Death over coffee and cake

I am studying Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland. In Ireland, the ritual of the death, removal and burial is very much part of life yet the subject is still avoided as much as possible. I took your concept and adapted it for a experiential presentation on Loss and Death. I wanted to create a scene of normality whilst talking about a subject that we all avoid.

So I had a tea party. I invited my fellow students and lecturer to tea to talk about death and loss. I designed invitation cards, menus and a cookbook. On the day I set up a table for 10 people with coffee, tea and home baked chocolate cake and encourage them to talk about death over coffee and cake.

Their faces were priceless at first but as the cake was eaten and the coffee drunk, the conversation settled into our feelings and thoughts about death. As counsellors, we deal with death with our clients but our own death – well, may be not. Each person realised that they normalised feelings of grief for their clients yet had never really thought about their own death much.

So thank you. Your concept gave me inspiration for my presentation and encouraged an openess around a difficult topic.

September 13th, 2014