Three Okanagan want to have a conversation about one of life’s most taboo topics — death.
Alison Moore and Ingrid Tourigny and Death Midwifery Practitioner Sue Berlie are hosting a series of five Death Cafes in the valley in March.
More than 4,000 Death Cafes have been held in 42 countries since September 2011. At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to drink tea or coffee and discuss death.
They 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 counselling session.
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.
Organizers of these cafes contend that 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 our own 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.
“Life and death are interdependent. The best preparation for death is to have a great life,” said Underwood, in a press release.
- Thursday, March 2, 3 -5 p.m. in Kelowna at Bliss Bakery and Bistro, 1286 Ellis St.
- Thursday, March 9, 3 -5 p.m. in West Kelowna at L’Oven, 100-2565 Main St.
- Thursday, March 16,3 -5 p.m. in Peachland at Bliss Bakery, 4200 Beach Ave.
- Thursday, March 23, 3 -5 p.m. in Summerland at Beanery Café, 13016 Victoria Rd. N.
- Thursday, March 30, 3 -5 p.m. in Penticton at The Nest and Nectar, 1475 Fairview Rd.
Participants purchase their own refreshments.