Hospice hosts 'Death cafe' to tackle taboos over tea and cake

Reporter:

Terry Canty

A St Asaph-based hospice is helping the local community to open up to one another and make plans for our end of life by hosting a so-called Death Cafe.

Often the team at St Kentigern Hospice witness how hard it is for those left behind when a loved one dies, explained a hospice spokesperson.

They want to honour their wishes and sometimes these are unknown.

It is often too late when we come to think and talk about death.

It is usually only when we know we will be affected by it in one way or the other, usually when we are dealing with heightened emotions and the subject is often too raw.

We then therefore associate this conversation with sadness, loss and often fear.

A huge part of the broad care provided at St Kentigern Hospice is focused on improving resilience and to help people improve their quality of life for as long as possible.

The team have developed various services that aid and support the communities of North Wales to be better prepared in times of adversity.

This new initiative is known internationally as a Death Café.

Vita Zilite, social worker, at St Kentigern Hospice, said: “Families often avoid subject of death because they don’t know how to talk about it.

“They fear upsetting their loved ones and some fear that there may be a link that talking about it, may make it happen sooner, which of course is not true.

“This is an opportunity for people who are not affected by end of life care and decisions to come to a safe, relaxing and welcoming space at the hospice to drink tea, eat cake and talk about the subject of ‘death’ in a small and friendly group.”

The Death Café will be a group led discussion in a friendly atmosphere with no agenda and follows the “the Death café model developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid.

The Death Cafes are being held monthly on the first Friday of the month from 2pm until 4pm with the next being held on Friday November 3.

Cakes and tea, and coffee is provided, and a donation of £2 to cover the cost of the refreshments.

If you are not affected by a recent bereavement, you may have been wondering about the subject yourself, but have not been able to express yourself.

To find out more about the Death Cafes contact telephone Vita Zilite on 01745 585221 or email vita.zilite@ stkentigernhospice.org.uk.

Email:

terry.canty@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Free Press

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