The Okanagan Valley Death Café Series is once again being held in four communities on four Sunday afternoons in Apri.
Those who take part in the series sit down for a coffee with strangers and discuss death. It’s not something organizers knew would have appeal, but last spring nearly a hundred people decided that they wanted to participate in a conversation about death and dying during the first series of Death Cafes.
Currently more than 5,900 Death Cafes have been held in 55 countries since September 2011. This is nearly 2,000 more events and seven more countries than just a year ago. This is a growing worldwide movement of people who are choosing to live life more fully conscious of the fact that they are going to die sometime.
READ MORE: STARTING TO TALK ABOUT 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; it is a time of sharing and learning.
Originated by Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz in 2004, the Death Cafe model was developed in the UK by Funeral Adviser Jon Underwood and later brought to the United States by Lizzy Miles. The aim of the movement, according to Jon Underwood, is “to increase awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”. It’s to create an environment where talking about dying and death is natural and comfortable.
Mr. Underwood, who died last year, 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.” These death cafes are his incredible gift to the world and an amazing legacy.
Celebrant and End of Life Doula Alison Moore and colleagues, Sue Berlie, Shamanic Practitioner, Claudette Bouchard, End of Life Doula are facilitating this series of four Death Cafes in the Central Okanagan.
- Sunday, April 8, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Summerland at Beanery Café, 13016 Victoria Rd. N.
- Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m in West Kelowna at L’Oven, 100-2565 Main St.
- Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m in Kelowna, The Bistro, Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave.
- Sunday, April 29, 3 p.m. -5 p.m. in Peachland at Beach Avenue Café, 5830 Beach Ave.
Participants are asked only to purchase their own refreshments.