You can find more information at Death Cafe and from this Star Tribune article.
My reason for hosting a Death Cafe comes from my experience with the dying process. Accepting that death was coming for me now, early in my life, was difficult to embrace. What I found more difficult was the anxiety and denial of those around me. People are good at heart and wanted to respond to my situation, but this mostly came to me through a filter of fear. Prayers, bible verses, miracle cures, bugle calls to fight…this is what I got. I know each response came from a sincere place but with death staring me in the face, I wanted someone to look me in the eyes, hold my hand, ask me how it feels, and to listen intently. Death seems to stir so much fear that people can’t be present with it. It is reasonable that we will be caught off balance and fearful in response to rare catastrophic events – terrorism, plane crashes, tsunamis – but why with a common, 100% certain event like death? Dying is difficult, but the most difficult thing is feeling like you have to walk the entire path alone.
Now, three cheers for the human heart! I have had a marvelous year and many, many people have “come to the table”, we have shared meals, we have shared presence, and I have been asked many meaningful questions. We are designed to be connected, we feel better when connected, especially during the dying process. My blog has helped me connect and invite into my experience many loving and supportive people. Death Cafe is another way to prepare people to be present for the certain moment when death shows up for them or someone they love. For those of us preparing to leave, there is much joy in the celebration of love and a life well lived, but a celebration means that people need to have the courage to gather round and dance.
Death Cafe - June 17th at 7pm
First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Av. S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Rev. Justin Schroder