Bringing open conversation to something we all face is Roxburgh’s Death Cafe.
Facilitated by Roxburgh Medical Centre practice nurse Frans Theewis, the aim is to have honest, open and respectful conversations about the “inevitable part of life that is death,” he said.
“I’ve been nursing for many years and I’ve seen a fair amount of death and how people cope with it in many different ways.”
By “staring death in the face” there was a opportunity to to make sense of life, Mr Theewis said.
As a practice nurse Mr Theewis aimed to help people live well.
“But equally I feel it is important to understand that life is finite and there is only really one way to prepare for it and that is to talk about it.”
“I’m hoping that people will come along, some prepared to share stories, and others prepared to listen in a respectful manner.”
Mr Theewis had “no agenda” and would simply be facilitating the discussion, he said.
The not-for-profit meetings would not be a counselling session or bereavement support, but Mr Theewis would be able to provide information and contact details for people who felt they needed further help.
The concept of death cafes originated with Swiss sociologist and writer Bernard Crettaz, who ran his first Cafe Mortel in 2004. It was further developed by Englishman Jon Underwood who brought the idea to the United Kingdom and across the globe, Mr Theewis said.
Mr Theewis was planning a further cafe session in Roxburgh and was considering running them in Alexandra, as well.
Roxburgh Death Cafe
Sunday October 28
103 The Store, 2-4pm