The Florence Nightingale Hospice is hosting death cafes in Aylesbury and Buckingham as part of Dying Matters Week.
A death café is a free to attend drop-in centre for those affected by dying and bereavement to discuss matters that concern them and to help them plan for end of life in both practical and emotional terms.
“In our work, we find there is a lot of fear and worry around death and what happens when you are dying,” explains Liz Monaghan, matron at Florence Nightingale Hospice.
“We are holding death café events so people can just turn up, and say what’s on their mind about death, or ask questions or just listen and get some food for thought,” she adds.
The cafes were launched in the UK by psychologist Jon Underwood, and are based on the work of Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz, who organised the first café mortel in 2004.
“It’s about breaking down the taboo around talking about death,” Liz says.
Dying Matters is a coalition of organisations set up to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.
Liz said: “As a hospice, we are well placed to help people learn how to plan for death, how to talk about it and start those conversations, and also, how to support people who are bereaved.”
Death cafes are being held at Buckingham Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital simultaneously on Friday May 18 between 2pm and 4pm.
Another session is being held in Aylesbury the following day on Saturday May 19 between 11am and 1pm at Unit Two in Walton Lodge.
Other death cafés are being held in Amersham, Marlow and Thame.
More information about the death cafés can be found online at www.fnhospice.org.uk/dying-matters