This month Seniors West of the Tetons is adding Death Café to its line-up of events, giving members of the community a chance to gather and talk freely about death.
Death Café is a meeting where anyone (not just seniors) can gather to enjoy refreshments (specifically cake) and have a free-flowing discussion about mortality. SWOT’s three-month series starts on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Driggs Senior Center. The series will continue with tentatively scheduled dates of Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. While everyone is welcome, SWOT requests that if you want to bring a child along to participate, please call ahead of time. It’s important to note that Death Café is not a bereavement or support group.
Death Café is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Jon Underwood based on the works of Bernard Crettaz, and meetings are hosted around the world. According to Death Café’s website, deathcafe.com, the objective of the get-togethers is to “increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
SWOT executive director River Osborn said she first learned about the program from Alta librarian Eva Dahlgren, and was excited to implement it once the senior center reopened for public gatherings earlier this year.
“I feel that conversations about death are so important,” Osborn said. “No one is getting out of here alive, so why not talk about all the scary or exciting thoughts and feelings we have around it. The more we talk about death the less taboo it becomes. Also there will be cake, and who doesn’t love that?”