Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Death Cafes in Oxford, England with OxBEL

So how was the OxBEL Banbury Death Cafe?

By Joan Gardner of OxBEL

We spent a lively 10 minutes at the start deciding which of the delicious cakes to indulge in and milling around saying hello and “I wonder what this will be like? ” Then we settled into small groups around tables in the beautiful White Lion Walk cafe in Banbury.

Next a quick introduction from the organiser: “A death cafe is a chance for people to gather in public places to discuss one of the big subjects - death and dying in our society. Why did you decide to come along today?”

And there followed one and a half hours of non stop talking. Several jokes about death, some very serious discussions about how a death had affected someone we knew or us and a little reflection on why death is such a taboo subject in the UK and why this can cause difficulties. The stories shared were all interesting, moving, profound or inspiring. Everyone ended up agreeing it’s good to talk. Just having casual conversations about death and dying makes it seem more normal and less frightening, a part of life.

But for the OxBEL team the talking had started long before the day of the Banbury death cafe. We had numerous impromptu chats about death and dying in all sorts of situations. A lot of people mentioned the death cafe to various members of the team and wanted to know more. Then we’d just carried on talking and ended up having many mini death cafes on the spot!

Organising the OxBEL death cafe series has proved to be incredibly rewarding. Each one is completely different and I’m sure there will be many wonderful, unexpected outcomes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say your piece.