Going out on a high!
Our last monthly Death Cafe West Hampstead ended tonight. I just got home and opened two cards. How lovely, Erika, to read the collection of poems you have given me, about bereavement. I read Wendy Cope's poem about her funeral. I love her poetry, and so nice to have met her in person years ago, and to have spent time with her then and talked. She is like her poetry. And just the other day I heard her on Desert Island Disks. Thank you for your card and for this little book! And Jyoti, beautiful roses and beautiful words. And a green cake!
What we shared is precious to me. all these times around a table at a death cafe, in Hampstead and then in West Hampstead. Like Maureen said tonight, it is like being a family around a table: we sit and eat, drink, talk. And as Erika pointed out, families have enmities but we can enjoy a brief coming together in sharing stories and experiences with each other, so freely and without judgement as perhaps only strangers can. We have come together for two or three hours once a month over many years, perhaps just a few times or many times, and we got to know and appreciate each other as only strangers can. CJ first came in 2013 and after some time he left, held his own death cafe somewhere. Hearing it is the last one today he made a point to come back and shared my table. I am very touched.
And Amanda came all the way from St Albans to help me set up and clear up afterwards and ordered me an Uber to get home at the end. Like good old friends. Too many to mention. Talking about death brings us together, sharing our sense of mortality in the process. It is a peculiar bonding, unlike anything else.
I am part of a community of so many people! Leaving it seems in full swing, on a high, is a wonderful way to finish. We had a glorious night tonight. Thank you all! Thank you so much for making these evenings so special! I am not sure when and where I might hold a pop up death cafe, but I continue holding Natural Death Salons at my house and you are welcome to be invited and have your name added to my mailing list, so I can send you invites. I post them also on my Linkedin page.