PDX Death Cafe at the Q Center

Report from PDX Death Café 6:

Half Day event with art and storytelling

At The Q-Center, May 4, 2014

The 6th PDX Death Café took place on Sunday May 4th from 1:30 to 5:30 at the Q Center. This was part of a half-day event which included a gallery of “death ephemera” and a storytelling hour, followed by the Death Café.

Who Came:

As this chart illustrates, there was a more even age distribution than at some other Death Café events.

About 80 folks attended overall. 50 participants filled out an evaluation following the Death Café; out of those, 29 were first timers. 10 guests had heard about the event from a friend/personal referral, 10 reported they heard about the event via internet/facebook, 9 via the Q Center & *eRa*, 1 through their church, and 18 did not comment of referral source.

Gender Reporting: 4 Trans, 28 Females, 1 Gender Queer, 11 males, 4 not responding

 About the Experience:

The most frequent descriptors from participants included: Interesting, Open, Informative, Peaceful, Awesome, and Refreshing.  Scintillating was used for the first time-what a word!!

Comments about the event structure:

-great physical space, yummy treats, friendly & welcoming people

-having moderators being speakers made the connections deeper

-could you provide Kleenex ?

-I liked that I didn’t feel pressured to participate

-Please share your literacy & documentary death resources on website & facebook

-a candle or two would be nice

-too much time between stories & death café discussion (x 2)

-the Q Center is great

-loved the story telling

-liked the open room and tables like a giant bridge game-but I was curious about what was going on in other rooms?

-so amazingly organized!

-Maybe lower lights


Comments on facilitation – most were positive:

-great, open & honest

-it is difficult to navigate many personalities & beliefs but they did great

-both did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing & contributing themselves

-great time –great person

-very good, respectful, and sensitive

-top banana!


A few participants provided constructive feedback on ways that facilitation could be improved:

-they talked too much with too much data, not enough listening. I spoke up and got back to sharing

-both were non-verbal-they should have shared stories

-suggest they tread lightly-let the conversation flow

-a  little too much of his own story

The “Death and Dying Ephemera” Gallery was not highly utilized. Only four participants brought contributions t display. Evaluations reflected this: The Storytelling portion was truly enjoyed and many were disappointed (& or confused) about the “art” aspect-wanting more. If incorporated into future events, this will need more attention to recruit a broader array of folks to participate.

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