Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tucson Death Café March & April Summaries

By Kristine Bentz

When Cindy and I prepare for a Café, we feel excited, semi-prepared and always curious. Because we never quite know what will happen, except we are guaranteed to meet new people and likely learn things we didn’t know before we ‘open’ our friendly and fearless café ‘door’.

In MARCH we enjoyed casual conversation at first, of course poured tea and then opened with a large circle introducing ourselves. Then we broke into smaller groups with discussion topics like: ‘putting the ‘fun’ back into funerals’; what is an advanced directive?’; and ‘what’s on your bucket list?’. People chose whatever topic interested them most. There were about 20 of us total, so the room became pretty rowdy! Can you imagine, big laughter and fun at a Death Café? Oh, you bet. There are inevitably quieter, more reflective moments, too.

Participants' commented in March, “The time flew by and I enjoyed meeting others. I especially liked the small groups.” And “I could have talked to more people even longer.” Words folks used to describe personal experiences during the Café included: open-minded, energizing, ground-breaking, worthwhile, exciting, socially-satisfying and accepting.

Claire – our baking and treat-making super star made these treats. That were a fun conversation topic, as well as sweetly delicious.

Cindy and Jeannette 

The Death Cafe Treat Table
In APRIL, we set up chairs in small circles of three or four ready for conversation. As the group grows, we have less time for large circle introductions. There were 25 of us total this time ‘round! Hopefully, folks who gravitate toward each other for conversation find a way to reach each other either prior to the café opening or as it winds down.

As a group, we took a Death Anxiety Quiz. (Based upon the Templar Death Anxiety Scale, from Donald Templar.) Possible scores range from zero to 15, low to high anxiety respectively. After scoring ourselves, we launched into conversations. Some folks had higher numbers than they anticipated. Some disagreed with the questions entirely. All agreed it was a very sound conversation catalyst!What usually amazes me is the amount of people who stay longer than the 'organized portion' just to talk freely and be together. Openness and safe conversations are extremely life-affirming.

TDC Death Anxiety Quiz
We also had a writer and photographer from the Arizona Daily Star present at our April gathering. They will be running a piece about the Tucson Death Café in the very near future. Perhaps this Sunday. [Now published as Tea, cake and dying go together at 'Death Cafe'] 
And not to skip what is a highly important piece of the Café – Claire baked a lovely and moist chocolate bundt cake. Mmmmm!

As always, our group thanks you, Jon and Lizzy, for opening the doors to these refreshingly positive experiences within the greater Death Cafe movement.


May Death Cafe SPECIAL EDITION happening at a private residence south of Tucson, on Friday May 3, 2013. As a result, there will be no May 7th meeting. Anyone who would like to participate please RSVP to Kristine via the Tucson Death Café Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TucsonDeathCafe or May 3rd event page at www.facebook.com/events/346464808791604/

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Jon!

    We have had a change due to many happy inquiries after the recent newspaper article: We WILL HAVE A MAY 7th MEETING at Bookman's (in addition to the May 3rd field trip).

    As always, we are grateful to you and your work supporting this global shift!

    Kristine & Cindy


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