Lincolnshire hospice host Death Cafe in bid to break taboo surrounding death

17th May 2016

Every seat in The Angel Coffee House was filled as 37 people from across the county gathered together for discussions on death and dying

Lincoln, 17th May 2016 – In a bid to break the taboo, St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice has held a Death Café where members of the public gathered to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

The Death Café was held on Sunday 15th May, from 3 – 5pm, at The Angel Coffee House on Free School Lane in Lincoln. The event aimed to stimulate conversation about death and dying.

Lisa Gibson, Community Development Manager at St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“Talking about death, dying and bereavement is a subject that many people can find challenging. In many ways, it has become a modern taboo with people desperately avoiding their own mortality.

“Therefore it was a real delight to see The Angel Coffee House full of people who had come to have open and honest conversations about all aspects of death and dying and help us to challenge this taboo.

“At Death Café 37 people gathered in small groups to have open discussions about a wide range of subjects including will writing, coping with bereavement and how to talk to family about dying.

The Death Café was a group-directed discussion with no agenda, objectives or themes and was a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

Lisa said: “Death Café had a real buzz and it was wonderful to hear the many life-affirming conversations taking place. Alongside the serious topics being discussed, there was also a lot of laughter and guests lefts the event feeling very uplifted.

“People fed back to us that they enjoyed having an environment where they were encouraged to discuss topics that they might otherwise avoid and where they were made to feel welcome.”

The Death Café movement was started by Jon Underwood in London in 2011 and since then thousands of Death Cafes have been held across Europe, North America, and Australasia.

Lisa concludes: “It is our view that having open and honest conversations will mean that we are all better equipped to support each other when death has an impact on our lives.

“Death Café is a brilliant way to address that by having gentle conversations in an informal setting. The event really helped people to focus their thoughts and feelings on important subjects that are paramount to helping people to live well and make the most of life until the very end.”

Death Café was held on the last day of Dying Matters Week, which runs from 9th – 15th May. The annual campaign urges people to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement and make plans for the end of life.

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