At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
A Death Cafe is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. The format is flexible, lightweight and straightforward. What makes it special is the discussion about death, there is no need for bells and whistles (but the food is an important part of it).
Death Cafes are always offered:
1. On a not-for-profit basis
2. In an accessible, respectful and confidential space
3. With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
4. Alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food – and cake!
Death Cafe is a “social franchise”. This means that AHPCA, having agreed to the principles, can use the name Death Cafe, post events to the Death Cafe website and talk to the press as an affiliate of Death Cafe.
A Death Café is NOT:
1. A bereavement support or grief counselling group. Death Café doesn’t work for people who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to discuss death comfortably and openly.
2. An opportunity to give people information about death and dying – regardless of how good or important it is. For this reason, guest speakers and information materials are actively discouraged.
3. A method of community engagement, research or consultation.
One of the principles is to have refreshments at a Death Café. The linking of death, food and drink comes from Bernard Crettaz’s Café Mortels concept. Mr. Crettaz said that “nothing marks the community of the living like sharing food and drink”.
We hope you can join us on Saturday Feb 2, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. We will provide refreshments.
Please register by Wednesday Jan 30, 2019 to help us know how many people to expect.
Laura Walsh, our facilitator, became interested in the rituals of death while living in Asia. She found people dealt with the subject of death much more openly than western cultures and upon relocating to Calgary, she was surprised at reluctance to talk it. Upon hearing a podcast with the BBC regarding Death Cafes, she felt she had a platform in which to bring this taboo topic more to the forefront of western culture. Laura is a registered psychologist. Her main areas include trauma work including PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, interpersonal conflict, eating disorders using a variety of techniques including but not limited to, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and compassion therapy, hypnotherapy (mindfulness), interpersonal therapy, EMDR and sport psychology for all levels of athletes.