Rachael: “Hey Lenny, wanna go to a Death Cafe?” Strange invitation? Yep! But Lenny’s not one to turn down a weird adventure, so off we went to our local Death Cafe, held in the chapel of the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
Death Cafes are a gathering of people who discuss their philosophies, experiences, and questions about Death. They are inspired by the old ‘salons’, or informal discussion groups, of Europe.
Green-Wood Cemetery’s funeral director/death educator, Amy Cunningham, opened the program. Amy chose her career path after observing her family’s warm and fitting send-off of a close family member. She brings a loving, holistic, hippie-ish vibe to her serious role.
Our fellow Death Cafe participants comprised a patchwork quilt of experiences and belief systems. Fueled by delicious peanut butter cookies from the snack table, we talked.
We met the daughter of a small town cemetery owner. She was raised around death, but had never feared it until she turned 70. She joined the Death Cafe to discuss her feelings.
We also met a woman whose brother had been murdered. She came to the Death Cafe seeking clarity and comfort.
Other participants included a social worker, a college student, and a geriatric hospice practitioner.
Our host, Amy Cunningham, closed us out in an empathic and respectful way: with a beautiful poem about death.
Ready for some levity (or maybe just ready for more treats?), we enjoyed a second helping of peanut butter cookies before exiting out through the dark, beautiful cemetery.
#intergenerational #seniors #senior #oldisgold #intergenerationallearning #intergenerationalliving #intergenerationalhealing #octogenarian #octogenarians #brooklyn #cemetery
#cemeteries #grave #gravesite #graveyard #graveyards #greenwoodcemetery #greenwoodcemeterychapel #greenwoodcemeterybrooklyn #death #dying #deathcafenyc #deathcafe #deathcafes #seniorcitizen #seniorcitizens #nycseniors