Beach United is breaking some taboos this fall. We’re hosting a series called Meet up at the Death Diner, and yes, you read that correctly. On four Wednesday evenings, a group will gather in the BUC kitchen to eat a light dinner and then weigh into some heavy conversations. We’re going to discuss death and dying, subjects that Western culture likes to bury (yes, there will be some humour, too).
Why would we do something that sounds just a little morbid, if not downright uncomfortable?
Here’s our thinking: Death is life’s biggest challenge and we will all face it, both as in the end of our own lives and those of ones we love. Let’s stop ignoring the inevitable and increase our understanding and comfort level by sharing insights and stories. Each dinner features a discussion leader with special expertise: a hospice specialist, a doctor, a spiritual guide and a mindfulness educator.
How we think about our own deaths
Amanda Maragos is the Manager of Volunteer Programs, Education and Community Outreach for Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care & Emily’s House Children’s Hospice in Toronto. She will discuss what we would like our own death to look like and the meaning for our loved ones.
Expectations around dying
Paul Cramer, MD, has been a family doctor since 1985 and currently also provides support to residents in nursing homes. He will share his stories of supporting patients and caregivers through the dying process, including his experience with medical assistance in dying.
Our fears and hopes
Jan Kraus is a psychotherapist, nurse, and spiritual care professional who has been Manager of Spiritual Care at both Bridgepoint and St. Michael’s hospitals, and Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Pastoral Practice and Education. She will lead us in a discussion of our own fears of the dying process and our hopes for a good death.
Using mindfulness to help
Teri Henderson is a social worker and mindfulness educator who provides support to individuals, families and health-care providers at the Kensington Health Centre, Wellspring Cancer Support Network and University of Toronto. In her private practice, she uses a mindfulness-based approach to help patients through both chronic and terminal illnesses.
The dinners are open to anyone who is ready for some frank conversations, good storytelling, and new perspectives. Sign up for one or as many as you like. You can register through Eventbrite or the Beach United office at (416) 691-8082. Admission is by donation: you decide the amount.
To register on Eventbrite, please visit: