FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Palliative Care Society is planning a Death Cafe to raise awareness on the subject of dying.
The meeting will take place at Whole Wheat and Honey on June 1st, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and is open to everyone over the age of 18.
Norbert Kaspar with the society says the intent of a death cafe is to bring people together to have an open-minded conversation on dying.
“We look at death so many different ways or don’t look at death [at all].”
Kaspar hopes participants walk away with a better understanding of a subject that is a big part of everyone’s life.
“It’s something that’s coming your way, and it deserves some attention.”
The event is simply a conversation with residents sharing different viewpoints and not a support group or therapy session, Kaspar notes.
He says that a councillor, Roz Smith, will join the meeting to help guide the conversations.
“There are some guidelines, in terms of being open to other ideas, not approaching things with a sense of condemnation.”
In regards to structure, he says that the idea is to sit together in small groups, spend a short amount of time talking, and then move on to another group.
The Death Cafe is not a new concept — it’s an event held worldwide.
“The originator of this idea is a guy from England by the name of John Underwood,” he says.
“He passed away earlier in life, in his forties, and that was what he took from that experience, with saying, I need to talk about this, and I think other people talking about it would be a very good thing as well.”
Kaspar requests that possible guests contact the Palliative Care Society at 250-787-2814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the cafe.