I have been offering Death Cafes in Renfrew County since 2014. At a Death Cafe people drink tea/ coffee, eat cake/ muffins (depending on the time of day) and discuss death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. This from one recent attendee:

“We were a small group of 7, of all different ages and stages in life, but there was a cohesion to the group from the beginning. The conversation flowed freely with the kind of discussion that occurs when people really listen to each other. Although it is a serious topic, we laughed and shared funny anecdotes and sober thoughts, knowing that the things we shared would stay within the group. The 2 ½ hours passed so quickly that we ended up chatting for another ½ hour. I highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who enjoys interesting conversation that is open and comfortable……often not the case when talking about the death subject. Try it out, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you might learn.” ~ Bonny Johnson, Death Cafe Attendee

The Death Cafe model doesn’t include having specific topics, set questions and (in particular) guest speakers. The view is that, when it comes to death, people have enough to discuss already. Giving extra input or setting too much of an agenda risks being presumptuous, restrictive and/or disempowering. This is a group directed session offering participants time to reflect on and share what they think is important.

Death Cafes are NOT:
• A bereavement support or grief counselling setting. 
• An opportunity to give people information about death and dying – regardless of how good or important it is. Rather we create time to discuss death without expectations. For this reason having guest speakers and information materials available is actively discouraged
• A method of community engagement, research or consultation. It shouldn’t be used for these purposes.

These guidelines have been established to keep Death Cafe positive. This is also to prevent the use of this concept by those with an interest in leading people to conclusions, products or a specific course of action. For example, a funeral director can attend Death Cafe as a mortal but not promote their services or business.

Death Cafes are always offered:

  • On a not-for-profit basis
  • In an accessible, respectful; and confidential space
  • With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
  • Alongside tea, coffee, CAKE or muffins (if it is a morning event)

Most of all, it is a warm and welcoming space and there are always gluten free options. Bring a friend and experience something different and new! Death Cafe’s are offered several times per year in Renfrew County. Here are the upcoming 2019 dates:

Saturday, February 2 2019 (9:30am-noon)

Saturday, April 13 2019 (9:30am-noon)

Saturday, June 8 2019 (9:30am-noon)

Saturday, September 7 2019 (9:30am-noon)

**More Dates Coming Soon!

Death Cafe Renfrew County takes place in Cobden at the Whitewater Bromley Community Health Centre located at 70 Main Street. Please RSVP to julie@juliekeon.com. Walk-Ins always welcome.

To learn more about Death Cafe guidelines and being a host in your community, visit www.deathcafe.com