April 10, 2024

Tackling the taboo of death over a cuppa and cake

A new cuppa and chat session at a seaside theatre is set to tackle a taboo subject that everyone faces but usually avoids speaking about. Death.

Sheringham Little Theatre is the latest in a growing number of venues holding a Death Café, in the hope of breaking down fears and helping people deal with the only other certainty in life other than taxes.

It is chance for relaxed, open, non-judgmental chat about death and dying – and the importance of making the most of our finite lives.

It is not designed as a place for grief counselling, stressed organiser Teresa Verney.

An initial session is being run on Wednesday May 1 from 2pm-3pm in the theatre’s Hub coffee bar and Teresa hopes that future meetings will happen every two or three months.

“Let’s break the taboo surrounding conversations about death and dying, and make it a life-affirming experience,” she explained.

“We can share our thoughts. We can talk about the practicalities of making plans for our own or our loved one’s death and a myriad of other things that come to mind as soon as we begin.”

Teresa is well known as a local community singing teacher, with a weekly Sing for Joy group at East Runton, but has had a full life with varied careers ranging being a spinner and weaver, social worker, and psychotherapist, to a professional classical oboe player and teacher.

“I’ve always had an interest in life, and death, and for many years have loosely followed a Buddhist way, which regards death as not an end but part of the life process. When my mother died three years ago she went peacefully, regarding death as her ‘next great adventure’.”

Teresa discovered the Death Café movement about 10 years ago, soon after it began in Edinburgh in 2011. There are now more than 17,000 in 89 countries. It is something she has been wanting to bring to her home town for a while, but has only recently found time to organise it.

“Having conversations about death is a really healthy thing to do,” adds Teresa, who will lead the Death Café session before encouraging people to break into smaller groups to talk.

“Come with an open mind, and a light heart. I promise that it won’t be doom and gloom,” she added.

For more information contact Teresa on teresaverney1@gmail.com

Learn more about the Death Café movement here

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