In a cosy wooden cabin at the welcoming Abbey Physic Community Garden, with a plentiful supply of tea, delicious homemade vegan cake and an unexpected abundance of snacks, a group a strangers gathered and talked about death and dying. It was the first Faversham Death Café.
Some people had been to a Death Cafe before, some people knew what they wanted to talk about, some people weren’t sure what had brought them along and some people just wanted to listen.
Death Cafés happen across the world – it is a model developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid (www.deathcafe.com). They are free, always include tea and cake, and are facilitated in a non-directive way to give the group the space to talk freely about what they want. The aim of the cafes is
‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.
Among many things, we talked about our loved ones dying, our own death, our funeral wishes, feeling ill-prepared for the dying process.
People described the cafe as “comforting”, “open”, “accepting”, “informative”, “thoughtful”, “respectful”, “liberating”, “welcoming”.
“Everybody had an opportunity to speak with no pressure to do so”
“I found it very comforting that other people also ‘enjoy’ talking about death”
“A very good session. Well worth attending”
We’ll be running another event soon – you’re very welcome to join us