Sunday, August 24, 2014

My First Death Cafe

Today I attended and participated in my first Death Cafe. I heard about Death Cafe last October after their event had occurred. I found the title intriguing at the time. Other than curiosity, I felt no pull of interest in it.

In June, I heard about an upcoming Death Cafe event: a picnic in a park. It sounded innocuous enough. How deep into the subject can one go in a park? I hadn't bothered to ask the more pertinent question: How deep did I want to go? and it's accompanying: What does 'deep' have to do with it?

The day was broken into three parts: participatory 'assignment'; lunch (bringing one's own); participatory small group discussions. I dawdled enough with my regular Sunday morning routines that I missed (purposely) the first segment. I arrived halfway through lunch and parked my camp chair in a sunny spot to ground myself before the last segment ~ which is the one I really came to attend. When we began to gather, the instructions were that we would talk in our small groups for 40 minutes, have a dessert break, and then re-group for another 40 minutes. If we needed to do so, we could leave at the dessert break. Ah! A way out!

My small group consisted of two other participants and a person loosely deemed the guide of the group. Every group ranged from 4-5 people ~ and there were 7 or 8 groups. It was one of the most comfortable experiences I'd had discussing whatever we wanted to discuss regarding death. At the break, we gained another participant. I chose to remain. When it ended, I knew I'd return to attend another one.

After attending one, I have no clear description of what a Death Cafe is. It is experiential and unique to the group and individual. I'm glad that I pushed through my resistance to attend. You can find out more about them at: Death Cafe

Would you consider attending something titled a Death Cafe? What kind of images are conjured in your mind when you think of that term? Why would you choose to attend or not attend one?

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