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It’s a topic most people avoid talking about, but according to Ashgate Hospice, it’s also one of the most important conversations we need to have.
The North Derbyshire charity is hosting a Death Café this month – a casual gathering where people can come together for open and honest conversations about loss and their own mortality.
Held over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, the Death Café will take place on Saturday 14th October, 2pm – 4pm at Café One on Soresby Street in Chesterfield. The event is FREE to attend and does not require prior booking.
From discussing the music you want to be played at your funeral to how you might like to be remembered – the hospice’s no-judgement session is open to everyone.
The conversation will be led by a facilitator and will become a natural exploration of thoughts and feelings about the end of life.
Barbara-Anne Walker, Ashgate’s Chief Executive, said: “People might think that a Death Café sounds really sad or morbid, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“A Death Café is a lively conversation where people are empowered to talk about subjects that matter to them. We know from previous Death Cafes that people leave the event feeling uplifted and positive; ready to make the most of their lives.
“Open and honest conversations remove the taboo around the subject of death and dying and allows people to connect with each other. Often people think avoiding the subject will mean that it won’t happen to them. But sadly, this usually just leads to increased anxiety.”
Ashgate’s Death Café is being held in conjunction with Hospice Care Week, which takes place between 9th and 15th October.
She continued: “Not only does coming to terms with our mortality mean we’re more likely to live life to the full, but being open about it means we can support each other, our families and ourselves when the time may come. “Our Death Cafe isn’t a morbid concept – it’s an opportunity to share a safe space, have open and honest conversations and make the most of our finite lives. We’re all going to die so we might as well eat cake and talk about it!”
The hospice says the discussion group is not a grief support or counselling session, but a member of its Supportive Care team will be in attendance to support participants if needed.
The Death Café concept has gone global after being launched in 2011, with thousands of participants getting involved worldwide.
Find out more about Ashgate Hospice’s Death Café and how to can get involved.