(from left) Co-organizers of the Okanagan Death Cafe,Sue Berlie, shamanic coach, death walker and psychopomp, Claudette Bouchard, end of life doula and life energy coach and Alison Moore, a life-cycle celebrant and sacred passages doula photo: Sydney Morton

The Okanagan Death Café returns for another season

The event allows participants to explore the topic of death, discuss wills and listen to each other

The Okanagan Death Café is back.

Alison Moore, a life-cycle celebrant and sacred passages doula, Sue Berlie, shamanic coach, death walker and psychopomp and Claudette Bouchard, end of life doula and life energy coach scheduled four cafes through the Okanagan and held the first of the year in KelownaJan. 20.

Death Cafés were created in 2004 and have grown in popularity. The events offer opportunities for conversations about death, the dying process and preparations to be had. Through guided in-depth conversations with each other, participants find solace and a new understanding of a usually taboo subject. Currently, 7,598 Death Cafes have been hosted in 64 countries since its creation.

Berlie and Moore were drawn to the worldwide Death Cafes because of their grassroots nature, and the high demand for people wanting to get more involved with the death and caring of their friends and family. They were also getting sick of the current “business” of dying.

RELATED: The rise of the Okanagan Death Cafe

Ana Luyben attended looking to promote green burial in the Okanagan and was looking to meet other people that may be able to help her work toward her goal.

“To be honest I have been following the death positivity movement for a year, it’s a growing movement in western society, mostly because people have been getting stuck with huge funeral costs,” said Luyben. “A lot of people find it hard to talk about dying, it’s a very taboo subject. We feel isolated a lot and it’s really something that the community needs to embrace.”

Funerals cost somewhere between $1,000 to $12,000 according to Canadian Death Services Online, and B.C. currently has the highest rates for cremation in Canada.

The Green Burial Society of Canada lists the five principals of green burials as: no embalming, direct earth burials, ecological restoration and conservation, communal memorialization, optimize land use and the re-use of graves.

Direct earth burials are encouraged by the society where a body is wrapped in a shroud made of natural, biodegradable fibers and buried, caskets or containers may be used as long as it’s made of fully biodegradable materials. Grave markers must be made of naturally sourced material and the grave will be surrounded by indigenous plant material.

READ ALSO: Spike of potential drug ODs on Kelowna’s party weekends

Louise Moore found she was able to have a conversation about death and dying without her friends or family diverting the conversation.

“The topic is an uncomfortable one and sometimes you don’t have anyone to talk about it with. Your family doesn’t want to talk about you dying and friends might think that’s morbid or they might just make jokes about it so it’s an opportunity to talk about it,” said Louise Moore, who found that everyone she spoke with were worried about a common component of death.

“It’s the uncertainty. We are all going to die, we just don’t know when or how.”

READ ALSO: Mental health video marks two years since death of B.C. bull rider Ty Pozzobon

As facilitators, Alison Moore, Berlie and Bouchard host, guide participants and float around the different groups to keep them on topic and help them explore their feelings. More than 30 people attended the event Sunday afternoon.

“From what I heard there were some really interesting conversations that flowed quite well and covered a lot of different topics. One group I went into was talking about de-cluttering because people don’t want to do it,” said Berlie.

Moore find that with each Death Café they hold more and more people want to discuss home funerals and medical assisted dying.

“People want to talk about it, they want to talk about what they want, they want to contemplate what they should do if they are in that position or if a loved one is looking to enact it. They want to know what their role is and what is really involved,” said Moore.

READ ALSO: Two sons lost to the opioid crisis, a mother calls for change

“It’s not a conversation one picks up with a friend,” said Bouchard.

Seventy per cent of North Americans prefer to die at home, and only seven per cent said they wanted to die in a hospice or palliative care home, in a survey conducted by Donna Wilson, at the University of Alberta. Wilson also teaches nursing and researches dying in Canada and the survey also found 60 per cent of Canadians actually die in hospital and 10 per cent die in nursing homes.

The Okanagan Death Café will tour the Okanagan, making its next stop in Vernon Feb. 24 and again May 18, it will be held in Summerland March 24 and will return to Kelowna April 27.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna weather: mix of sun and cloud

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Missing Kelowna man found safe

Jordan Abbate has been reported safe by Kelowna RCMP

VIDEO: Popular Lake Country cafe goes through redesign with customers’ help

The Wooden Nickel Cafe has been in operation for nearly 30 years

Rockets hang on to playoff dreams after back to back weekend losses

The Rockets get a break Sunday, but head to Victoria for back to back games Feb. 18

Rockets shut out by Giants

It was Kelowna’s second game in as many days against a top team in the West

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Summerland’s Justin Kripps wins bobsleigh world cup event

Canadian team picks up their first four-man bobsleigh win on the world cup circuit

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

SilverStar Emergency Services Day raises funds for hospital

Over $20,000 was raised for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation

Most Read