This was the 18th meeting of Verona Death cafe’!

There were four of us (including myself, Elisabetta) and this time we were all women. It was an intense evening with everyone thoroughly involved as usual.

What comes to mind when we think about death?

“I think about being in a coffin and the funeral service doesn’t console me. I think about the absence of the person, the person is not there anymore in the same form. And then the total absence of everything, I don’t know if there’s anything afterwards.”

“I think about cemeteries which are religious places with prayers and the rosary with the family as is customary in villages here. I think about the ritual and the context of funerals with dark clothes, lowered voices and respect for silence. By the ritual, I mean the form the ceremony takes, but there’s also a negative aspect because there is no space for the suffering of the people involved and you can’t show feelings.”

“I think about the night, the dark and my eyes: I can’t see anything anymore and I can’t control what’s happening.”

We then talked about how when we are dead we become something bureaucratic to be dealt with quickly. For some people it’s barbaric to keep the dead person in the house while for others it’s barbaric to have a person who has died at home be taken to the hospital. We discussed how the distance that death places between us and the deceased allows us to see aspects of their life that we didn’t see before. We spoke also about how old people seem to be more inured to the death of other old people and we wondered whether this is due to an unconscious process of acceptance of death. Religions and rituals influence our perception of death and death is subject to many rituals, but in the end no one knows why we have to die.

What would we like to realize before we die?

Having a child; getting rid of old habits; discovering a talent; writing something; instead of the traditional old people’s home, creating a place where people live together and take care of each other; having a place where it’s possible to play my favourite music; sometimes it’s our excessive sense of responsibility that stops us from taking time out from work to do the things we want to do.

The words used to describe this encounter were: curiosity, intensity, feelings, new, relaxing, productive, involving, exciting, stimulating.


All of those present said they would recommend Death Café’ to their friends.

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