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What is a Campfire Chat? A Death Cafe my way :)

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

A little update about my Campfire Chats for 2023: I will be hosting these on the last Friday of each month to create a consistent time and hopefully easy to remember.

UPDATE: There is going to be a break from the Campfire Chat for July & Aug. I will be back again on September 8th and 29th to make up for the break.

A Campfire Chat is a safe non-judgemental place to join in on conversations about life and death.

Why a Campfire Chat? Because I don't like rules. There is a wonderful movement out there and it is called "Death Cafe's", a place to join in on life and death conversations. But when I looked into hosting one, I was a bit overwhelmed by the rules. Then I realized I could come up with my own Chat and create the atmosphere I wanted to be a part of. So I did that and the Campfire Chat emerged. I have fond memories of sitting around a campfire just chatting about anything under the stars. So what better way to get the conversation going then in a safe place under the stars?

The idea is to have a place to come to, whether in person or online to talk about what is on your mind about living well and dying well. This brings up topics about grief, caregiving, struggles, happy moments, making the most of our time on earth, our fears, our responsibilities, our legacy and anything else that might come up.

For 2023, I am going to reach out to some friends in the areas of Death, Life Planning, Grief, Hospice and anything related in these areas. I want to host a space where we are talking about many different areas.

In the past two years I have hosted Chats using pages from The Hospice Doctors Widow, a journal by Jennifer O'Brien (she even pops in once in a while). Her book sheds light on what caregivers might experience, good and bad, easy and hard. She has a thought-provoking page on something she and her husband called "Precious Time". I highly recommend this book.

Sometimes we used the Death Deck, created by Lori and Lisa (their story), to encourage conversation and create a discussion around something you might not have thought about. It is a surprisingly fun game to play with family and friends too.

Janice Springer has joined us a few times, she read from her poems and her book is called "Mourning Coat". You can find more about her at Shinrin-Yoku Sanctuary.

I think we can create some wonderful diverse conversations in this year. I will keep you posted on who is coming to join me or if we are using any specific tools to aid in our conversations.

As an End of Life Doula, Death Doula, I have become much more aware of the fact that we live in a death-fearing society, we avoid the conversation, yet everyone is going to die. We plan for births, we plan for weddings, we plan holidays, we plan so many occasions, yet we steer clear of planning for our deaths. We are all born and we will all die. Avoiding it does not make it any less real.

It's not about being morbid, scaring people or anything like that. It's about planning what we can to actually wake us up to living more fully. Why are we waiting for a terminal illness to get our affairs in order? Why are we leaving so many hard decisions to those left behind?

I believe by talking about it, making it less taboo, we can relieve so much stress. Giving people a place to talk, so that they don't feel alone and isolated, is my goal.

These chats are not grief support, I am not trained in that, but that doesn't mean you can't express that grief. It is not a place to give you answers to your burning questions, but it is a place to feel free to acknowledge you do have questions and that they are important. You will not be given advice if you don't ask for it.

So if this interests you at all, come check it out, even if you aren't ready to jump in and talk, maybe you just want to listen. That's okay too. Grab a cup of tea/coffee or your glass of wine, even bring along a treat. We are gathering around the campfire for a friendly chat, you are invited.

You can click on Campfire Chat and check out the next scheduled time.

And It's FREE

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