CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Death can be a difficult conversation to have, which is why Death Cafes are popping up around the world. They aim to make conversations about death more open.
According to deathcafe.com, there have been more than 10,000 Death Cafes held since 2011. Their objective is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives, according to the website.
Gaye Dimmick hosts Death Cafes in Charlotte once a month.
“We bring our questions, things we’ve thought about, or things that might be a little taboo to talk about at a dinner conversation,” Dimmick said.
She says there are only two rules to host a death café; there is no set agenda and cake must be served.
“We cover anything from green burial, what we would like done to our remains, what we would like our legacy might be, how do deal with our own grief,” Dimmick said.
Because there is no set agenda, the participants come to the Death Café with their questions and conversation starters.
Tara Lee visited the January Death Café in Charlotte. Lee has been a hospice nurse and is interested in becoming a death doula. She says she came across Death Cafes online and wanted to see what people were discussing.
“It’s difficult, but it’s necessary. To have people who pass the way they want to pass, where they want to pass, who they want to be there when they pass. That’s my goal to promote the importance of it,” Lee said.
Lee met another aspiring death doula, Sara Kuzma, at the death café. WBTV featured Sara Kuzma in another piece on the growing popularity of end of life doulas.
Another participant came to the Death Café to talk about how she planned to honor her father on the anniversary of his death.
Dimmick says Death Cafés are not meant to be support groups, but people often find support and friendships from attending.
Dimmick says the topics may be about death, but she learns more about life from attending.
“When I started attending the death café, it made me start thinking about how I live my life and how I can live my life better,” Dimmick said.
For more information on Death Cafes visit: deathcafe.com
For more information on Charlotte Death Cafes, click here.