My first Chelmsford Death Cafe!
I facilitated my first Death Café two days ago, Several people couldn’t easily find the event, in future I will provide a map and really good directions to the venue!
Once we were (eventually 15minutes after the advertised start time) all sitting with drinks and cakes I gave my prepared introduction to Death Café with a little history of the momvement and an outline of what it is, isn’t some ‘ground rules’ and my ‘plan’ for the session.
I began by introducing myself and saying a bit about why I want to hold Death Cafes, then invited the group to introduce themselves and say what brought them, why they were there, or what had interested them about the idea of Death Cafe.
Of the people present, all introduced themselves and seemed happy to contribute to the ongoing discussion. Over the next two hours our conversation ranged from caring for and the loss of a loved one, the benefits of talking about how one feels, out of body and near-death experience, the difference between death involving an older person versus the death of a young person, spirituality, funerals, what people would want or not want for their death and at their funeral, who funerals are for (the deceased or those left behind?), what a good death is, to crematorium processes and probably a lot more I don’t recall.
There were many positive comments at the end, this session was very well received by the attendees. I have received feedback from one of the group members (below)
‘I came away feeling strangely privileged to have been able to share peoples thoughts and feelings - everyone was so frank and open and really embraced the opportunity to be able to talk about the D word which in everyday life is often such as taboo subject! I felt comforted that other people shared some of my fears and anxieties and was also fascinated by other people’s experiences and perspectives. It also felt liberating to be able to freely discuss a topic which most people seem to want to avoid. All in all a really positive experience and I would recommend a visit to the death cafe for a cup of tea and a slice of cake and a chance to share your thoughts on death and dying.’