Death Cafe profile for Cecilia H


Location: United Kingdom

About Cecilia H:

I am a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher with a particular interest in the losses we all face, and extensive experience of working with those facing death - either their own or of a loved one.

Alongside my therapy practice, I am training to become a soul midwife or end of life doula to accompany those at the end of their life and those they are letting go of.

As an experienced group facilitator, I am passionate about creating an environment in which talking about death is natural and comfortable. 

I believe that talking openly about death, dying and bereavement can help us to accept the reality of our immortality as part of life, and ease some of the fears we face. 

My goal is to help people embrace life, live more fully in the present, and honour death by providing a safe environment in which meaningful conversations may take place. 


Thoughts for sharing:

"When people talk about death and dying, it tends to illustrate their humanity." - Jon Underwood, Founder of the Death Cafe Movement


Contact Cecilia H



Cecilia H's posts on the Death Cafe website


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Nov. 10, 2019, 3:39 a.m.

6 of us met for the September meeting of the CWDC together with a lemon and blackcurrant sponge!  3 of us had attended a Death Café before.  We began by asking ourselves where we are with death and dying, grief and loss…

 

Themes to emerge from our discussion:

Rituals – and the containment they can offer.  The Catholic traditions observed in Goa, India and the Maori tradition in New Zealand.  The gender split that remains strong in both traditions with men and women occupying different domains.

 

Our loss of the external markers of grief and mourning – the argument for re-introducing something akin to the armband – might a ‘mood badge ...



Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Nov. 9, 2019, 3:09 p.m.

6 of us met for the October meeting of the CWDC to which we welcomed along 2 newcomers both of whom were attending a Death Cafe for the first time.  We introduced ourselves and reflected on where we are with the subjects of death and dying whilst sharing a zingy lemon drizzle cake inspired by Mary Berry.

Themes to emerge from our discussion:

The unspeakable quality and seemingly unacceptable nature of grief and bereavement.  How difficult it is to find meaningful compassionate responses in the face of bereavement.  People’s awkwardness and not knowing how to speak to those who are grieving.  The shaming responses that can result ...



Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 22, 2019, 6:34 a.m.

Five of us attended the June meeting of CWDC including two people who had not joined us before.  We shared a Coffee and Walnut cake.  

Themes to emerge from our discussion:

How well, or badly, do we deal with death?
Different cultural perspectives and practices.

How do we prepare for death, and how might this influence or affect how we grieve?

How do we mark our relationships with the dead?  Visiting a loved one's grave.

How do we start these conversations?  Setting an example perhaps more effective in certain situations.  Getting our own houses in order.  Where are we with our own preparation?
What does an executor ...



Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 22, 2019, 6:10 a.m.

4 of us attended including one person for whom it was their first time attending a Death Cafe.  We shared a generously iced carrot cake (GAIL's Bakery recipe).  We opened the meeting with a brief reminder about confidentiality and respect for people's stories.
 
Themes emerging from our discussion:
 
Crisis situations and hasty decisions - the importance of choice, autonomy, and independence, and the role of an informed advocate in an emergency medical/hospital scenario.
Tragic unexpected and unplanned-for deaths vs. Statement of Wishes - why do we not get prompted to give this thought as we take out a mortgage or write our Wills?
 
A parent's rights ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 22, 2019, 5:55 a.m.

This meeting marked our first birthday or the anniversary of our opening the CWDC.  5 of us met, including 2 of us who had not attended before and we enjoyed a delicious Victoria sponge!  Of the newcomers, one person was totally new to Death Cafe, and another was a researcher for whom it was her 8th time at a London Death Cafe.
 
Themes emerging from our discussion:
 
The importance of having spaces to reflect on our relationship with the one inevitability in life.  The taboos around talking about death.  People's difficulty / reluctance / refusal to approach the subject.  People feeling very uncomfortable for the topic of conversation to ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 22, 2019, 5:36 a.m.

Three of us met and began our discussion exploring where each of us find ourselves in relation to death and dying, and what it is that we have been thinking about.

Wills, Executors, and Powers of Attorney are things that we have been giving a lot of consideration to, both at Death Cafe and elsewhere.  
 
We went on to talk about the regularity with which things seem to come out when someone has died, and our shared experience of secrets and surprises after death.  We spoke about the importance of finding opportunities to share our wishes with those we care about ahead of time.
 
We spent some time ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 21, 2019, 5:18 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Dec. 8, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 21, 2019, 5:17 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Oct. 27, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 21, 2019, 5:02 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Sept. 22, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on July 14, 2019, 2:13 p.m.



With Cecilia H.

Aug. 11, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on June 17, 2019, 11:21 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

July 14, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on June 17, 2019, 11:18 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

June 23, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on May 12, 2019, 1:16 p.m.

Four of us met for the May meeting of the Colliers Wood Death Café during which we acknowledged Dying Matters and the information event ‘Doing Death Differently - Are We Ready?’ the CWDC hosted at the Tooting Bec Lido Pavilion on Saturday morning.

