DENVER - Death is not something we want to talk about, but it's something that is crucially important.
A group in Denver is trying to make that conversation a little bit easier.
Pop-up "death cafés" is a new phenomenon gaining momentum across the nation. It's not a counseling service or a workshop for the people who have recently lost a loved one, but an anonymous and free meeting for people to come and have an honest conversation about death, how to deal with it, and what it means to them.
Organizer and facilitator Anita Larson of the Denver Death Cafe said she first got the idea by attending a death café meeting in Taos, New Mexico. She thought it would be a great idea to start one in Denver.
"Unfortunately, death is still considered a taboo in our culture and makes people quite uncomfortable," Larson said. "There is an upward trend of people wanting to talk about death but don't really know how to tackle the topic with family and friends."
Larson said a lot of people facing death have trouble communicating their end-of-life plans with their loved ones. So instead of waiting until it's too late, Larson said that the conversation should start much earlier with family and friends.
Larson said a woman attended a meeting on her 83rd birthday. She wanted to learn tips and gather resources for how to bring up death with her family and friends. Another elderly hospice patient attended with his wife because he wanted to understand how he could open the conversation.
Have a question about end of life? Larson said death cafe's are not only for the elderly but are a great way for individuals everywhere to join in on the conversation.
The Denver Death Cafe will be hosting its next meeting Sunday, Jan. 19 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Feldman Mortuary, 1673 York Street. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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