Dying Matters Awareness Week offers support and a chance to talk at North Devon Death cafes

Discussing death need not be morbid and a series of pop-up Death Cafes seek to prove just that.

As part of Dying Matters Awareness Week from May 8-14, there will be Death Cafes at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) and The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington.

The events are an opportunity for people to come together to talk about death in a relaxed, safe and social environment.

They are organised by Annee Bury of Befriending Dying and Nixie James-Scott of Unique Ceremonies.

Annee said: “Death Cafés are an opportunity to talk about a topic that we often don’t feel we have permission to discuss - it is a very personal exploration. They aren’t therapy sessions, and aren’t a replacement for bereavement counselling.”

Nixie added: “Talking about dying won’t make it happen. Instead it can help remove our fear of death, and far from being morbid, these events are open and supportive and sometimes even funny.”

The first café is at The Plough on Tuesday (May 9) from 1.30-3pm. The second will be held at NDDH on Wednesday, May 10 in the Raleigh Galley Restaurant from 3-4.30pm.

All are welcome to go along to either free event.

There is also a workshop at The Plough called Funerals to Die For on Sunday, May 14.

A one-woman show called Outside the Box with Liz Rothschild is playing at The Plough at 7.30pm that evening. It is described as ‘funny, wise and taboo busting’.

During a Death Café, people can share personal experiences, explore and discuss what death and dying means for them, as well as what we may need to consider if we or someone we know is dying.

Karen Moss, clinical nurse specialist in the palliative care team at NDDH, said: “During the week we want to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and we will be signposting people to the support available to them.”

To book the Plough workshop or show tickets, call 01805 624624. For more information about the cafes or the subject, call Annee on 07812 179059 or Nixie on 07974 119428 or visit the Pop Up Death Café Devon Facebook page.