Colourful Conversation

A write up of Death Cafe Edmonton

By Gina Vliet

New Year, new venue for us this Winter Wednesday night, January 30, 2019, and a conversation circle made up of local Edmontonians as well as people travelling in from St. Albert, Leduc, and Stony Plain. The meetup was lively and at times emotional, as we discussed for starters, did we want to die alone or surrounded by people. We talked about the sacredness of witnessing a loved one’s death, and how some would prefer for themselves that this last rite of passage be by invitation only.

This led to conversation about Near Death Experiences (NDE’s) from both the scientific and personal experience perspectives. Then some attendees spoke about messages from beyond and things/animals that signify love ones are near, and the peace and comfort this brings them. We also spoke about how we might want to be remembered, what we’d like our eulogies to say, and pondered what it means to have a meaningful life.

We learned about alkaline hydrolysis as a form of cremation (not yet legal in Alberta) and closed out the evening with the perpetual questions: what happens after we die, what might heaven look like if we believe in heaven/an afterlife, and how our beliefs about what comes after influence how we deal with our own mortality. Sounds deep, I know, but it was far from morose, and there was plenty of laughter.  And biscotti. And cheesecake. And yummy yummy chai. Plus gorgeous paintings by local artists surrounding us in beautiful brightness that made some of us wish we were wealthy patrons of the arts with empty walls to fill with luscious colour. Definitely life affirming!

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