(from left) Co-organizers of the Okanagan Death Cafe,Sue Berlie, shamanic coach, death walker and psychopomp, Claudette Bouchard, end of life doula and life energy coach and Alison Moore, a life-cycle celebrant and sacred passages doula photo: Sydney Morton

The Okanagan Death Café returns for another season

The event allows participants to explore the topic of death, discuss wills and listen to each other

The Okanagan Death Café is back.

Alison Moore, a life-cycle celebrant and sacred passages doula, Sue Berlie, shamanic coach, death walker and psychopomp and Claudette Bouchard, end of life doula and life energy coach scheduled four cafes through the Okanagan and held the first of the year in KelownaJan. 20.

Death Cafés were created in 2004 and have grown in popularity. The events offer opportunities for conversations about death, the dying process and preparations to be had. Through guided in-depth conversations with each other, participants find solace and a new understanding of a usually taboo subject. Currently, 7,598 Death Cafes have been hosted in 64 countries since its creation.

Berlie and Moore were drawn to the worldwide Death Cafes because of their grassroots nature, and the high demand for people wanting to get more involved with the death and caring of their friends and family. They were also getting sick of the current “business” of dying.

RELATED: The rise of the Okanagan Death Cafe

Ana Luyben attended looking to promote green burial in the Okanagan and was looking to meet other people that may be able to help her work toward her goal.

“To be honest I have been following the death positivity movement for a year, it’s a growing movement in western society, mostly because people have been getting stuck with huge funeral costs,” said Luyben. “A lot of people find it hard to talk about dying, it’s a very taboo subject. We feel isolated a lot and it’s really something that the community needs to embrace.”

Funerals cost somewhere between $1,000 to $12,000 according to Canadian Death Services Online, and B.C. currently has the highest rates for cremation in Canada.

The Green Burial Society of Canada lists the five principals of green burials as: no embalming, direct earth burials, ecological restoration and conservation, communal memorialization, optimize land use and the re-use of graves.

Direct earth burials are encouraged by the society where a body is wrapped in a shroud made of natural, biodegradable fibers and buried, caskets or containers may be used as long as it’s made of fully biodegradable materials. Grave markers must be made of naturally sourced material and the grave will be surrounded by indigenous plant material.

READ ALSO: Spike of potential drug ODs on Kelowna’s party weekends

Louise Moore found she was able to have a conversation about death and dying without her friends or family diverting the conversation.

“The topic is an uncomfortable one and sometimes you don’t have anyone to talk about it with. Your family doesn’t want to talk about you dying and friends might think that’s morbid or they might just make jokes about it so it’s an opportunity to talk about it,” said Louise Moore, who found that everyone she spoke with were worried about a common component of death.

“It’s the uncertainty. We are all going to die, we just don’t know when or how.”

READ ALSO: Mental health video marks two years since death of B.C. bull rider Ty Pozzobon

As facilitators, Alison Moore, Berlie and Bouchard host, guide participants and float around the different groups to keep them on topic and help them explore their feelings. More than 30 people attended the event Sunday afternoon.

“From what I heard there were some really interesting conversations that flowed quite well and covered a lot of different topics. One group I went into was talking about de-cluttering because people don’t want to do it,” said Berlie.

Moore find that with each Death Café they hold more and more people want to discuss home funerals and medical assisted dying.

“People want to talk about it, they want to talk about what they want, they want to contemplate what they should do if they are in that position or if a loved one is looking to enact it. They want to know what their role is and what is really involved,” said Moore.

READ ALSO: Two sons lost to the opioid crisis, a mother calls for change

“It’s not a conversation one picks up with a friend,” said Bouchard.

Seventy per cent of North Americans prefer to die at home, and only seven per cent said they wanted to die in a hospice or palliative care home, in a survey conducted by Donna Wilson, at the University of Alberta. Wilson also teaches nursing and researches dying in Canada and the survey also found 60 per cent of Canadians actually die in hospital and 10 per cent die in nursing homes.

The Okanagan Death Café will tour the Okanagan, making its next stop in Vernon Feb. 24 and again May 18, it will be held in Summerland March 24 and will return to Kelowna April 27.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oliver man sentenced to 18 months for two firearm offences

Waylon Faulhafer prohibited from possessing a firearm for life and issued DNA order

Rascal Flatts extend summer tour to Penticton

Rascal Flatts create a Forever Summer Playlist tour extending it into the fall

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan truck thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mainly sunny

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of showers tomorrow across the Okanagan

VIDEO: Sexting teens at risk of depression and substance abuse, Canadian study says

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Video: Shuswap Search and Rescue airlifts injured mountain biker

North Vancouver woman falls on trail in North Shuswap

Shuswap police request public’s help after cat shot in shoulder

Chase RCMP seeking information, small calibre bullets lodged in shoulder of pet

Woman brings mortar round to Shuswap RCMP detachment

Chase officers contact the Canadian Forces to dispose of the suspected explosive device

Arrested suspect connected to string of Okanagan robberies

Man arrested after failed robbery at Enderby store may be involved in four other such crimes

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

UPDATE: Grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

The blaze is just off Lower Glenrosa Road

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

Most Read