Let’s talk about death…

According to recent statistics 72% of the public believe people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying, despite 32% of adults thinking about it at least once a week. Staff from Sam Beare Hospice therefore hosted the first local Death Café in Weybridge on Monday 19 October to give people the opportunity to talk about living and dying, whilst enjoying a cuppa and a slice of cake. The event took place at Morrison’s Café, who kindly gave us free use of their facilities.

There was no agenda or pre-set questions but our staff including Community Nurse Specialists, Counsellors and Spiritual Carers were on hand to answer questions. Participants were split into groups, which created an open forum to talk about a taboo subject, which we must all face in the end. This was not intended to be a bereavement group or therapy session and people from various backgrounds attended and enganged in the discussions.

Community Nurse Specialist Maria Rebelo was the driving force behind this event and keen to break one of modern society’s last remaining taboos; “I personally attended a Death Café some time ago to see what it was all about and was surprised to see how relaxed people were talking about a subject, which can be very difficult for people to address. By facilitating this event we hope to give people the opportunity to talk freely in a relaxed atmosphere about their thoughts and wishes, and hopefully they will then be able to talk more easily to their loved ones about it afterwards too.”

Another Death Cafe is planned in December, but time and venue is still to be confirmed. The first Death Café was offered in London in 2011 and over 200 have been held since then.

Read more here.

You can also read more about the Death Cafe concept on the official website.