Have you ever thought about getting together with strangers to talk about death? That’s the essence of a Death Café, and it’s an idea that’s gaining traction with people around the globe. It doesn’t actually have to be strangers, it’s just a group gathered to discuss death, over food. Contrary to what you might assume, it’s not a support group, but just a discussion group. Perhaps the best part? There’s cake!
According to their website, the purpose of a Death Café is to “increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.” This social franchise has chapters across Europe, North America, and Australasia, with more people becoming interested all the time. Why are so many people eager to discuss death?
Talking about death is really focusing on life. It allows people to accomplish several objectives:
- Appreciating the closeness of relationships. Thinking about death and dying gives us an appreciation of life and the people who enrich our lives. What’s more, talking about death gives us an opportunity to connect with others, bonding over something that we are all destined to experience.
- Dealing with the fear of death. Death is an inevitability, and needn’t be something to fear or dread. If we can talk about death freely, we can demystify it, and take away some of the fear associated with it.
- Living life fully. We’re all going to die eventually, but in the meantime, we should embrace our lives. If we’ve come to terms with death, we can use it as a call to live life to the fullest.
- Loving more freely. When you think about death in relation to important people in your life, knowing that we have no idea when death will occur, it can spur you on to love those people wholeheartedly and without reservation, knowing that your time together is precious.
- Honoring the elderly. Across most of the modern world, youth-worshipping culture takes our focus away from our aging elders. Tucked away into nursing homes, many elderly people face loneliness and isolation as they wait for death. Conquering our fear of death by talking about it gives us the freedom that allows us to reach out to people at the end of life.
- Pulling death out of hiding. In our modern society, death has been largely sanitized and tucked out of sight. People die in hospitals and are whisked away, transferred to a funeral home before anyone has time to even process their passing.
Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose understands the importance of talking about death and creating a plan for a life-honoring memorial. We help people to pre-plan and provide support to those who have suffered a loss, but we also host Death Cafes, held every month at 890 Benton St, Santa Clara. Call us at (844) 200-2170.for more information.