Thursday, 25 July 2013

Death Cafe in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina with Robin Simonton

Historic Oakwood Cemetery’s
Death Café: Death Surrounds Us

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity
~ William Penn

Join us at Historic Oakwood Cemetery for Raleigh’s first Death Café.   We’ve partnered with Hospice of Wake County to have a meaningful conversation about death AND life. Let’s talk, laugh and cry as we discuss death and ways to make the most of our lives.   There is no better place then Historic Oakwood Cemetery to talk about life and death.

When:  Sunday, September 22, 2013 2:00- 5:00 pm
Where:  Historic Oakwood Cemetery’s Mausoleum and Office - 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh NC 27601
Fee:  Free, but registration is required, as we have limited space. Registration goes live on August 1, 2013.

What is a Death Café?
Originating in Europe in 2004 and arriving in America a year ago, Death Café is now an international movement.  It is designed to provide a safe and comfortable setting for people to talk about death while drinking tea and coffee and eating cake.  The only objective of a Death Café is "to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives."  There is no intention of leading participants to any particular conclusion, product, or course of action.  Instead, a Death Café provides an open, respectful, and confidential space free of discrimination where people can express and explore their understanding of death safely.  This is not a macabre event, but one that will enrich the lives of the participants. 

Death Café at Historic Oakwood Cemetery
Historic Oakwood Cemetery, located in the heart of the Oakwood Historic District, is an appropriate place to discuss death and dying.  We truly are a cemetery full of life.  Surrounded by 22,000 members of our community that have gone before us, we will appreciate their lives and deaths as we discuss our own mortality.   Historic Oakwood Cemetery is a nonprofit cemetery, run by a volunteer board of directors and founded in 1869.  We’ll spend time both in a meeting space and out on the grounds, letting the lives of those who came before us surround and inspire us.

Why participate in a Death Café?
Why not?  We plan, discuss, and process almost every aspect of our lives, but when it comes to death, many of us shy away from the conversation.  Death is not to be feared.  Once you participate in a Death Café,  you’ll walk away with perhaps an increased appreciation for life. 

Who facilitates the Death Café?
Historic Oakwood Cemetery has partnered with Hospice of Wake County, which serves the greater Triangle region.  Between Hospice staff, community volunteers and Cemetery staff, you will be surrounded by people who care about these important issues and can facilitate and support a meaningful conversation.

Questions:  Contact Robin at 919-832-6077 or

Your Host: Robin Simonton. Robin is the Executive Director of Historic Oakwood Cemetery. She holds a BA in US History from the  University of Hawaii and an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University; in 1997 she served as researcher of the book Oahu Cemetery: Burial Ground & Historic Site, by Nanette Napoleon; and is currently is the online editor of The Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

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