Death cafe - Taking away the taboo

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The Death Café movement aims to increase awareness of death and encourage open and honest conversations in a bid to break social taboos

St Barnabas Hospice will host a Death Café on Sunday 14th May, from 4–6pm, at The Angel Coffee House on Free School Lane in Lincoln.

This is the second of four planned for this year and takes place on the last day of National Dying Matters Week, running from May 8-14.

At Death Café members of the public are encouraged to gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

We held the first of four Death Cafés earlier this year and we were delighted by the positive feedback from those who attended.

It is clear that there is a real need for this type of event and we are delighted to be able to help our community have these important conversations.

The event really isn’t as morbid as it may sound and people tell us that they leave the event feeling uplifted and inspired. Talking about death, dying and bereavement is a subject that many people can find challenging. In many ways, it has become a modern taboo, with people desperately avoiding their own mortality.

A Death Café is a group directed discussion about death with no agenda, objectives or themes.

It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

At Death Café people talk about all sorts of subjects from will writing, coping with bereavement and how to talk to family about dying.

It is really inspiring to hear all of the life affirming conversations taking place and alongside the serious topics being discussed there is always a lot of laughter.

The Death Café movement was started by Jon Underwood in London in 2011 and since then thousands of Death Cafes have been held across Europe, North America, and Australasia.

It is our view that having open and honest conversations will mean that we are all better equipped to support each other when death has an impact on our lives.

Death can bring up many questions, opinions and feelings and with this in mind our professional counsellors will be in attendance to provide additional support or help if anyone should need it.

Death café is also planned for Sunday 6th August and Sunday 19th November.

Death Café is FREE and open to everyone, but attendance is limited to 45 people.

To reserve your seat at the table contact 01522 559 504 or email marketing@stbarnabashospice.co.uk or sign up to the event at www.facebook.com/events/588887011303043/

Lisa Gibson

Community development manager for St Barnabas Hospice