Co-organizers of the Okanagan Death Cafe, Sue Berlie, Claudette Bouchard, and Alison Moore. A series of Death Cafés are being hosted in Okanagan communities, with the goal of breaking taboos about talking about death. (Sydney Morton / Western News)

Co-organizers of the Okanagan Death Cafe, Sue Berlie, Claudette Bouchard, and Alison Moore. A series of Death Cafés are being hosted in Okanagan communities, with the goal of breaking taboos about talking about death. (Sydney Morton / Western News)

Get comfortable with dying at an upcoming Okanagan ‘Death Cafe’

Okanagan Valley Death Cafe conversations are back for a fourth year

What can death teach us about living?

Our mortality is often something people are reluctant to talk about, but a group of Okanagan women are looking to change that.

Okanagan Death Cafes are back, offering people a platform to get together and have honest, open discussions about one of life’s only certainties — death. The aim of the movement is “to increase awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”

Like many other things this year, the Death Cafe’s will be held online via Zoom. The first meeting is scheduled for Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Touching on a taboo subject

The first Death Cafe of the 2020/21 series invites people to remember their loved ones on Remembrance Day.

At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to drink tea or coffee and discuss death. Death Cafes were created to provide an opportunity to have an honest and respectful conversation about death.

The group strives to provide a “confidential discussion of death with no expectations, no agendas and no judgments.”

“Nowadays, a lack of exposure to death leaves us in denial and ill-equipped to deal with one thing that affects us all. As we come to terms with the reality of our mortality, we are positioned to live life more fully and we are better able to support each other, our families and ourselves when death impacts our lives,” reads a release from organizers.

“Life and death are interdependent. The best preparation for death is to have a great life.”

Death Cafe’s strive to create an environment where talking about dying and death is natural and comfortable. More than 11,600 Death Cafes have been offered in 74 countries since September 2011.

Okanagan facilitators life-cycle celebrant Alison Moore joined by end of life doulas Claudette Bouchard and Jo-Anne Haun will host the first meeting on Nov. 11.

For information on how to participate, go to the Okanagan Valley Death Café Facebook page.

READ MORE: Did you know the iconic Penticton sign is more than 80 years old?



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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