Our Death Cafe is free, but the room, the teas and the cakes are not
Death Cafe West Hampstead on 8 October was fully booked. I was expecting 10 people. On the night I arrived an hour early as usual, with teas, two cakes, one of them gluten free and some black and white grapes. I set up the room and laid the table, looking forward to the evening with anticipation. But instead of 10 guests only three people turned up. None of them had attended a death cafe before. We shared a sense of disappointment at the chairs being left empty, at the absence of strangers we had expected to share the evening with.
So we huddled together at one end of the table and talked about experiences and why we had come.
It was not the first time this had happened, that people booked but did not come or cancelled on the day without me realising as I am away from my computer. I was left to pick up the bill to cover the expenses, because whilst I give my time for free to organise and host this death cafe, the room, the teas and cakes are not free. And I am not happy to end up out of pocket. So dear friends, this was the last time I paid for it.
I will continue to offer my time for free but I have to make sure that the expenses are covered in advance, because I have to pay in advance too. So in future you will have to pay a small fee on booking. If you cancel up to one day in advance you will receive a full refund. If fewer than six people book I will have to cancel the evening one day in advance. I hope you understand.
Our venue is lovely. It offers privacy, a warm, comfortable room, a little kitchen and wheelchair access. And it is all very convenienlty located close to Underground, Overground and Thameslink station with several bus stops and free parking nearby.
I look forward to many more inspiring, thought-provoking and life-affirming death cafes with you! And I will be happy not to have to worry about people turning up or not. My commitment is unchanged. I want everyone who books to come to also make that commitment. It will make it so much less stressful!
At the November DC there were 11 of us + Josefine, and I sensed each person valued being there, and at the conclusion had much appreciated the conversation. I found it particularly harmonious and intimate. Thank you.
Posted by Jyoti