Since last December, I have been hosting regular Death Cafés in the village of Binissalem where I live. This summer I also hosted one in our capital Palma and last weekend another up in the beautiful mountains in the village of Deia. To say I am happy I discovered the Death Café movement is an understatement – I am ecstatic!
As a bit of background first and taken from the Death Café website to make it clear: “at a Death Café 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’ and is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes”.
Every meeting I have ever hosted has been unique but perhaps one regular occurrence is that whilst I may try to suggest topics of discussion, my wonderful DC members prefer to do it their way! If I were to give our encounters a quality, I would say that respect pours out of everyone at every encounter. Some people’s opinions on death can be very different but the atmosphere of respect makes every opinion count. I have learned a lot about myself too and see that my opinions are constantly challenged in the setting of my head whilst I hear what other people have to say about subjects about which I may have previously been quite closed.
Everything about the Death Café movement has me excited! From the name itself – after all saying the word death generates so many reactions, from horrified facial expressions to curious bemusement! In all cases it does get people talking! The guidelines suggested for hosting a death café are also entrancing! Setting a death café in a tea room or eco café, enjoying tea and cake, how could I not enjoy conversation about death in this type of setting. For my village to boast an eco café serving the best in tea and cake makes every encounter that much sweeter (plus the kilos have been piling on)!
Whilst the guidelines do advise that a death cafe is not a bereavement support group, even that has been questioned in one of my events simply because Mallorca is not yet set up to offer the recently bereaved a setting for support as I recently discovered. Seeing the compassion and love so freely shared in a recent event towards a grieving widow made me proud of my fellow sisters and brothers residing on planet earth and I saw how the death café can help.
We meet to talk about death and through that we talk about life, about hope, about different cultures and we break down the taboo around death. We challenge ourselves and our opinions and beliefs always in an atmosphere of respect and interest. Our conversations are our inner most thoughts and reflections, shared perhaps for the very first time. In short, these encounters free us up to get on with life and living and I am so glad to have discovered the Death Café movement.
Find a Death Café near you www.deathcafe.com
Enjoy tea & cake near me L’Exquisit, C/Rectoria 2, Binissalem, 07350 Mallorca