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Kalein’s Death Café Series returns to Nelson

There is an appetite for these discussions and the session will fill up quickly, say the organizers.
Death cafés are part of an international movement that began in 2011, and there are now over 5,000 registered cafés around the world. Photo submitted

The Death Cafe series will return to the Kalein Centre this fall. Three cafés are scheduled for September 26, October 24 and November 28, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Kalein Centre in Rosemont. Everyone is welcome to attend one, two, or all three cafés.

Death cafés are part of an international movement that began in 2011, and there are now over 5,000 registered cafés around the world. As the founder saw it, “Western society has long outsourced discussions about death to doctors, nurses, priests and undertakers. The result is that we have lost control of one of the most significant events we ever have to face.” Death cafés offer participants the opportunity to explore topics related to death and dying, share personal experiences, and engage in discussions that encourage deeper understandings about our mortality.

The popularity of death cafés in the Nelson community continues to grow.

“We knew there was a hunger in the community to have meaningful conversations about death, but we were still amazed at how quickly the cafés filled up. We expect that the fall series will, likewise, fill quickly,” said Sandi Leatherman, board member at Kalein Centre.

To describe what participants can expect at the cafés, one of the previous death café facilitators said, “I have been deeply moved to see and hear what people have discovered, and by what they have given to each other in this living conversation. By slowing down and inviting a deeper listening, we open ourselves to uncharted territory. In this space, we can support one another to find the courage to stay present to the tenderness, heartbreak, love, fear and gratitude, which are all part of this mystery of life and death.”

When asked about their time together at last fall’s Death Cafés, some of the participant comments included:

“I learned that listening is an art.”

“I think by sitting with people who are willing and interested in exploring death, our culture can begin to change in humble ways.”

“The setting and facilitation allowed for people to really open up. I was so surprised that people were so willing to share so deeply.”

Death cafés are limited to 25 participants. Participation is by donation and advance registration is required. To register, or for more information about Kalein’s fall Death Café Series, please visit or call Kalein Centre at 250-352-3331.

Kalein Centre is a not-for-profit, registered charity that envisions health and end-of-life care that embraces death as an intimate part of living fully.