Friday, 13 July 2012

Death Cafe #18 with Sue Barsky Reid

Sue Barsky Reid

Death Cafe comes of age with our 18th Death Cafe next week. Please join us! Details are as follows:
- 7 - 9pm at Cakey Muto, 25 Chatsworth Road, London, E5 0LG
- Facilitated by Sue Barsky Reid
- Followed by death-themed music by Rebecca Thorn from 9pm

Sue Barsky Reid has been part of Death Cafe from the start. Below is a brief interview with her.

Please could you introduce yourself

I’m Sue Barsky Reid. I’m a UKCP registered gestalt psychotherapist. Until 3 years ago I worked for the NHS. I left because a member of my family had a life threatening illness.

I now concentrate on my private practice and teaching psychotherapy. I was approached to run Death Café and that has now become part of my voluntary work.

I’ve got 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I’m married and I live in Chester in the UK.

What do you do for Death Café?

Jon asked me to facilitate the first Death Café. So far I’ve facilitated 8 Death Cafes so far in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Chester, mid-Wales and the Royal Albert Hall.

They’ve all been unique. There have been different themes running through them around, of course, the topic of death. Some have been about rituals. Some about grief and bereavement. Some have been about people’s plans for their own funerals.

The tone isn’t always sombre. Sometimes we cry and quite a lot of the time we laugh.  I always enjoy doing them and feel uplifted at the end. This is not just because of the subject matter but is mostly because of the close contact generated between the group members.

Death is a subject that everybody who attends has some interest in. We’re all going to die so everyone has something to say on the subject.

I think that there’s a link between discussing death and people being close to one another. Because death is something we have in common. There are very few things we all share, but this is one.

How has it been facilitating the Death Cafes?

I’m always a bit apprehensive at the beginning because you can never prepare for what people are going to say. Usually I relax once they begin. I don’t take a very active role. I just sit back and let people say what they want to say.

What has motivated you to offer Death Cafes?

I’ve always been interested in death and dying. This is a way of taking this interest a bit further. It something I want to know about and explore and think about. This is a way of reminding me that I’m that I’m going to die. This helps me to appreciate being alive. That’s what Death Café is about for me.

What would you say to people who are attracted to the idea of attending a death café?

Give it try you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I don’t think anyone who has been has found it to be morbid.

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