ONE Viveash resident is helping normalise conversations around death a different way – by facilitating a death café.
Since June, Samgiita Hope has been organising monthly catchups at Poste Café in Guildford to help encourage healthy discussions around death and dying.
“Many people haven’t heard of a death café and are quite confronted by the name,” she said.
“That’s very typical because death is still considered a taboo topic that not many want to talk about.
“But surprisingly, since starting one up in Guildford back in June this year, many have attended and word is spreading.”
A death café is a community gathering where people – often strangers – converse over tea and cake and discuss death.
The current death café model was created by John Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, who held the original death cafés in Hackney, East London until his death in 2017, after which Ms Barsky Reid took over, according to the death café website.
The death café website states they have no staff and are run on a volunteer basis. Since the first in Hackney, death cafés have spread globally, with the website listing 730 death cafes in Australia, alongside others in North America, South America and Europe.
Ms Hope said that the Guildford death café hosted Palliative Care WA in September, who discussed everything to know about advance health directives.
“We need a community discussion regarding all things death and dying,” she said.
“But this isn’t specifically a grief and bereavement group, but those who are grieving and bereaved can come along and feel supported.
“Most importantly, it’s a space where everyone can come and feel supported and comfortable.
“It’s a safe space to allow the conversation to flow over a cuppa and cake.”
The Guildford death café meets on the last Saturday of every month from 2.30 to 4pm.
The next one will be held on November 25, and Ms Hope asks those interested to RSVP via