When Karen Adler sits down for tea and cake this morning, death will be the added sweetener.
In an attempt to help lift the taboo on life’s greatest mystery the Greta woman will take part in the increasingly popular Death Cafe movement which, today, coincides with the inaugural Dying to Know Day.
“After my mother died I ended up with depression and anxiety for a number of years and this made me realise that life would be easier if we take death off the list of taboo topics,” Ms Adler, 58, said.
“Different societies and different cultures deal with death better than we do. We tend to sweep it under the carpet where in other cultures death is more of a communal event and it’s often seen as a departure into a better life.
“There are better ways of doing death. Death is painful and it’s always going to be painful because if you love someone you are going to suffer when they die. But there are ways of making the most painful thing that’s going to happen to your life easier.”
The Death Cafe movement originated in Switzerland in 2004 and is gradually making its way around the globe. Ms Adler will attend today’s Death Cafe at Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast but she believes Maitland will also become home to its own Death Cafe.
“This is a whole international movement and I’m pretty damn sure it’s going to be springing up like mushrooms across the Hunter including Maitland,” she said.
“We have an ageing population and our baby boomers are dropping off the twig and that’s why this issue is such a force in society because there are vast numbers of people dealing with their own mortality.
“But basically it’s just time for us to talk about this.”
Dying to Know Day encourages all Australians to take action toward more open and honest conversations about death, dying and bereavement.
A Dying to Know Day survey revealed that while 70 per cent of us die in hospital, most of us would prefer to die at home.
n Karen Adler will organise a workshop – The Art of Death – at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery on September 6 between 6pm and 9pm. For more information about the Death Cafe email Kim Ryder at firstname.lastname@example.org