Talk about death over a slice of cake and a cuppa

The Thame Death Cafe will run on September 10 from 5.30pm
The Thame Death Cafe will run on September 10 from 5.30pm

A group that aims to get people talking about the taboo subject of death is paying a visit to Thame.

A Death Cafe will be set up in the Thame Barns Centre to allow people who want to talk about dying to speak in a supportive environment – all over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The model was developed in 2010 by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz.

Death Cafe facilitator Claire Turnham said: “We find that people are actually very hungry to talk about what some can find an uncomfortable subject. We hold the cafes on a not for profit basis – we are here simply to talk. We generally find that people think the sessions are positive, uplifting and life-affirming experiences.”

Claire, who is running the cafe in Thame on September 10 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, said: “There is a real liberating energy that comes with talking about death.

“All that we ask is that people are respectful of other peoples’ beliefs.”

Claire said the main aim of the cafes are to help people make the most of their ‘finite lives’.

Just this week the phenomenon has reached its 1,000 event, with the craze sweeping across the UK, Asia, the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The meetings have been held in a range of places including people’s homes, cemeteries and even a yurt.

Claire said: “When people arrive, we welcome everyone and explain what the cafe is about with a bit of background, and then we open up for chat.

“There is no agenda, and we’re not trying to convert anyone. We just want to encourage discussion.”

The meeting, on behalf of Oxford Befriending for Life, will cost £3.50.

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