Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
Have you considered resolving to talk more about death?
If so, you’re in luck. The newly formed SW Washington Death Cafe will be holding a series of gatherings starting Jan. 12. Meagan Hope started SW Washington Death Cafe as part of the growing death positive movement intended to make death less taboo.
“It’s to get over our fear of talking about death,” Hope said.
She is a certified end-of-life doula, meaning she provides emotional and spiritual support for someone who is dying as well as their friends and family.
The concept of death cafes started in the United Kingdom, Hope said, and are meant as a time to get together and talk about death.
“It really is that simple,” she said.
While the U.K. version involves cake and tea, the Southwest Washington version will be potluck style; participants are asked to bring a dish.
The death cafe starts promptly at 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Seasons of Hope Grief Center and Memorial Garden, 3102 N.E. 134th St. in Vancouver, and goes until 5 p.m. Visit bit.ly/Jan12DeathCafe to RSVP for the free event. Seasons of Hope will also host death cafes from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 19, July 19 and Oct. 4.
Hope explained that a death cafe typically starts with participants going in a circle introducing themselves and saying what brought them to the death cafe. Some people may be grieving, some may be interested in end-of-life care while others may be dying. Facilitators will make sure people aren’t there to promote a business or network.