Life, The Universe And Everything: Five Things I Learnt At A Death Cafe

Great Article about Death Cafe in The Huffington Post

There are two students sat in the corner opposite us, clearly eavesdropping as Aly Dickinson of Living Well Dying Well opens up the death cafe session by explaining how it works. As Aly encourages us to open up, talk about anything we like, and grab a slice of cake, one of the students leans over to her friend and says, “They’re talking about death.” She says the word ‘death’ in a whisper, slightly disgusted, slightly intrigued. I don’t think anyone else in the death cafe group notices, but I smile to myself. As we discuss the social taboo around talking about death, these two young women sit a few metres away whispering about how morbid and weird we are. I have to admit I felt a bit weird as I walked up the stairs at Boston Tea Party cafe, Exeter. It’s a little out of anyone’s comfort zone, I imagine, to walk up to a stranger in a cafe and say, “Hello, are you here to talk about dying too?” I was open minded, but couldn’t help but feel that the whole experience would be incredibly awkward. Thankfully, Aly and her co-host, Gina Awad of ExeterDementia Action Alliance, made it relaxed, friendly and thought-provoking. Here are just a few things I learnt in my two hours discussing all things death, dying and bereavement.

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