Death and Diversity at Death Cafe in Rittenhouse Square

Death Cafe

Posted on October 31, 2013 by Rachel Zeldin

The 2nd Death Café Philadelphia & Greater Philadelphia took place Thursday October 24th with a “wonderful” and “thought-provoking” gathering at COSI Rittenhouse.

Hosted by Simcha Raphael of the DA’AT Institute and Rachel Zeldin of I’m Sorry to Hear.com, this diverse group of Philadelphians converged to have, as our participants noted, “open”, “authentic,” and “fascinating” conversations centered around personal & professional experiences, fears, wishes, and how to get the most out of the life that we have been given.

This was a very diverse set of Philadelphians. Twenty-five people were in attendance ranging from early 20s to 70s, representing a wide variety of ethnicities & backgrounds. Listening to the various threads of conversation, we were struck by the diversity of personal and professional interests that brings people out to participate in a Death Café. Some people wrestled with personal loss and the reality of mortality due to illness; others are working in some aspect of healthcare, mental health, or funeral preparation. But together we are all wrestling with and making sense of the human encounter with death.

We are grateful for the format which the Death Café provides and the open, honest, and inquisitive people that it draws.  As Simcha explains, "coffee, cake and conversations about death! How simple, and yet how profound!”

Kudos to each of the participants for being part of the process of creating a society in which death need not be feared or ignored but seen as a normal part of the experience of being alive and being human! Join us next month as we take over a new location and re-open the discussion. Join the Death Cafe Philadelphia Meetup group to keep up-to-date on event details, keep in touch with your peers, and RSVP for the next death cafe.