Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Update in Death Cafe in Taos, New Mexico

Death Café Continues in Taos

by Susan Carpenter Sims

Like  Taos' first Death Café in April, our second one in June was well-attended (with many new faces).  We even had a visitor who drove down from Denver for the experience!  We met in a beautiful outdoor space at Wired? Café, and enjoyed tea and coffee that they provided, in addition to a wonderful gluten-free lemon layer cake graciously donated by Amber & Brad Gordon of Taos' Touchstone Inn.

In order to keep the conversation a bit more focused this time, the discussion centered around the theme of “End of Life Alternatives.”  This seemed to work really well, and one attendee commented, “The format and discussion worked smoothly and allowed for input and response from the group.”

Issues ranged from green burial to home funerals to estate planning – all of which were topics I had anticipated might come up.  What was unexpected, though, was a pretty intense discussion about suicide, with a variety of viewpoints represented.  Personally, it made me consider suicide from angles I hadn't thought of before.  One attendee commented, “It seemed like a lot was covered and no subject was taboo. I'll keep coming.” 
Once again, Susan Varon and Peter Callan were invaluable in creating an event that ran smoothly.  I am so thankful for this wonderful team.

I'm also excited about our next Death Café, which we have been invited to host for our local Thrive Taos group at Optimysm, the metaphysical store where this group meets each week to discuss and plan efforts around creating a more sustainable society, both locally and globally.  If you're in the Taos area, we hope you'll join us Wednesday, July 24th at 6 pm for this event. 
Susan Carpenter Sims  is a funeral celebrant, certified by the Celebrant Institute.  She has a great desire to bring awareness to and normalize conversations around death and dying.  Her website is

Susan Varon is a poet, artist and Interfaith minister, who moved to Taos six years ago after 40 years in New York City. She suffered a stroke in 1989, and counts that event as the pivotal blessing of her life—that real brush with death helped her begin opening her heart, and reclaiming her true calling as an artist.

Peter Callan has written a book called Prepare to Die!!! And Other Stuff No One Told You, which is basically a primer for people to get their stuff together around end-of-life planning, complete with basic forms/templates. It's very user-friendly and even humorous at times.

1 comment:

  1. We are summering in Taos and I only now saw this. We already have a commitment for July 24. Will there be another meeting soon?


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