July Death Cafe

For our July Death Café Iowa we met via Zoom. Buffy Peters from the Bereavement Professionals Group facilitated the group. There were three individuals who attended the Death Café this month which made for a small and intimate group.

The topic of death doulas and the controversy of their titles was brought up. Some may say that death doulas should be more appropriately called death companions, because their tasks differ a little bit from what birth doulas do. In a birth there is a midwife and possibly a doula, but in death there is not someone there necessarily to help you die- so what does that leave the death companion to be responsible for?


The topic of kids and funerals was also part of the conversation. In society, we may perceive children’s grief as so extremely tragic that we just pretend that it doesn’t exist and that children really don’t understand grief. Participants brought up that we need to create space and permission for children to grieve no matter how young they are, because they do grieve and they understand what is going on to an extent.  


The session closed on ideas of harm reduction for clients of death doulas and their helpers as well.


This Death Café was full of great conversation! We look forward to the Death Café in August!



I left this gathering to join my wife for dinner. I spoke of how we could invite a Doula into our lives now, facilitating our family prep for our dying, with intermittent sessions. And if we find active dying is upon us, our family and our doula will have a relational foundation with the doula to support us as we may have defined. I currently know two Doulas, one I have come to love and be loved spending over a year in Death Cafes weekly. Another I am just starting to know. Helpful as always, a Death Cafe offers me thoughts for living.

Posted by Jim Kirkpatrick

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