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Community Death Education Class and Death Cafe, May 13

Many of us have heard of “doulas”; but what’s a “death doula”? And how is that different from an “end-of-life coach”? Those are among the questions that will be answered at the May community death education class, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13, at First Congregational Church of Falmouth on the Village Green. The Cape Cod Death Cafe will precede the presentation, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring facilitated conversation on matters relating to death, dying and mortality. Refreshments will be served.

With the rise of the “death-positive” movement, various roles have evolved to meet the need for support and guidance through the final stages of life. A panel discussion at the May 13 session will feature an end-of-life doula (Arza Goldstein), an end-of-life/grief coach (Cathy Hope), a sustainable-legacy planner and celebrant (Jasmine Tanguay) and a community death-care educator and funeral consumer advocate (Heather Massey). They will discuss their varied roles and welcome questions from listeners.

Opening the evening, at 6:30, will be a one-hour Death Cafe – an international social franchise started in Europe to encourage people to talk about the taboo subject of death. It is simply a group-directed gathering in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with refreshments, allowing us to share a respectful, engaging, thought-provoking and life-affirming conversation on any topics related to death and dying. The objective is to increase awareness with a view to lessening the fear of death while enhancing life.

A Death Cafe is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session. The monthly death education programs follow each Death Cafe and feature a wide range of topics of interest and concern related to death, dying and bereavement.The two sessions on May 13 are distinct, and folks may attend either portion, or both.

Beverages and desserts will be provided. The events are free, and all are welcome. Donations for out-of-pocket expenses and future programming are always gratefully accepted.

The events are hosted by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts and First Congregational Church of Falmouth. For more information call Heather Massey at 508-457-1612 or visit deathcafe.com.