‘Death is not the end…the f**k it’s not!’ More than 2000 ‘Death Cafes’ have been held across 30 countries. It is a place where people interested in death can meet, drink and discuss, yes, death. Engaging with death might not be your particular bag, but you would be surprised how many people wish to ‘engage’ with the subject of their own mortality! Café Rouge in Hampstead, north-west London held a death café evening in 2014. Now 42-year-old funeral arranger, or undertaker, Jon Underwood…how apt…who previously ran a ‘pop-up’ death café in Hackney in 2011, is hoping to arrange enough dosh on Crowdfunding to open a permanent death café. He said: ‘Our objective is to increase awareness of death with the view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.’ One would think that’s a priest’s job, wouldn’t you, or perhaps a psychiatrist’s? Now if you’re looking for a new partner with a ‘GSOH’ I don’t suppose a death café is the place to go!
Once the heart stops and oxygenated blood ceases to be pumped to the brain, it takes 6-minutes for the brain to die. I have wondered what if anything goes through the mind and whether one suffers excruciating mental pain? After death? Rigor Mortis, decomposition, appalling smell, bloating, blistering and bursting! Discuss death and the concept of the ‘hereafter’? Why I’d rather put it all out of my mind, stick on headphones and listen to some Miles Davis while a naked feminist sits on my face! While we’re on the subject of death, according to the Economist’s latest index which measures ‘end of life care’, Britain is the best country in the world in which to die, beating 80 other countries that appear in the index. Really? Well, you can blow me down with a feather! I suspect the Economist’s report must refer to palliative care for those residing in hospices, rather than residents in care homes, or the elderly living alone without the wherewithal to pay for heating and food, 5000 of who die unnecessarily each winter in the UK!