Death Cafe Frenchs Forest as told by 4 different first-timers

Participant A:
"Last Sunday (June 30th) I attended my first Death Cafe, held at Frenchs Forrest.
The Death Cafe limits the number of people attending,  resulting in an atmosphere of intimacy of people’s feelings and what they desire to share.
On arrival I was greeted very warmly by the host April. The room itself was very inviting with a lovely variety of refreshments.
It is humbling to see that April can take 15 complete strangers with various backgrounds and creeds in regards to their relationships with death and make them feel safe so they can express how they feel and ask questions without judgement about a topic that can invoke such deep emotion in all of us.
I have always had a deep connection to death, not just relating to my profession but more so for the fact that death from a young age has always walked into my life.
I was moved to listen to each person’s story, to see them relax and share something so personal.  However, to witness how other people showed acknowledgement and support so tenderly was endearing.  To see compassion flow from stranger to stranger on another level and unfold to a connection was heart warming. 
This was by no way a morbid topic but a gathering of people there to learn, to grow and to adjust to something that occurs in all our lives.
For those people who have not been touched by death and to those who will have by an upcoming known death or an unexpected death - there is a place for all of us at the Death Cafe.
At no point is anyone expected to communicate. Listening is welcomed and at one’s own compass of comfort, one is  free to share in a confidential environment. 
The doors of welcomeness are open to everyone at the Death Cafe, to feel at peace with an event in our lives that will one day come to us. 
If you are unsure about attending one,  please be reassured that the unknowing, the unsure feeling that you may have circling inside of you is a positive gentle way of joining a collection of people who will embrace you with warmth.
I am so fortunate to have attended and with every fibre of my body, wisdom of my soul, I thank you April. It was a great privilege to have attended and to learn so much more, for  there are many ripples on the topic of death.
From my heart to every person who reads this you are welcome at the Death Cafe.  There  is no discrimination - each and everyone of us has a welcome place at the Death Cafe.
Again, I thank you April.  Your gift of humanity is so reassuring to everyone, as we all have a relationship with death. 
No matter the depth of our relationship with death, we all cannot escape this one, that will one day arrive upon us, for it is the natural evolution of Mother Nature.
For Death is the companion of life. They are both equal and natural it is with grace that death is now open to be acknowledged and freely communicated without the tradition of the past closing the door on this gentle and humble topic.
It’s ok to talk about DEATH.”
Partiicipant B:
"So I attended my first ever Death Cafe last Sunday. As a fervent supporter of Voluntary Euthanasia or Assisted Dying I thought it was time for me to hear other, thinking people's opinions.

Death Cafe turned out to be totally agnostic. A bunch of people not afraid of dying and more importantly, not afraid to discuss death openly. The facilitator did a great job of keeping the discussion on topic. She allowed us to digress a little but was strong enough to bring us back to talking about death and our feelings towards it. I'm not exactly sure what I expected but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hours and will certainly attend again. The group was eclectic, of mixed ages and experiences. The discussion covered grief, palliative care, doctor's bedside manner and a myriad other topics related to dying, surviving and grieving. Well worth my time and as said, I will attend again."


Participant C:

"I attended my first Death Cafe last weekend.  The Death Cafe went for two hours even though it did not seem that long. The discussions on death and dying were extremely open and from many different perspectives and age groups."

Participant D:

"The Death Café was attended by a friendly group of people of different ages and experiences with death.   April was a good facilitator and thediscussion was relaxed and interesting. 

It was a great way to connect with other people who don't want to change the conversation every time the D words are mentioned.  I will definitely go again."


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