Debbie Young

No two Death Cafes are ever the same


I love how every Death Cafe is so different and our North East London Death Cafe on Saturday 4th April 2022 was no exception. I heard thoughts and experiences that I had never heard before.

In my group, people shared how the Death Cafe had provided a space where ‘everything was welcome’ and where ‘you felt heard’. In particular, participants valued that it was a space where no one was trying to fix anything. Because a Death Cafe has no objectives or aims no one is trying to make anyone feel better or provide any answers or solutions – it’s simply a space to talk in a way that sometimes isn’t possible outside of a Death Cafe.

We also talked about our views on ‘bucket lists’.  When our life is limited do we want to be spending our time working through a list of things we want to achieve or experience or do we want to be enjoying the simple pleasures of daily life and be living in the moment?

Grief was also a key theme. We talked about anticipatory grief – this is a feeling of loss that we might experience before someone dies. It can be experienced by those who have a relationship with the dying person, but also by the person who is dying.  It is a normal part of the grieving process. We also shared other experiences of grieving such as the impact of other people’s expectations or views on how long we ‘should’ be grieving and when we ‘should be getting over it’. Lois Tonkin has a great theory about ‘growing around grief’. This theory shows how we can grow a new life which includes the loss.  Do read about it if you haven’t heard about it before.

Thank you to everyone who came along and shared so openly.

Our next Death Cafe is Thurs 5th May, 6.30-8.30pm in Stoke Newington. You can book your place using the link below.

We look forward to seeing you there.