Mallorca Death Café

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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

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Special moments

 

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What a weekend!  I facilitated the monthly Death Café on Friday evening in my favourite eco café, L’Exquisit and we were nineteen, a record breaker and hardly any room left to move! Although I try to propose different ways of doing things, the group always seems to want to remain in the big circle and talk, one by one.  However, if numbers continue to rise, we’ll have to occupy the whole café and not just the back room!

This meeting was a little bit different as I was inspired to ask at the beginning, along with each person’s introduction, for everyone to share a quality that they believed people would use to describe them when they were no longer here!  That shook things up and some found it a little surprising to think that far ahead.  I went back to qualities at the end of the session by asking everyone what quality they would take with them until the next meeting, one that they would imbibe, include and inspire in their daily lives – mine was faith, oh and being present, I wanted two qualities!

The monthly meetings are always moments of insight with the wonderful experience of hearing from other people and enjoying their take on matters.  Each meeting attracts many new people and I love seeing the core members there, time and again.

As usual, it all too soon came to an end but the next Mallorca Death Café will be on Friday 17th June at 6.30pm – all welcome and although the meeting is conducted in Spanish, there is always translation available.

The weekend continued with a wedding on the beach at which I was invited to officiate the ceremony.  I had worked closely with the couple to get the ceremony just right and wow, didn’t we do well!  It helped that the couple – not a first love but definitely a match made in heaven – were two people enjoying a thoroughly “conscious relationship” as demonstrated by their thoughts and opinions on what marriage meant to them which was shared in the ceremony.

I was truly honoured to facilitate this moment in their lives and the groom spoke about conscious commitment whilst the bride added that freedom can be found in the commitment two people make.  Their relationship is at once a mature one and totally childlike in its innocence.  And to top it all, the some fifteen young people and children there were mesmerised by the more than half an hour we took for the ceremony.  Never have I seen such full and present attention and to see it from young people took my breath away.

From the wedding, it was onto see first born perform his gipsy jazz duo with him on guitar and singing accompanied by young Gavin on guitar.  He is a natural that boy (dare I say he takes after my side of the family!!) and his humble confidence on stage is a delight to see.  His voice is a gift from the gods and his hard work and dedication is plain to see.  The two young musicians worked hard to please us with their sound and my only complaint is that society has forgotten how to listen.  Luckily, there were some audience members who took no hostages and shushed for people to stop talking!

Special moments, they come and they go, and when they come,  so many at once, life is pure wonder!

 

L’Exquisit – eco café located in C/Rectoria 2, Binissalem

Djaume Reinhardt Jazz & Swing – available for weddings, concerts and private events, contact Noah on +34 630 590 262

Mallorca Death Cafe – monthly meetings in L’Exquisit or ask me about hosting your own

Wedding celebrant – http://www.glynisgermancelebrant.com

The Journey

Sometimes the signs are clear and it’s easy to know where to go, but often there’s confusion and a sense of trepidation too.  Since deciding that I would give up my safe and secure job with guaranteed income back in June 2013, life has been an interesting journey.

In all of it, I have had to really work my trust and faith in believing that everything would “turn out” just fine.  Interestingly of course, there is no end in sight to tick off “turn out” turned out just fine, as it is an ongoing process called living!  My life’s “car” can have the tyres pumped, tank filled, oil checked, water in the wipers and the GPS connected, but if I don’t put the key in the ignition and start the engine, I’m not going anywhere!  And when I do start the engine, what if there are road works and I get diverted?

Life is as simple or as complicated as we make it and there are times when I just want to turn off the engine and park for a while.  Then there are the times when the road is clear, it’s long and straight and I like to fly down the middle of it, hair flowing in the wind, a song on my lips and joy in my heart!

I keep moving though, slowly in heavy traffic or zippy and pumped when the road is clear to enjoy a sun shining kind of ride!  If I break down, what am I going to do?  Sit and cry?  Forever?  No, I find a solution, maybe I do sit and cry for a moment, but then I fix the problem and get going again.

I think I have realised that it is so day to day this thing called living.  Next year really doesn’t matter if I can’t appreciate today.  Tomorrow is always going to come, in its own way.  I have to keep my car ready but at times I may leave the doors open and things will fall out and get lost.  And some days I might just want to pull over, stop for a while and contemplate the horizon.

My life three years ago was busy, at times stressful, with no time to just be.  In the three years since, I have done so much that I’m proud of – The Happiness Café weekly radio show; providing meaningful ceremonies for weddings and funerals; facilitating a monthly Death Café in my village; volunteering at a local hospice ward; writing my blog; being at home with my boys and my animals; connecting with interesting people at home and abroad; even starting a Peace Centre for a while and all along, being me.  I may be financially poorer for now, but I am creatively and inspiringly richer.

I am happy I made the decision to search for something different as the difference has been clear – I have more time for me and more time to be, something I value greatly in this busy world