12th August 2106


Last year I published the post linked to below. It’s about a friend and fellow business owner Susan Holden and her Grief Recovery service. http://lossandgriefrecovery.co.uk/about-us/

Since then Sue has branched out. She’s now a qualified funeral celebrant.

And, linking to that, she is running a Death Cafe at the Dojo Cafe in Swindon. See below for more information.

Good grief!

“My latest qualification as a Civil Funeral Celebrant (NOCN Level 3 Diploma) QCF and member of the Institute of Civil Funerals, dovetails in neatly with my grief work.

I now see myself more as a Life Supporter. People suffer through grief when their lives are turned upside down by a negative change in some form of emotional relationship with another person or animal, or a hope, dream or expectation. This may be bereavement, divorce, miscarriage, onset of dementia, a terminal illness diagnosis or loss of a job or exam failure, for example.

How Can I Help?

I can take people through a course to understand what grief is, how it manifests itself and what one can do to work with it and move forward in life.

Through my celebrancy work I can reflect and carry out the final farewell to a loved one at a time when one wants to do the very best for someone for one last time, yet are least able to do so. I am a mirror for their wishes.

Both of these services support a person at a time in their lives when they need it most. I listen and give people the ‘tools’ to help them help themselves and to move forward again in their lives. And I do what is wished for by a family to celebrate a life that has ended and to support those that remain.

About the Death Cafe

I am also going to run a Death Café, which is a social occasion where people come together to discuss death and dying with coffee and cakes! This is an informal set up with no agendas, objectives or themes.

The purpose is to ‘increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’ Through discussion of this somewhat taboo subject, I hope to bring people to a point of appreciating their present life and being more comfortable around the subject of death, which is a certainty for us all!

I’m offering to give talks to groups like W. I’s, Rotary, carers, hospices, any charity to do with dementia, Alzheimer’s, care homes, religious groups, bereavement groups, funeral planners, will writers and NHS employee associations, to name but a few. The talk is around what choices people have over their funeral and how it can be important to talk about it and plan for it.”

Visit the Death Café

When? – Tuesday 13th September 2016 and then monthly

Where? – Dojo Café, Crowood House, Gypsy Lane, Swindon, SN2 8YY


Time? –      From 7pm to 8.30pm

Just turn up!

Contact Sue:

01793 978 617
07941 273 589


Jon Underwood in USA founded the idea of death cafes based on the work of Bernard Crettaz a Swiss sociologist who started the first one in 2004. In the last 3 years there have been over 1400 death cafes in 26 countries.”

There’s recently been an article in The Independent on the subject of Death Cafes. Read more about that here: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-death-cafe-movement-tea-and-mortality-8082399.html

Here’s an extract:

‘… But despite this ingrained reluctance there are signs of burgeoning interest in exploring death. I attended my first death cafe recently and was surprised to discover that the gathering of goths, emos and the terminally ill that I’d imagined, turned out to be a collection of fascinating, normal individuals united by a wish to discuss mortality.

At a trendy coffee shop called Cakey Muto in Hackney, east London, taking tea (and scones!) with death turned out to be rather a lot of fun. What is believed to be the first official British death cafe took place in September last year, organised by former council worker Jon Underwood. Since then, around 150 people have attended death cafes in London and the one I visited was the 17th such happening..’