Florence Nightingale Hospice is hosting a number of Death Cafés across Buckinghamshire from 14th May to 19th May to mark Dying Matters Week.

“In our work, we find there is a lot of fear and worry around death and what happens when you are dying,” explains Liz Monaghan, Matron at Florence Nightingale Hospice. “People find it really hard to talk with their families about death and what they want for the end of their lives, even when they are at the end of life or have been living with a terminal condition for some time.”

Dying Matters is a coalition of organisations which was set up to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life. “As a Hospice, we are well placed to help people learn how to plan for death, how to talk about it and start those conversations, and also, how to support people who are bereaved,” says Liz.

A Death Café is an informal discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session whose founders aim to “increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives.” The Death Café was founded by Jon Underwood based on the work of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz.

“We are holding Death Café events so people can just turn up, and say what’s on their mind about death, or ask questions or just listen and get some food for thought,” Liz Monaghan says, “It’s about breaking down the taboo around talking about death to create a healthier emotional environment for people who are facing death, whether that’s their own or a loved one’s.”

Death Cafes are being held in Amersham, Marlow, Thame, Buckingham and Aylesbury. Click here for more information about the Dying Matters movement and the Florence Nightingale Hospice Death Cafés.