Café offers safe place to talk about death

Claudette Bouchard is at the Vernon library to host the Death Café.

Claudette Bouchard hosts the Death Café at the Vernon library this fall and early winter.

Claudette Bouchard hosts the Death Café at the Vernon library this fall and early winter.

The more people are aware of death, the more likely they are to live fuller lives.

This is exactly what the Death Café, soon opening at the Okanagan Regional Library’s Vernon branch, is all about – raising awareness of a subject that many find uncomfortable in an effort to empower participants to lead fuller lives.

“A Death Café is a place where people of all ages get together to openly speak about and discuss the matter of dying,” said Claudette Bouchard, Death Café host.

“The aim is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives. It also meets the need of people to discuss something about dying that they cannot, for one reason or another, discuss with family or friends or to explore the entire topic if that’s what they want.”

There is not an agenda to guide the meeting. It is simply a forum to discuss the topic over a cup of tea and cookie.

Bouchard, as the host, will facilitate the discussion only if it lags or stops. Otherwise, she will participate in the discussion just like anyone else.

“Ideally, the conversation proceeds as if I’m not even there,” said Bouchard.

The Death Café is a free drop-in program open to all ages. It will be held for five sessions this fall and early winter in the meeting room on the main floor of the Vernon library, 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Nov. 23 and Dec. 21. An afternoon session will also be held in the same location, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28.

“Come and join us to speak on this lively topic,” said Bouchard.

For more information, contact Bouchard at 250-938-4345 or