might hear about it through others ...



New Blog post: On Becoming a Certified Death Midwife

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Feb. 27, 2014, 1:34 a.m. 18 comments


I attended Death Midwife Certification Intensive training in Bannockburn, IL with Earth Traditions, a Pagan community for People of the Earth. Training was completed on 10/13/13. I am now a Certified Death Midwife.

Training is centered around supporting the provision of dignified and sacred end of life care to loved ones before, at and after the moment of death. The skills are not medical in nature but spiritual, traditional, hands-on and loving as ...



Death Cafe write up: Death Cafe in Joliet, IL

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Feb. 6, 2014, 1:22 p.m.


We expected about twenty people to come to this Death Cafe but had a number of cancellations due to the incredibly rainy weather and threats of storms.

About twelve people showed up to discuss death topics such as loss of a loved one and what types of funeral or cremation ceremony might suit each person the best. End of Life conversations, having taken place or not, were discussed and how it affected each participant. 

One guest came in at the last minute and she shared some good stories from the past about death. 

Our hosts served snack food and cake. I only received a couple of evaluations as ...



Death Cafe write up: Pagan Camp Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 4, 2013, 1:23 a.m.


    Sixteen people came to the Death Cafe hosted by Sherry Gilles with the
    assistance of Raymond T. Anderson on June 18, 2013 at Pagan Spirit
    Gathering in Earlville, IL.

    We sat in the shade of a giant old tree at and around a weathered
    picnic table and shared cinnamon apple sun tea, lemonade, moon pies, nuts,
    dutch apple crumb cakes, candy and other snacks.

    We started off discussing a few questions from the Death Anxiety
    Questionairre by Conte, Weiner and Plutchik. (1982 "Measuring Death
    Anxiety").

    We discussed the loss of parents and other loved ones. Two women
    shared their present experience with a loved one who is dying ...


Death Cafe: Pagan Camp Death Cafe

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Oct. 4, 2013, 1:10 a.m.



With Sherry Gilles

June 18, 2013, 2.00 p.m. - 3.30 p.m. (CST)

free

Our pagan community has experienced many deaths this past year. Pagans are often likely to acknowledge the circle of life but still have trouble finding people to talk with about ...



Death Cafe: Death Cafe in Joliet, IL

Posted by Sherry Gilles on Sept. 27, 2013, 6:37 p.m.



With Sherry Gilles

Oct. 5, 2013, 3.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. (CST)

free

Sherry Gilles has experienced much death in her personal life over the years and worked for fifteen years on a hospital clinical floor in Indiana. She often took care of ...





Contact Sherry Gilles

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