The next Death Cafe at Cook Memorial Library is 4 to 6 pm on Sunday, May 18th.
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective of Death Cafe is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.
The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz.
Death Cafes are discussions about death that are always offered on a not for profit basis, in an accessible, respectful and confidential space, with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action, where the participants share cake and coffee or tea together.
Death Cafes are not bereavement support or grief counseling settings. Nor are they an opportunity to give people information about death and dying. Click here for more info.
NPR”s All Things Considered featured the Death Cafe movement early in 2013:
We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it’s a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you’ve experienced a recent death, it’s probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.
The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don’t really talk about it…
A death cafe isn’t a physical cafe — it’s more like a temporary event. Jon Underwood held his first death cafe a year and a half ago in his own basement. He set out tea and cake, and his mother, who happens to be a psychotherapist, helped facilitate. Since then, he’s worked to launch the idea as a worldwide movement.
Underwood says, “When people sit down to talk about death, the pretense kind of falls away, and people talk very openly and authentically. And they say things in front of strangers which are really profound and beautiful. For English people to do that, with our traditional stiff upper lip, is very rare.”
Geoffrey Burke will facilitate the Tamworth Death Cafe at Cook Memorial Library from 4 to 6 pm. Geoffrey, who was assistant director of Hospice of Northern Carroll County in 1993-1994, and has been a hospice volunteer for 20 years, has a lifelong interest in understanding the bigger questions in life. All are welcome to come. If you are moved to do so, please bring cookies or cake to share. If not, come anyway and share yourself.