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Home Hospice Association
DEATH CAFÉ

WHAT IS A DEATH CAFÉ? 

Death Cafés are open forum dialogues about death and dying, with no agenda otherwise. The aim is to bring strangers together to engage in dialogue about the last great taboo, in hopes that they will extend this dialogue to their friends, families, and communities. The death cafe is free for all to attend!

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WHY A DEATH CAFÉ? 

There is a belief that dying and death are a part of life to avoid until they can no longer be avoided. Death Cafes are here to move us towards our own mortality, not away from it. Home Hospice Association is proud to be part of the International Death Cafe Movement. HHA runs in person and virtual death cafes to invite conversation, explore concepts of life, dying and death. Normalizing death is a key mission for this charity so more and more people can eliminate their fears surrounding it.

HHA is delighted to host death cafes in communities when invited to do so!

Any person that wants to host their own death cafe for their community is encouraged and HHA is glad to lend a helping hand to support these cafes outside of our association. 

FUTURE OF THE DEATH CAFÉ 

 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our world but it is our priority to ensure access for hospice care and it’s programs are maintained during such times. HHA keeps the conversation about death going through the continuation of our virtual death cafes which makes it easier for everyone to access. 

 

HHA continues its mission to expand the death cafes and make it more well known to everyone. A new death cafe specifically for parents and guardians is currently in development and will begin in August.

PARTNERS

HHA is thankful for our Death 

Café partners

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Click on Picture to learn more about HHA Death Café 

DEATH CAFÉ FAQ 

 

Popular Assumptions/Opinions:

  • Gothic café or gothic club for such like-minded youth to gather

  • A term used in café’s for rotten produce/products 

  • A term used for a café with no customers and is not well known or liked

  • Location for helping with assisted suicide 

  • Another name/term for where dead bodies are being laid

  • Term for cemetery 

 

Unpopular Assumption/Opinions: 

  • A recently growing trend of establishments where largely millennial demographic gathers to discuss topics surrounding the nature of our mortality 

  • Or get served poison tea 

  • Halloween themed restaurant/café

  • A party event for Halloween 

  • Talking and discussing death in a social setting (like a café) 

  • Church-based approach for grief support 

  • Support group for people struggling with assisted suicide 

  • Place for Queer groups to discuss deaths and violence they have felt in the community 

  • Talking about the history of AIDS/HIV connection to community 

  • Representation of Queer deaths in the media 

  • Name of a serial killer and/or their layer/location of where they kept the bodies Café (shop) for people who have lost someone.

Information Needed/Wanted

What questions are being asked?

 

We are simply asking you to think about your own mortality; the mortality of your loved ones; and how dying, death, loss & grief have impacted your life. 

 

​Are they personal questions? 

 

Depends on your personal comfort level/disclosure boundaries in this setting – you may share as much or as little as you choose. Of course the subject matter naturally lends to vulnerable, and intimate conversation. There is always a risk that a fellow participant may pose a question you find to personal, in which case you are always encouraged to ‘pass.’ 

Are they revealing questions? 

What other people experienced while in discussions? 

At Death Cafes, you will see/shed/share tears of laughter as often as you will see tears of sadness. Dialogue surrounding dying and death often proves to be largely life-affirming conversation that validates our values, motivations, and goals. This is something facilitators and participants alike report feeling after attending an HHA Death Café. 

Can you be incriminated by what you say? 

You cannot be incriminated by what you say at a Death Café - UNLESS somebody has identified themselves as a mandated reporter; and you report suspected abuse towards an adult or senior, or a risk to your own or another’s life.  
 
 

CRITERIA FOR JOINING: 

You must be willing to have your video on, at least for portions of the time if you are unable to for the full duration of the café. 

You must come with a non-judgmental attitude.  

Be willing to give and receive from other participants; and  Be prepared to engage in CONFIDENTIAL sharing. 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY MEANS: 

  • YOU DO NOT share personal details about other participants at the event 

  • YOU DO NOT share the business (experiences, stories, feelings, etc.) of your peers at the event 

  • YOU SHOULD tell everyone that you went to a Death Café, and it was [enter your amazing adjectives here], and you learned [this and this], and had the chance to talk about [this and that], and it made you FEEL [this, this, and this].  

  • SHOUT & SHARE your positive Death Café experience(s) from the rooftop, just make sure you’re only ever disclosing YOUR business, and nobody else’s. 

 

Is there an age restriction? 

For our general, and community-specific Death Cafés, our age restriction is 18 years-old. But if you know a child or youth who wants the opportunity to get in on the conversation – this is why we spearheaded the C.A.N.D.Y. Café (Creating Awareness and Normalizing Death for Youth) initiative: visit the C.A.N.D.Y Café website here to find out more. 

 

Can you be kicked out dismissed from the discussion? 

Yes, there are very rare occasions that would result in a person getting kicked out of the conversation. This is primarily if they are unable to adhere to the limited rules and guidelines set-out at the beginning. 

 

Why do we want to normalize the subject of death? 

We normalize the subject of death because NOBODY – NOBODY – is exempt. We will almost all experience the death of a loved one in our lifetime, and at the very least, face our own mortality in the end. In talking about Death, we wish to demystify and destigmatize the subject, and current societal approaches dying and death that do a disservice to us all. 

 

 

Death in the name of the title is not inviting – wants another name Becomes closed off the topic 

This has been discussed time and time again, not an option. 

 

How long does the discussion last?  

The discussion lasts about an hour total, with some time at the start and end for introductions and debriefing, respectively. 

 

Is it educational on the topic of death and its different paths?

 

No, this is NOT an education event. 

This is also NOT a support group. 

This IS an open-forum for dialogue on the topic of dying, death, grief and loss with NO SET OUTCOMES or AGENDAS.