Cafe Mortal

An exploration into the changing attitudes surrounding death and dying

Café Mortal is an informal monthly gathering providing a comfortable context to overcome personal fears and explore changing attitudes surrounding death and dying — our own, as well as family and friends. Open to the public with limited seating and no charge to attend, meetings take place the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. usually at Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro unless otherwise noted. In addition to open discussions, Cafe Mortal invites guest speakers when appropriate and may take field trips to destinations of interest such as funeral homes or to watch movies with themes around death and dying. This differs from typical Death Cafes which people gather to eat cake, drink tea and participate in a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes.

On November 2nd, we will meet at Scuppernong to create decorative items for our Cafe Mortal altar (ofrenda), to be exhibited at the 7th Annual Día de Muertos/ Day of the Dead, November 3rd and 4th at the Greensboro Public Library (219 N Church Street). Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead is presented by Casa Azul each year. The annual celebration takes place in Mexico and parts of the United States on or around November 2nd. On this holiday, people remember and honor their deceased loved ones. You may bring to our Cafe Mortal meeting a photo of the loved one you wish to honor and any small items that were special to them to add to the display. We will use them during the 2-day exhibition and return them to you following the event on Saturday.  Learn more about Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead  and this year’s events.

“This wonderful group of concerned professionals like Lia Miller, Sue Sassman, Deborah Parker, Steve Blackwell, Ivan Cutler, and all of the rest of the folks, helped me when I didn’t know where else to turn. 

I live in High Point and my sister and her husband lived in a house in Greensboro that was falling down around them. My sister was on dialysis three days a week and her husband was an amputee. She had a fall and went into the hospital. The day that she got out of the hospital, her husband called 911 in the middle of the night and went into the hospital because of a blood sugar incident. From the hospital he went on to dialysis three days a week, then to rehab, then he passed away. I ended up having to take over every aspect of their lives. I was overwhelmed. 

Several months before these events, I had started attending Cafe Mortal and I credit the people that I met while attending those meetings with literally “saving my sanity & my health.” Without the information they shared in those meetings and their willingness to share contacts and what they knew, I would have been lost.

So thanks to Lia Miller & that rare character Stimp Hawkins for having the foresight and  commitment to make Cafe Mortal & the Creative Aging Network a reality. Greensboro should be thankful that these folks are addressing a topic that affects every family.”

David H. Williams, High Point, NC

Cafe Mortal is a program of Creative Aging Network-NC with sponsorship from Lambeth-Troxler Community Care. It was inspired by a Swiss discussion group of the same name, arising from the French ‘Philosophy Cafés” that originated in the 20th century. In other areas, the discussion group is known as Death Cafés with the similar purpose of establishing a forum where a typically taboo subject becomes acceptable and inspiring. To learn more contact Lia Miller at 336-253-0856 or lia@can-nc.org.

Click here to get the resources you need.

Listen to Stimp Hawkins and Lia Miller on WUNC State of Things http://wunc.org/post/greensboro-man-celebrates-life-plans-death#stream/0

Links of Interest

Cafe Mortal Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/CafeMortal

Dying to Talk  https://dyingtotalk.wordpress.com/tag/cafe-mortal/

Death Cafe http://deathcafe.com/

Death Cafe Asheville https://www.facebook.com/deathcafeasheville/

Death Cafe Greensboro https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=death%20cafe%20greensboro

Death Cafe Raleigh https://www.facebook.com/deathcaferaleigh/

Death Cafe Winston-Salem https://www.facebook.com/DeathCafeWSFC/

Death Over Dinner www.deathoverdinner.org

The Conversation Project http://www.conversationproject.org/

Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Piedmont http://www.fcapiedmont.org/ 

MOST and DNR forms http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/EMS/dnrmost.html

 

 

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