Yes. A death cafe. Seriously!

After losing my husband, father and brothers, I have become a death guru.

So why a death cafe?

The answer is simple. It is because I am a grief maestro that I am perfectly aligned to host.

The more pertinent question is why.

So, here’s my thinking:

I have lost the pillars that held me up and loved me unconditionally. Since, I have been searching to make sense of all this tragedy and I honestly still don’t know the reason & doubt that I ever shall.

What I do know is that I must find a way to honour these men.

Initially I set out to help widows move forward with their lives. I became a coach so I would have more skills to offer. I quickly realized that grief is not limited to widows and given my expertise as a grieving daughter, sister and best friend, I evolved to include a larger community.

Still, I can’t stop noticing that we, the bereaved, are on Facebook and Instagram and other social platforms because we need to talk about our loved ones, honour milestones and reach out during emotional ups and downs.

The problem is we are talking to strangers – not to our loved ones and friends.

This is because we understand that sharing our memories is no longer accepted. We have been told to ‘move on’. We don’t want to ‘burden’ others with our grief.

I suggest there is an alternative. Let’s change the vantage point. Instead of expecting the bereaved to ‘get over it’ and trying to cancel us, why don’t we educate society about death?

Here’s a little secret. We will all experience the death of a loved one in our lifetime – so, let’s talk about it!!!

Clearly there is much interest in death.

I am joining in the footsteps of more than 12,290 prior Death Cafes facilitated in 76 countries around the world. Here we talk about death with no agenda or bias.

Our goal? To normalize the conversation.

Talking about death is the first step to shatter the taboo about death.

I hope you will join me on the journey (& in a death cafe).

Next?

Ask me about step #2

Forever evolving

Susan

***Have you heard about Hope for Widows Foundation’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K on May 15 and 16? Registration is now open! For details, FAQ’s and to register/support go to: https://racewire.com/register.php?id=12122

Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support, or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcomed to participate. The deadline to register is May 15, 2021. The proceeds will directly support widows directly through their annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and our Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program.***

About 

Susan met her husband when she was only 14 and he was 15 in their hometown of Toronto, Canada. They lived a life many would describe as the American (Canadian) dream. They became a family of 5, with a dog, their large, extended families close by and wonderful friends who completed their life.

On May 20, 2014, her world came crashing down. Her 54-year old husband passed unexpectedly of a heart attack. The years since have been a whirlwind of emotion, trauma & joy (yes, she said joy, thanks mostly to the birth of her grandchildren).
Within 5 more years, Susan experienced more tragedy through the loss of her dad & both of her brothers. She knew she had to make sense of all the grief. Subsequently, she has completed a coaching program and has been invited to guide caregivers thru a provincial initiative.

During the pandemic, she took the leap and began Evolve Beyond Grief, a community to help others reclaim their life after bereavement.

Whether one week or more than 20 years in, everyone who grieves should feel comfortable to share memories and emotions with their friends and family. In order to do so, Susan is commited to help shatter the taboo regarding death and encourages others to join her.

You can also find Susan and her organization, Evolve Beyond Grief on Facebook, Website and Instagram.