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What is a Death Café?
Death Cafes (deathcafe.com) were set up by Jon Underwood in 2011 to provide a safe, confidential setting for people to come together to talk about death and dying and what really matters over a piece of cake and cup of tea.
What Death Cafés are not
Death Cafes are not therapy sessions or grief and bereavement groups. Rather, they provide a space to share and discuss issues related to mortality, death and dying and end of life.
What is a Deep Adaptation Death Café?
These Death Cafes are not just about exploring how to talk openly and honestly about mortality and end of life issues. They offer an opportunity to engage with our mortality against the backdrop of cataclysmic climate change. The world as we know it is coming to an end, and we do not know what lies ahead. However, it is clear that people find great comfort and support as they share and deeply listen to others, also open and willing to talk about what these immense challenges mean to them. So, grab a comforting nibble and cup of something and join a Deep Adaptation Death Café to have conversations that are curious, supportive, and insightful.
Death Cafes are not recommended for those who have experienced profound loss and grief within the past twelve months. It is recommended that those struggling with mental health issues should have emotional or psychological support in place before attending a Death Cafe.
What to expect
Following a warm welcome from the facilitators and introductions from the group, the facilitator will open up the space for people to share how they are experiencing the challenges and changes that are taking place, and the impact this is having on their relationship with mortality.
You will be in a group of between 3 and 8 people (this may be using ‘breakout rooms’ if lots of people show up, for more intimate conversations to take place). These small groups will last around an hour. The groups will meet again as a main group for sharing and comments before the Death Café closes.
There are no ‘rules’ as such. However, it is always requested that participants speak from their own personal experiences, e.g. using ‘I’ and ‘me’. Please do not speak for others, or from personal, political or religious agendas. And, to respect that this is not a place to sell products or promote business.
There is space for a maximum of 30 people, after which the Zoom meeting will be closed to new participants. Please click ‘Going’ to give us an idea of numbers. (If you want to make sure you get notifications of this event, but not sure if you can come, you can click ‘maybe’ and Facebook will still send you notifications.) Our only ask is that you agree to remain with the Death Café for the full 2 hours.
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These gatherings are offered on a dana basis - the Buddhist practice of giving. Facilitators are offering their time at no cost. Participants are invited to offer what they want to or can afford; financial gifts of this kind will contribute towards supporting new and ongoing activities of the Deep Adaptation forum. Donate at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/11286 (for UK) or https://www.patreon.com/deepadaptation. Thank you.
Sue Brayne has an MA in the Rhetoric and Rituals of Death (King Alfreds, Winchester) and a second MA in Creative Writing (Oxford Brookes). For many years she worked at a therapist, specialising in trauma, end of life issues, bereavement and grief.
Fernando García Ferreiro (Nando) is an experienced beginner, a recovering civil servant in search of lost sense. He knows that his ignorance is encyclopedic.