June 12th report

A write up of Marin Death Cafe

By Nancy Rhine

Last evening we had our second Marin Death Cafe with 28 people RSVPing and 17 people attending. Needless to say, we had way too much cake! :) 

Once again, feedback was how struck people were with how immediately everyone moved into talking about very real experiences they had had around death and dying. They shared stories about near death experiences, deaths of longtime spouses, deaths of children, fear of dying, not fear of dying, and existential questions about life's meaning or what I call "What's it all about Alfie?" questions.

A particularly moving conversation was about the meaing and close experiences people had had with wild birds immediately after the death of a beloved. Another woman described some unexplainable light she witnessed. It was a conversation about the mystery and everyone agreed that they didn't understand it but knew what they had seen or felt.

Of course, everyone agreed that there is hardly a place to talk about death and dying and they expressed great gratitude to be together.

All of our participants said they found the experience enriching. There was only one participant who complained from start to finish about the room, the set-up in the room, the food, the sign-in sheet, almost everything. She also apparently dominated her small group. We got feedback about that.

At our first Death Cafe, my co-host and I did not join in the small group conversations - we stayed "on duty" so to speak. At this second one, we experimented with allowing ourselves to participate in the small groups while keeping an eye as much as we could on the other groups. That did not work as well. The next time we will go back to "floating" from group to group so we can hopefully keep any one person from dominating and preaching.

We forgot to take photos so next time we will take photos of our food and set-up and, if we get permission, of the group as well.

Our plan is to do another Marin Death Cafe later in the summer. This is too much fun and too profound to stop now!

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