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Inaugural death cafe

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Inaugural death cafe

AN evening of conversation about death and dying will take place in Castle Douglas next month.

Academics from the University of Glasgow have teamed up with Age Scotland to hold a death cafe to mark Death Awareness Week.
They hope the rare event will give local people the chance to share their thoughts and experiences in a safe and relaxing environment.
Iain Howie, regional ambassador for Age Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “Death should no longer be regarded as a taboo subject. Death is inevitable for all of us, but reluctance to discuss the issue can lead to unnecessary distress and confusion regarding end of life care and funeral wishes.
“Death cafes provide an ideal setting for individuals to learn what choices are available in a casual, informative setting.”
And Professor David Clark, founder of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, added: “Death cafés are increasing in popularity and we are helping different venues and groups to organise them in Dumfries and Galloway.
“In my experience, death cafés are very rewarding. You get to tell your stories and express your opinions and experiences about a matter that affects us all, something which we don’t often get to do in our normal social circles.”
The Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, based at the Dumfries Crichton campus, is investigating the rise in popularity of death cafés, which are believed to have been started in 2004 by Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz.
The Castle Douglas event takes place at the Designs Cafe on May 9, 7-9 pm and is free and open to all.
Information will be available on the night for anyone who would like to seek professional advice on issues such as how to write a will or an advance directive.

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