Although social media offers endless options for connecting online, we found that many of us still seek authentic in person connections. Especially when it comes to the topic of death. When you lose someone, what do you do?
How do you find someone to talk to express your feelings and emotions? There are grief experts and funeral directors but when the subject is loss, you can seek a more community-based connection, such as a Death Cafe.
A cafe where you and a guest can converse and ask questions about grief and loss. According to an article in Huffington Post, Lizzy Miles, a hospice volunteer and social worker who organizes the Columbus-area cafes, speaks of this new, trendy event:
The goal is to raise death awareness with the view of helping people make the most of their lives.” – Lizzy Miles
Providing a space where you can sit comfortably and enjoy your cup of Joe while engaging with your fellow neighbors, death cafes – the way to more open communication about the messy unknown. At death cafes, you can ask questions without fear or shame. Instead of feeling alone and confused, you can share thoughts with the group, and ask questions to a facilitator who can offer insight, advice and address any issue or question. The conversation consists of planning ahead, questions about death, and even the afterlife.
Death Cafes are modeled on similar gatherings in European cities that have been taking place for several years. According to DeathCafe.com, a meeting spot for over 200 people since 2010, “The objective of Death Cafes is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”.
The benefits that one can derive from participating in a Death Cafe are as varied and unique as the individual participants themselves. Since speaking about death seems to be taboo even in the 21st century, Death Cafes offer a frank and open discussion zone to speak objectively and personally on such a touchy subject.