We often avoid talking about things that make us uncomfortable, even though talking about them can be helpful. Death is high on that list, which is why Phaneuf offers death cafés. At a death café, attendees come to talk about a variety of topics and issues related to death, such as hospice and palliative care, dealing with grief, end-of-life services, burial planning options, and other related topics. Anything death-related is on the table. Phaneuf will host a death café from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15 at our Hanover Street. location.
At Death cafés, folks who generally don’t know one another get together to have tea, coffee or pastries and discuss all aspects of death. The primary goal is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives,” according to the Death café site. It’s a discussion group, not a grief support or counseling session.
Death cafés began in 2011 in the United Kingdom, with a purpose of encouraging open discussions about death that might help us live our lives to the fullest, while also coming to terms with its finite nature. Prior to the pandemic, death cafés became increasingly popular, and are beginning to return in-person.
Anyone interested in talking about death is welcome, no matter their situation. Whether you’ve just lost a loved one, you’re still grieving the loss of a loved one some time ago, or none of the above, a death café can be an educational and eye-opening experience for any human being – one that’s likely to be unlike any gathering you’ve been to.
You may wonder why someone would want or need to talk about death with people other than their immediate family members, or at all for that matter. While no one is saying you have to talk about death, many people have said it can be very satisfying to talk openly and honestly about their feelings around death.
By talking with people of all different ages, backgrounds and religious preferences, there are more opportunities to learn from other people’s experiences with death. In addition, your experiences and thoughts around death may provide important insights and comfort to others who may otherwise never have heard your story or perspective.
The June 15 death café is a safe, judgment-free space to discuss your thoughts on death and dying. RSVP here.