Death Cafe comes to RosevilleBy: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
Talking about death is very difficult for most people; talking about death over coffee with others might not be. ‘Death Cafe’ is a place to talk about death in a relaxed and agenda-free
setting, over tea and cake.
It’s a place for respectful, serious, meaningful, tender and funny
conversations. A ‘Death Café’ is a group directed discussion of death with no
agenda or objective according to Sierra College Instructor and lead organizer for the Roseville Death Cafe Carol Drebin.
This will be the first Death Cafe in Roseville since 2014 according to Drebin. Others have recently taken place in Auburn (2017), Carmichael and Sacramento. Death Cafes are featured all over the country and the world wide with scheduled events from Toronto, London, Iowa and Roseville, CA according to the website. According to Drebin, the fact that one was able to get organized for Roseville is a big deal. There is no charge to attend.
“Since the first Death Cafe in 2011 over 6,000 of these have taken place in 56 countries.
Our work has enabled tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people to have meaningful conversations about death in a comfortable and open setting,” Drebin said.
“This is not grief counseling or a support group. It’s a discussion of death with no agenda, no speaker, and no promotion. I act as a facilitator to keep everyone involved and keep the discussion moving. I receive no payment,” Drebin said. “Donations for cake and tea are welcome, but not required. Everything is out of my pocket.
According to Drebin, these events help foster real positive change for people who struggle talking about death, “From events I have attended in the past, people welcome the opportunity to share with others what their thoughts and experiences (with death) have been like. When a parent was in hospice, how they feel about funeral services, whether they need to be embalmed and so forth.
The events themselves create an environment of safety and comfort according to Drebin, “It seems easier to have these conversations in a "neutral" setting, since family members are often reluctant, or too emotional to have such a conversation. Some attendees are shy and just listen and need to be encouraged to speak. Many repeat their attendance and bring others. That is what I hope will happen with the October event (In Roseville). I would repeat it again in November.”
Death is a difficult topic (in this country),” Drebin explained. “In other parts of the world, it is a natural part of life. So anyone who is brave enough to take a class to learn more (In the U.S.) deserves to be recognized! I wanted people to understand the importance of expressing their wishes;burial, cremation, etc, while they are alert and have the capacity. Drebin also encourages individuals to visit the site www.talkaboutyourfinalplans.com
The Death Cafe will be October 9th. Drebin’s next class is September 20th at Sierra College Community Education in Roseville.