Eckville is welcoming the town’s first ever series of Death Cafes beginning next week.
The four sessions will run Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Eckville Municipal Library starting on Feb. 5.
Facilitator Jacquie Palm-Fraser says the Death Cafes are not for grief or bereavement for a specific loss because there’s no counselling, but rather a time to learn how to enjoy what’s in between birth and death.
The Death Cafe website says the objective is “to increase awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
Palm-Fraser says the weekly gatherings will have no agenda and people are welcome to attend as many sessions as they like.
The gatherings will consist of discussion then cake and warm beverages followed by more discussion and questions.
The discussions topics will be drawn from a hat and could consist of prompts such as “what do you think a good death would be?” or “if you were to die tomorrow how would you like to be remembered?”
“When you think about questions like that it makes you sort of think ‘well how will I live tomorrow if that’s how I want it to be at the end?’” explained Palm-Fraser.
She added the point is not to teach people or push beliefs and views.
“It’s actually to kind of increase your own self-awareness and see what it brings up for you,” said Palm-Fraser. “It’s just to be able to have a free place to talk about something that people don’t usually talk about.”
Death Cafes are a respectful, confidential space open to anyone who is looking to share what’s on their mind.
“Nobody’s expected to share anything they don’t want, there’s no force,” continued Palm-Fraser.
There really isn’t a good time to talk about death, bit it’s something that should be talked about, says Palm-Fraser.
The Death Cafe provides a place where you can talk about it where it’s not inappropriate or morbid.
“It does affect everybody, like nobody is not affected by death…,” Palm-Fraser said, “[it’s a] chance to ask questions and talk it over.”
Death Cafe is not-for-profit and is free to attend, although donations to the library will be accepted.
Pre-registration is not necessary and those interested are welcome to attend any of the sessions on Feb. 5, 12, 19 or 26.
Those with more questions about the upcoming Death Cafes can contact Jacquie Palm-Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 403-350-4549.