Death cafe

e and safe spaces to talk about dying, death and loss in St Albans, people attend for many reasons and with many questions.

 

 

 Next Death Cafe:

  • Wednesday 28 February, Chesham at The Drawingroom, 7 – 9pm. Book your space.

  • Tuesday 5 March, St Albans at The Hub on Verulam, 7 – 9pm. Book your space

On this page:

  • What is a Death Cafe?
  • Why do people attend?
  • Video: Let’s talk about death
  • Facilitation
  • Questions about death
Death Cafe - a free and safe space to talk openly about death, dying and loss.

“Unlike most of life’s lessons, grief and mourning are not part of any school curriculum, so it’s hardly surprising that death, dying and bereavement are such uncomfortable conversations for many of us to engage with.”  

When Words are not Enough – Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds

What is a Death Cafe?

A Death Cafe is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It’s a place to talk and share (or just listen!), rather than a grief support or counselling session.

Now held in 85 countries, they were started in 2004 by Jon Underwood who said:

“Talking about death won’t make it happen, but not talking about death robs us of opportunities to share precious thoughts and wishes, and to have conversations which can help us to feel more at peace in our lives.”

Why do people attend?

  • to talk about death and dying
  • they have questions but don’t know who to ask
  • some have a fear of dying, or are curious
  • they want to find out how to broach the subject of death with a loved one
  • many have experienced bereavement or illness, or have life limiting conditions.

Video: Let’s talk about death

 

Facilitation

I facilitate, sometimes with other Death Doulas and active members of End-of-Life Doula UK.

Basic ground rules:

  • listen when people are talking
  • respect for other’s views
  • confidentiality.

Inclusivity matters – we embrace people from all communities and belief systems, and welcome the richness of many perspectives into our conversations.

    Questions about death

    Here’s some conversation starting questions from Deathcafe.com.

    • What does it mean to you to leave a legacy?
    • What is your favourite joke or funny story about death?
    • Where would you like to be when you die?
    • What things make for a good death?
    • How would you like to be remembered?
    • What song would you like at your funeral?
    • Describe what a “peaceful” death would be for you.
    • Do you plan cremation or burial or donation or some other option? If cremation, what are your plans for the ashes?
    • Do you believe in something after death?
    • Recognizing dying and death will happen to you, what does it mean to live your life every day?
    • If you had a choice, how would you choose to die?
    • What would be a perfect phrase on your tombstone?
    • What do you want to be remembered for? What will you be remembered for?
    • How do you prepare for death and dying?
    • How would you be of support to a dying friend?
    • What rites, ceremonies, music, food, or program do you want at your memorial service?
    • What do you say to a friend who is facing death? What do you do?
    • What is a “dignified” death? What is an “undignified” death?
    • What would be your final request(s)? Of whom?
    • Have you ever seen a person take their last breath? How did that impact you?
    • What is “dying”? What is death?
    • What is the number one item on your bucket list?
    • What do we learn from death?
    • What will you miss most in dying?