Death Cafe at Tanexpo, Bologna, Italy (21-22-23 March 2014)

It was the first time outside the city for Death Café Verona on the occasion of Tanexpo (International Exhibition of Funeral and Cemetery Art), a three day event  which took place in Bologna, Italy from the 21st to the 23rd of March. And it was the first time a Death Café has been held at an Italian exhibition centre.

This Death Café was aimed at people working in the funeral parlour and cemetery sectors as the exhibition was not open to the general public. There were two meetings, the first on the 22nd March and the second on the 23rd.

There were 4 participants at the Death Café and the word “light” came up as a key word during the proceedings – light meaning hope in an afterlife, light as a path to follow and light such as that generated after the big bang. The subjects which emerged in the discussion were: the fear of death and how it is difficult to speak about it and accept it especially if the person who has died is young or has died in a traffic accident. One participant expressed a desire to work more on expressing affection. Potential obstacles to realizing our desires were seen to be pride, fear of not being accepted and putting off things because we think we have time to do them later.

The words used to describe this Death Café were: profound, relaxing, erudite, sharing, reorganising.

There were three people at the  Death Café on the 23rd March. One word which everyone seemed to share as being significant was “darkness”, meaning both a mysterious unknown obscurity and also a place of peace, serenity, introspection and protection. We can consider death to be one stage of a journey or to be the final destination, but there is always something unfinished which lingers in our memory.

The words used to describe this Death Café were: useful, interesting, comparing ideas, freedom, sharing, serenity.


Everyone who took part in these meetings said they would recommend Death Café to friends as it is very useful to compare ideas and share opinions.

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