Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cincinnati Death Cafe Encourages Discussion of Death -- and Life

by Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens

Talking about death often is considered taboo or morbid. But there is a growing worldwide movement to change that attitude about death, and Arlington Memorial Gardens is proud to help build an open dialogue in Greater Cincinnati  through our sponsorship of the Cincinnati Death Café.
You can discuss death -- the "elephant in the room" -- at free monthly meetings of the the Cincinnati death Cafe at the Arlington Memorial Gardens community room
What is the Cincinnati Death Cafe? It’s an informal place where people can come together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death over coffee, tea and snacks. The objective of the Cincinnati Death Café is "To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives." We believe that death is the "elephant in the room" which serves as the concept behind our logo. It’s a subject we would like to avoid, but something all of have to face as a natural part of life.

The Cincinnati Death Café has been meeting monthly since October in the Arlington Community Room – and participants have had some lively discussions about their views on death. It can be a comfort to be able to share your concerns, your fears, and your feelings about something that's so much a part of all of our lives.

The global Death Café movement was founded by Jon Underwood of England, and brought to the United States by Lizzy Miles, a social worker in Columbus, Ohio. There are two facilitators from our team of Family Advisors: Pete Tunnat and Cindy Maril, who have met extensively with Ms. Miles prior to the first meeting of the Cincinnati Death Café. And Ms. Maril has traveled to London to meet and consult with Mr. Underwood.

The Cincinnati Death Café is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. There is no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action.
Unless you've experienced a recent loss of a loved one, death is probably not something you care to discuss. It's hard to fault that avoidance because, let's face it, nobody wants to think and talk about their own mortality. At Arlington Memorial Gardens, we encourage family members to have “The Dialogue,” the active discussion of advance planning for your funeral and cemetery needs, and the Cincinnati Death Café helps further that discussion in the community.

A Discussion about Death -- and Life

But the Cincinnati Death Café is about life as much as it is about death. When you address the “elephant in the room,” you can learn to make the most of tour life. Many people who attend the Cincinnati Death Café meetings are just trying to figure out what life should be all about. Talking about death can be helpful and enrich your life because it helps you focus on what you value in life.

If you want to have a unique and rewarding experience, please attend a free monthly meeting of the Cincinnati Death Café. You can learn more by calling 513-521-7003 and visiting the Cincinnati Death Café page to see the upcoming schedule.

Daniel Applegate became part of the Arlington Memorial Gardens organization in 2001 and has worked in the cemetery industry since 1981, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer and then as President of the Ohio state cemetery association.  He was appointed by Ohio Governor George Voinovich and served two terms on the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio's cemetery oversight agency. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.