Death Cafe profile for MontpelierDeathCafe
Stuff, Suffering, and Summer in Vermont
As we gathered on a beautiful summer evening last month it seemed everyone was full of gratitude for the space The Montpelier Death Cafe has created in our community. "Coming to Death Cafe and listening to what people share about their own experiences has helped me immensely in how I process my own thinking on death and dying," said one person as we checked in.
Fear, specifically what we fear about death seemed to be on people's minds. "If I fear anything it's not so much death as it is not enjoying life and what I have… Death Cafe has ...
Musings on the June 2016 Meeting of the Montpelier Death Cafe
"People might not want to talk about it, but the DO think about death. How could they not?"
It is traditional at our death cafe for the facilitator to ask the people there to say why they came, if they can. One person spoke of how when they shared they would be going to a Death Cafe the other person's reaction was "Why would you do that?!?" I think most of us who come to Death Cafe have had that reactions, but this person's response was truly wonderful. "Well," they said, "before you go on ...
February 2016 Death Cafe
Post Meeting Musings
"The stories we tell in death cafe can have tremendous power in our outside lives"
The relationship between grief and death is obvious, but the relationship between grief and life is much more complex. After all, not matter what the source, grief is the burden of the living. Grief, then, becomes a question of identity. The challenge is how we move through grief, accepting the changes that precipitated it, and finding a new way to come into relationship with ourselves.
Our small group this meeting was one quite familiar with grief and everyone had something to share. "Grief is what happens ...
"How not avoid what is uncomfortable, how to embrace it. How to make space in this our society for this experience." These were some of the challenges an attendee shared with the group after their experience of being with someone through death. "Death has changed everything for me in the most profound way that I am actually grateful for the experience," admitted another.
To be with someone who is dying is to come close to a profoundly liminal experience. As one member said, "Death is the transition between the seen and the unseen." And while deeply sad, it can be awe inspiring to realize that "whatever we are ...
December 2015 Montpelier Death Cafe
2nd Anniversary Meeting
After Meeting Thoughts
"I'm not as afraid of dying because I've become less afraid of living"
This meeting marked our second full year of meeting every month. There are regulars in our communities, one-timers, drop-ins. As we say in our invitation, "each month the conversation deepens and evolves." But thanks to all of you who have helped us create a truly vibrant and inspiring death cafe.
We talked about suicide and dementia at this meeting and it was surprising how the two subjects blended in the discussion. We were not having two separate conversations. "Losing control is big ...
November 2015 Montpelier Death Cafe
After Meeting Thoughts
"It's a big deal to die"
There was something different about this month's meeting of the Montpelier Death Cafe on Thursday the 19th. The specter of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Nigeria was certainly heavy and some spoke openly about their reactions to death on that scale in such tragic circumstances. But, whatever the reason, this month the group spoke more openly about their personal fears -especially with regards to their personal deaths- confronting not just mortality in general, but the absolute finality of their own lives and how that made them feel. In beautiful counterpoint ...
In a small community one person's death resonates. And so, at our September meeting, many people came seeking to speak about Jean whose sudden death had had a profound impact on them.
Whether we knew Jean or not, the raw emotions raised when someone passes away could be felt in the room. We talked about grief. We talked about loss. We talked about how they were related, but not the same. We talked about the transformative power of death. And in our own ways, we talked about fear.
Some were blunt "I used to think I was one of those people who was philosophical about death, I ...
Montpelier Death Cafe
July 16th Meeting Notes
"Why did you decide to come tonight?" That is the simple question we often use for the introductory round of our monthly conversations but it is rarely easy to answer even as a facilitator. After all, making time in one's busy day to sit down and talk about death and dying for an hour and half isn't the way most people choose to spend their time, no matter how much we wish they would. And the truth is, even though it is quite difficult to express specifically why we gather everyone's answer usually includes something along the lines ...
This month we celebrated the one year anniversary of our death cafe!
Making the decision to attend a Death Café is one that should be applauded. While some attendees are eager for a space to openly talk about death, it still takes a certain courage for anyone to confront what many think of as life’s ultimate mystery.
As we talked this month it became clear that for many, death, perhaps because it is inevitable, is not really what scares us. Dying does and not knowing what comes next is what is truly unsettling. We have a choice about whether or not to be afraid of death, or we can at least do our best to condition ourselves to the ...
We often open our meetings by asking the attendees what brings them to our Death Café. Hearing the broad range of answers is inspiring; some people admit they just don’t know, others share personal stories. But the common thread in all answers is the desire to not hide from death. As a group we feel safe bringing our thoughts about death “into the light”.
As this month’s meeting turned towards a desire not to be afraid of death and how to prepare to die well, we actually talked about how death isn’t the only thing we need to bring into the light. Most of us ...
With Montpelier Death Cafe
Dec. 19, 2019, 5.30 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. (EST)
North Branch Cafe is kind enough to offer us a private space for free, if you wish to support them in turn their tea, wine, and edible goodies are delicious
The Montpelier Death Cafe s currently on hiatus.