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Medical Edge: Death Cafe

Updated: Wednesday, February 19 2014, 05:29 PM EST
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Liz Bonis) -- Marilyn O'Keefe had been a teacher for decades when one day she said a student of hers developed a potentially malignant cancer.

"It opened up a whole area of thought that I hadn't ever gone to before," she said.

That area of thought was about dying, especially when kids started asking about their friend.  So Marilyn decided to attend a death cafe.  It's a national trend catching on quickly around the country. 

Death Cafe coordinator, Pete Tummat, said, "You know there's an old saying in our industry that in the state of Ohio, ten out of ten people will die.  So the Death Cafe gives people a safer, comfortable place to talk about the things that are inevitable.  You know we all have to face it someday."

The Death Cafe is a monthly get together which includes coffee, candy, and even cookies often baked to make you smile.  It is important to note that this is not a bereavement program; although they do have programs for referral for counselors and support.  This is a program to get people together to talk about something that we do not talk about very often, dying.

Tummat said, "I just want to express to them that it's a very safe place to talk about death, what it means to you, the death experiences that you've had or maybe in your profession you deal with death and family and friends don't want to hear your stories and you need a safe place to talk about it."

A safe place for a taboo subject, that's simply easier when shared. Medical Edge: Death Cafe


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