Monday, 19 August 2013

Write up of Death Cafe Millerton New York with Suzanne B. O'Brien

Thursday, August 15, 2013 What a wonderful evening for our first Death Cafe! The Death Cafe- Millerton NY welcomed 20+ guests ranging in age from 31 to 83, with the majority being women. Guests choose from tables of 3-6 seats, filled out a name tag and signed in. This table activity gave guests a chance to meet and greet each other. There were carafes of water and bowls of pretzels on the tables. There was delicious cake, fruit, cupcakes and beverages to nourish the body and lots of positive energy in the room to nourish the spirit.

At 7 pm Suzanne B. O'Brien, facilitator, welcomed everyone and gave a description of Death Cafes, how they got started and where they are today. She referenced several articles, one from the NY Times and one from the August 14, 2013 Time Magazine called "A Good Death: How Boomers Change the World a Final Time." She introduced herself, hostess Lynn Martorell and organizer, Joy Martorell.

The first challenge of the evening was for each of us to write down 3 words that came to mind when Suzanne said the words Death or Dying. Once we had written down our words we were to think about how death has impacted our lives and make notes and discuss among our tables.

The conversation started quietly but within minutes the room was quite noisy. There was even some laughter. It was then time to share with the group (if you wanted to). Everyone was offered the opportunity. The room was filled with so many interesting people, their amazing stories and paths all different, yet all pertinent and important. There was clapping and cheering for some, encouragement for others and compassion for all.

With a few minutes left to the evening Suzanne was winding things down and Lynn asked that everyone please fill out the Death Cafe evaluation to help us continue to improve and make this the best experience it can be.

The evaluations rated the evening as "Excellent" with everyone "feeling comfortable" and interested in hearing other people's perspective, learning about new resources, getting new ideas of their own and reaffirming current thoughts, ideas.

Several suggestions were made about the physical set up....smaller tables, lighting. Requests for more death cafe dates, a book list, guest exchange of contact info, and speakers on specific topics.

Our next Death Cafe will be Thursday, September 19, 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say your piece.