Spring marks the return of death – the discussion of the touchy subject.
The Okanagan Valley Death Cafes return for the third year. Participants in cafes held in past years have asked organizers to offer them monthly, in a quieter place than our local busy community coffee shops. This year the Okanagan Regional Libraries in Kelowna, Vernon and Summerland are making their spaces available on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to host Death Café.
The next cafe takes place at the Vernon library on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to drink tea or coffee and discuss death. Death Cafes are an opportunity to have an honest and respectful conversation about death. They are a group-directed, confidential discussion of death with no expectations, no agendas and no judgments. A Death Cafe is not a grief support or counseling session.
The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz. The aim of the movement is “to increase awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
Underwood maintained that the world would be a better place if people dealt with their fear of dying: “Life and death are interdependent. The best preparation for death is to have a great life. It’s to create an environment where talking about dying and death is natural and comfortable.”
What can death teach us about living? You are invited to join facilitators Celebrant and End of Life Doula Alison Moore, Death Midwife Practitioner Sue Berlie, End of Life Doula Claudette Bouchard and others to find out at a Death Café this spring.
If you miss the first Vernon cafe, or enjoy it enough to return, there will be another cafe at the library May 18.
Donations are accepted to cover expenses.
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