Being a first timer death café guest, I initially found the concept somewhat surreal. I sat waiting quietly for something to happen as the room around me slowly filled up, wondering what the experience ahead of me was going to be like.
I was apprehensive about what to expect. I kept playing different concepts and scenarios over in my mind but nothing seemed to fit. In a way I suppose a part of me was scared, of the unexpected and of the questions that I may be asked. Then again, these anxious feelings may have been my own doing; I hadn’t taken the time to research the event, or the venue for that matter, so everything was totally new to me! But looking back on it my irrational fear was completely unnecessary, something I wish I’d known at the time. The fact of the matter is; the death café wasn’t uncomfortable at all. It was a place where I was able to have some fantastic conversations with some fascinating people, where I could contribute as much or as little as I pleased. I felt I was learning and connecting with people who were feeling the same things I was. Death cafes are not a morbid, sedentary affair where people go to mull over their impending demise. They are a place in which people feel comfortable to ask some of the questions we all have, but may feel uncomfortable or unwilling to bring up in common social situations. Speaking about death is a cultural taboo, but it shouldn’t be, because we are all thinking and feeling the same things - we are just not able to let each other know. My group used the time to share stories, knowledge, and ideas. It was an environment to discuss things they had read, or to connect with each other on how they were feeling. We laughed, smiled and had fantastic conversations. If you haven’t tried a death café, you should definitely grasp the opportunity, and if you have you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from; and you’re probably already signed up to go again! To learn more and to find your nearest café event, visit http://deathcafe.com/