death cafe

death cafe.jpeg

This is an organised, not-for-profit event at which people gather as a small group, with some refreshments provided, to discuss aspects of death and dying. It is an opportunity to discuss matters which are normally regarded as taboo, such as what to do with ashes, how to communicate that someone has taken their own life, how to deal with the physical and psychological difficulties that are part of the dying process.  It is a chance to discuss the most environmentally friendly type of coffin, or the possibility of an app that updates a will.

 It perhaps says something about us that we are suddenly finding new words for aspects of death, such as death clean (a clean-out of one’s belongings as a preparation for death), natural burial (burial in bushland without a gravestone but with GPS coordinates issued to the family), shallow burial (environmentally more friendly than a deep burial). 

 We can also consider the possibility of having a digital gravestone, a gravestone which is triggered by someone passing by to give a recorded account of the life of the person buried there.