Gloucester pop-up death café: Fear of dying, how you live is how you die, and the need for clear language by doctors

Gloucester Docks
Gloucester Docks

The tenth pop-up death café on Mystic Moon took place in sight of two magnificent tall ships currently being refurbished in Gloucester docks.

Similar to all the previous pop-up death cafes, we spoke about a  variety of topics. So this is an overview of what we talked about.

Our café started with one of the group confessing, in spite of being an ex-nurse and having been present at several friends and relatives’ deaths, how fearful she was of her own death. ‘I was conscious that I was making myself think of anything else but my death as I drove here. I feel very frightened even admitting to myself that it’s going to happen to me one day.’

‘I feel the same,’ said another participant. ‘I can’t imagine not being here. But even more scary is the thought that no-one might want to come to my funeral.’

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Conversations with Parents, Romanticised Eulogies, and Talking About Stillbirth

Mystic Moon moored at Paddington
Mystic Moon, Paddington Basin

This pop-up was requested by four psychotherapists, three of whom were about to enter their final year of training.

What a delightfully enthusiastic group. The trainees came with paper and pen, ready to take notes, but these were soon cast aside as they opened up to their own personal experiences of death and dying.

We talked about a wide range of topics, so I will be just highlighting the main points.

None of the group had been to a death café before, and had been surprised by the reaction of friends and family when they told them what they were doing.

One said it had helped to open up a conversation with a close friend who spoke about a funeral that she not previously mentioned.

Another said that when she told her friend about it, the friend looked aghast, saying ‘How weird.’ ‘She couldn’t get her head around why I would want to do something like this,’ she laughed. ‘But she was certainly curious to know what it was going to be like.’

Continue reading “Conversations with Parents, Romanticised Eulogies, and Talking About Stillbirth”

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