Ladysmith’s first Death Café will be held on Thursday, March 14, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Hardwick Hall, 232 High Street, Ladysmith.
At a Death Café, people gather informally to eat cake, drink coffee or tea and talk about mortality in a safe, respectful, confidential space. The Café is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.
Since 2011, Death Cafés have been held in 65 countries, often as continuing events. The purpose, according to a worldwide website, is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their finite lives.” While there are no invited speakers and no particular agenda, facilitators will be on hand to introduce the session and provide a basic framework for conversation.
Local hosts are Gale Lawrence and Alexa Winchell. Lawrence is a retired attorney and former volunteer at LRCA, Winchell has a background in psychotherapy. Both women have a long-time interest in end-of-life issues and have attended other Death Cafés.
Signup sheets will be available for anyone interested in being trained as a volunteer facilitator. Finally, there will be cake. There is no charge for the Death Café. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To register or further information, write to: ladysmithdeathcafe [at] gmail [dot] com.