Death and dying is a topic that people often avoid, despite the fact that its an inevitable part of life.
But people in Nailsworth were determined to break the taboo and take back the language of death and dying in a dedicated Death Café.
Every other month, a group of about 25 people meet over tea and cake at the canteen in Nailsworth (or currently on Zoom).
It’s free to attend and the people who come along tend to be a combination of regulars and new people popping in to see what it’s all about.
Organisers Jane Diamond and Tracey Clements say that recent topics of discussion have included: organ donation, donating your body to medical science, sudden death, death of parents, suicide of a family member, death of a young person, green funerals, end-of-life plans, and what happens after death.
Tracey said, “The objective of Death Café is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. In general, as a society, we seldom talk about death to our family or friends and it’s almost a taboo subject; we often have birth plans but rarely consider what is important to us at the end of life.
“While there might be a perception that a couple of hours spent this way could be morbid we find participants usually leave feeling uplifted, inspired and ready to engage more with life.
“We all need to talk about this subject so that we can focus on life and how we live now in today’s world.”
To date, death cafés have taken place in 76 countries worldwide, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Death Café is not a bereavement or counselling group although the bereaved are most welcome.