Write up for Online Death Cafe Liverpool (June 2020)
Online Death Cafe (June)
Evaluations: 7 submitted
Attendees: 1 facilitator, 9 attendees
Our June Death Cafe had an international flavour with some of our participants bringing experiences from around the world.
This was our sixth Death Cafe (our third time doing it online using Zoom). There was an increase in numbers which meant we split into two groups, and I spent some time in both groups. We kept the same format as previous groups, having a break part way through.
It has been lovely to receive some more detailed feedback from this Death Cafe (full details below), and I really appreciate people taking the time to do this. It is not often that I receive such articulate and thoughtful comments, so a big thank you to those who contributed in this way.
It feels important to perhaps say in response to the feedback about the introduction that in agreeing to facilitate under the name of ‘Death Cafe’ I agree to structure it in a certain way which includes an introduction to what Death Cafe is and where it has come from, the principles and basic ground rules. I can appreciate that if you’ve heard that before it might feel repetitive, and it’s certainly giving me food for thought about how I could perhaps vary this in future or make it shorter.
Some of the themes that came up in the feedback were about it being inspiring and supportive, and something of the energy felt different in giving energy through words like excitement and alive, and this feels a reflection of the quality of people’s contributions, which felt very rich.
I really welcome further discussion on any or all of this, so if you have something you’d like to add or talk about, then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
The full feedback from the evaluation forms is as follows:
1. Overall, how would you rate this event? 5 = excellent, 1 = poor:
· 3 rated it as 5
· 3 rated it as 4
· 1 rated it as 3
· It was unexpectedly friendly and uplifting
· You bring the presence of your commitment to person centeredness. That is you are non judgmental, and calm, and softly and clearly spoken. This is a manner. And the structure born out of experience and feedback. Your solicitation of feedback and incorporating this into the cafe structure is more of that person centered approach. I like structure that has an opening, middle, break at middle, more middle and a closing. I like the small groups in breakout rooms. Zoom gives us all an opportunity to meet old friends and make new acquaintances. Your land is way more aged, more experienced than America. In that maturity there is earth walked on by your ancestors, traditions and experiences that are ancient. I listen carefully always, I seek out to listen to those in other lands. You invite this opportunity. A service you provide that is immeasurable.
· It was very heart warming to hear everyone and the atmosphere created was great.
· It was fine - but circumstances meant it had to be on zoom
2. Would you say that attending this event affected your feelings about death and / or life?
· 7 said yes
If Yes, please attempt to say how:
· I feel a little bit more prepared though not sure how☺️
· In life my mates in the room taught me the differences in comfort and willingness to talk about death. And in a room of differences in listening and speaking I was enabled to better hear my voice, my needs and wishes. Needs and wishes in life, dying and death. I left the cafe and promptly reaching to those in my life to say I love you, to ask them to talk, and to let them know I listened and care.
· It prompted me to learn more about the process of dying, it encouraged me to think of how I'd like to die and what I can offer to the bereaved / dying.
· It's good to exchange thoughts on it with people who want to discuss it too
· Reminded me that talking about death is part of being alive
· It prompted me to think about making a plan and finding out my dad's wishes for his death
· Encouraged me to turn towards what's needed in the here and now
3. How comfortable did you feel during the Death Cafe? 5 = very comfortable, 1 = very uncomfortable.
· 5 rated it as 5
· 1 rated it as 4
· 1 rated it as 3
Is there anything you can think of that would have made you feel more comfortable?
· I felt very comfortable
· It'll be more comfortable next time. My discomfort was more around the culture of how people talk, whether it's personal sharing or more philosophical discussion, etc.
· everything was very well, our host made one feel comfortable
· I found it hard to gauge other people's responses and a bit inhibited to speak freely because I couldn't assess their emotional state as well as if physically present
4. How well did the structure of the discussion at the Death Cafe work? 5 = very well 1 = not very well at all.
· 3 rated it as 5
· 4 rated it as 4
Suggestions for improvement:
· I think it was very well structured and organized
· I found the introduction about DC in general a bit too long for people who are already familiar with the concept. Probably it would be good to ask beforehand, when we're all together in the room, if somebody isn't familiar with it at all and wants to know more about the history of DC
· Breakouts into smaller rooms worked well although I was glad to move into the different group for the second discussion as this meant I got to talk with more people
· No, I think this is the way to keep things ticking over until a return to physical gatherings is allowed
5. Overall, how would rate you the facilitation of the event? 5 = excellent, 1 = poor
· 7 rated it as 5
Any suggestions for improvement:
· It was excellent
· Jamie was very clear, personal and attentive- sorry, no suggestions :)
I have taken the cake question out while this is online!
6. Please choose 3 words which best describe your experience of Death Cafe:
· Friendly supportive inspiring
· Love, universality, excitement
· inspiring, informative, reflective
· soothing - insightful – inspiring
· Thoughtful, Supportive, Reassuring
· interested, nervous, reflective
· touching open alive
7. If someone told you they were thinking of attending a Death Cafe what would you say to them?
· Do it and it will exceed your expectations.
· I know this great Cafe in Liverpool. I know many great cafes here and far. In Cafes we create a space of caring, listening, and openness. Open to speak or not to speak. And all will listen.
· Please give it a go!
· It's a safe place where you can exchange thoughts on dying & death without the fear to step on someone toes or to make people feel uncomfortable mentioning it
· Definitely go
· depends on the person
· do it
8. Do you have any other comments or things you think we should hear?
· Thank you
· Thanks for answering my question Jaime as to what do you get in this offering of Cafe. This is work before and after, work during. Much goes unseen, I appreciate this offering. If I may ever give back to you, please ask. And I know that in the giving you too receive.
· Thank you. Using Zoom is interesting- I would have preferred a face-to-face meeting, but I also appreciate the benefits of having people from across Britain and abroad. I couldn't have been with you today, as I'm very far from Liverpool!
· Please keep some Death Cafes as online meetings as this will make it easier for me to attend more in the future