Eleventh Death Cafe Verona, Italy

The Death Café’ we held on the 12th May at Elisabetta’s house was a “mini” event as there were only three participants. But it was a lively evening with a light, friendly atmosphere.

Also present were Chiara, Giorgio and Bruno from Vice.com who were there to film the meeting.

Lots of interesting issues and key words cropped up during the evening. The word “death” was associated with light, understood as the light we see in pre-death experiences. It is difficult to think about one’s own death even though we know there is an end and we know that our bodies will not live forever. For some, our bodies are transformed into atoms and this may represent a kind of immortality (“May your atoms be spread among the stars” – Margherita Hack). Some fear an encounter with their own mother in the afterlife and others feel that it is necessary to detach emotionally from people and things in order to get used to existing in another place. Someone quoted Montaigne who spoke about imagining moving away from other people. There are many ways to initiate this detachment: concentrating on one’s own needs; reducing interest in and time spent on things outside oneself; maybe even becoming unpleasant to other people.

We then discussed the various euphemisms that people resort to in order to avoid using the word “death”. There are even “military” terms used by doctors, nurses and relatives, for example we speak of “fighting” diseases such as cancer and of “defeating” an illness, a virus or bacteria.

What we would regret not doing before we die: having a child; doing a university course; achieving and maintaining serenity; seeing friends and family more often; doing even small everyday things with more care and attention; trying not to put things off; becoming more aware of who I am; living life more intensely. One thing which may stop us achieving our aims is that we concentrate on many activities and spread ourselves too thinly instead of focusing on one thing and doing it well.


Words used to describe this Death Café’: profound, creative, exchange of views, enrichment, comfortable, comforting, interesting, lively, unusual, reflexive.

Add a comment