Death cafe: Talking about demise to remove the taboo and face dying with serenity




Having a coffee to talk about death may seem a bit macabre. However, far from being a sad or unpleasant experience, it becomes a friendly and necessary space for reflection, to learn how to face death and dying as something natural, just another aspect of life. Something for which being mentally prepared has many benefits in order to enjoy life more. A Death Cafe is configured therefore, as an informal space, in a friendly atmosphere in which we can dare to talk about an element that is usually left out of our usual conversations. The idea is to give visibility to a vital moment that all of us will have to go through when the time comes and a way of sharing concerns, preferences and ideas about death and dying. Contrary to what one might think, a Death Cafe is not a grave gathering. An optimistic sense of humour is one of the characteristics that are usually present in the conversations, always in a respectful way and open to the different beliefs and attitudes of the people taking part, as it is an event open to the presence of people of all kinds, all ages, and all cultures. How did the idea come about? The original idea came from a Swiss sociologist, Bernard Crettaz, who organised the first 'cafés du mort'. However, the definitive momentum for this idea came in London in 2010, from Jon Underwood and his mother, Sue Barsky. Inspired by the success of these first meetings, which were held in the garage of their home, many more such encounters were soon organised. Today, more than 11,000 meetings have taken part in 74 countries. Inspired by this movement, the meetings are free of charge, with no agenda and treating all attendees equally. It is not about being guided by an expert, but about sharing ideas and experiences. And also knowledge, for example about legal aspects of death, living wills, options for ceremonies and what alternatives exist for that final resting place, whether it be burial or cremation. At iLIVE Project we believe that human beings need to talk about death. We need to freely and openly express our preferences, fears and beliefs. Only in this way can we live a fuller life and make that final transition easier, both for ourselves and for our loved ones.

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