 

Two of us had not been to this, or any other Death Café before.  Having acknowledged the background to the movement, and the ethos of the meetings, we began to talk about a theme which ran throughout the meeting around forgiveness. 

 

We talked about forgiveness rituals, and how important these might be at the end of life – both for the dying, and for those they leave ...



Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on April 3, 2019, 5:37 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

May 12, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE - We will be meeting on Sunday 12th May (and not 19th May as previously advertised).
 
This Death Cafe event is being run as part ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Feb. 24, 2019, 9:06 a.m.

Four of us gathered for the first meeting of the Colliers Wood Death Café of 2019.

 

We began acknowledging the inescapable reality of old age, sickness and death as we asked ourselves where we are today with death.

 

One attendee posed the question that, if life is Mexican Wave, which we stand up and form part of just temporarily, what are we doing whilst we stand up?  We reflected on our own experience of lives being cut tragically short, and the remarkable preciousness of each life.  To not acknowledge death is to not fully appreciate life.

 

Our conversation made references to Derren Brown, and to Billy Connolly who ...



Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Feb. 19, 2019, 6:24 a.m.

November saw the fifth meeting of the Colliers Wood Death Café.  Kevin and I co-hosted the event which was attended by three people who had been before, and one person who was attending for the first time.

 

Our discussion began with some reflections on the experience of watching a parent become seriously unwell before rallying and normal life resuming, contrary to medical opinion and prognosis. 

 

We talked about the impact of watching someone get seriously ill, and ideas around Bucket Lists and the revision of priorities should time suddenly feel short.  We shared our own experience of gaining clarity about what’s important, and what’s not, and ...



Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Dec. 8, 2018, 12:07 p.m.

There were six of us round the table at the October meeting of the Colliers Wood Death Cafe. 
 
Some of us had been to a Death Cafe before, and we used the beginning of the meeting to clarify for ourselves what Death Cafe is, and what the issues of death and dying evoke within us, acknowledging that this is individual and evolving.
 
There was a reflective and curious tone to our discussions, with more questions asked than answered.
 
We spoke about how quickly and drastically things can change, reflecting on how fragile our reality really is, and recognising the value of the precious present.  There emerged a related ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Dec. 8, 2018, 11:40 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

April 28, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Dec. 8, 2018, 11:39 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

March 24, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Dec. 8, 2018, 11:38 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Feb. 24, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Dec. 8, 2018, 11:30 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Jan. 27, 2019, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (GMT)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Oct. 14, 2018, 1:26 p.m.

This was the third in a series of 5 Death Cafes planned to be held at Coffee in the Wood, Colliers Wood, London SW19 this year.  

 

The cafe was attended by eight people, who met together with myself and Kevin, my co-host.  We decided to have a conversation as a larger group rather than dividing the group and having different discussions simultaneously, salon style.

 

Our conversation moved between different themes including what makes for a 'beautiful' or 'peaceful' death, and how different our constructions of these might be.  We posed the questions:  what sort of death might we wish for ourselves, and for our loved ones?

 

We returned ...



Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Oct. 1, 2018, 5:08 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Nov. 18, 2018, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (BST)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Oct. 1, 2018, 4:52 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Oct. 21, 2018, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (BST)

Free

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on Aug. 14, 2018, 7:19 a.m.

There were six of us round the table at this, the second meeting of the Colliers Wood Death Cafe.  Some of us had been to a Death Cafe before, and as we introduced ourselves themes around looking death in the face, in order to live more fully and perhaps more meaningfully, quickly began to emerge.  
 
Our discussion began with thoughts about putting our affairs in order - both at a practical, or logistical level, and emotionally, and different people shared where they felt they were at with the housekeeping aspects of recognising our inherent finitude.  
 
The nature of someone's death was raised as a differentiating factor in terms ...


Death Cafe write up: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on July 15, 2018, 1:30 p.m.

This was the first in a series of Death Cafes we plan to hold in SW19, and was held on the same afternoon as the finals of both the World Cup and Wimbledon.  The cafe was attended by four people, who met together with myself and a co-host.

 

Informative, Insightful, Compassionate, Safe, Relief, and Flexible were words shared by participants in their feedback, to describe the experience of attending.

 

Our conversation touched on several themes around starting to talk about death to those we care about, about what we would ourselves want, and how we might broach the subject.

 

We explored differing views on whether children should be ...



Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on June 24, 2018, 9:43 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Sept. 9, 2018, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (BST)

Free to attend

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on June 24, 2018, 9:40 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

Aug. 12, 2018, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (BST)

Free to attend

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...


Death Cafe: Colliers Wood Death Cafe

Posted by Cecilia H on June 21, 2018, 2:58 a.m.



With Cecilia H.

July 15, 2018, 5.00 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (BST)

Free to attend

The Death Cafe is not a grief support group or end-of-life planning session, but rather an informal space in which to explore your own thoughts and feelings in relation to ...




Contact Cecilia H

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