Once a month I meet up with a group of people over a cup of tea at a local venue and we talk about death.
The Death Cafe isn't a support group, it offers no counselling or support, we make a cup of tea and we talk about death and dying for 2 hours.
It's a closed group as in 'what happens in The Death Cafe, stays in The Death Cafe' but anyone can go, they advertise in a local 'whats on guide' and have a Facebook page.
It's an all woman group at the moment and there are thousands of these Death Cafes around the world.
The Death Cafe objective is to 'increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'
I'm currently supporting a 6th former with their A levels in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. Ethics has been the most interesting part. Some of the discussions around assisted dying have been difficult and it is obvious that the law needs to be changed to allow people to make their own decisions about how they die. Most of us came into the world with a mother making a decision on how and where we were born, why shouldn't someone be able to help us choose how and where and when we die?
The next meeting is July 7th. I'm working on a story for our grandchild (almost 4) to prepare them for the time when the cat (aged 14) and dog (aged 13) die. I've rewritten it several times. I'm struggling to find the right words, so it's not frightening for her to read, but realistic that they will die one day and not that they go to live somewhere else. I don't want to frighten them though and it's a tricky balance. The lovely people at the Death Cafe have said they're interested in reading it and can hopefully help me a little with it.
Last weekend at The Three Counties Show I saw this stand, it's good to see something so inevitable being advertised in public and not hiding it away.